KC@MIN: Moustakas' three-run blast puts Royals on top

NEW YORK -- The question always comes up when there's a catchers' crunch: Who would be the Royals' emergency backstop?

There was a budding crisis on Saturday, when George Kottaras -- who had started the game -- was replaced by Salvador Perez, and Perez took a hard blow off the mask from a foul ball. He shook it off and finished the 12th inning as the Royals secured a 4-3 win over the Mets.

Kansas City carries only two catchers. What if the game had gone on and Perez, later diagnosed to have a low-grade concussion, could not have continued?

Infielder Chris Getz, earlier considered the emergency catcher, is on the disabled list. So manager Ned Yost was thinking ... well, let's go inside the Royals' dugout before Sunday's game.

Yost looks up and sees third baseman Mike Moustakas signing autographs and passing them over the dugout roof to fans.

"Hey, Moose! If I needed you to put the gear on for Salvy, you could have handled that, right?" Yost shouts.

"Absolutely, easily," Moustakas replies.

"See, he's my man," Yost says.

Suddenly, Moustakas has another thought.

"As long as it wasn't [Kelvin] Herrera going in to pitch, I'd have been all right," he tells Yost.

Herrera and his 100-mph fastball had already gone out of the game, so Moustakas would have been OK.

With in-game moves proliferating during the extra-inning game under National League rules on Saturday, the Royals were out of position players. So if Moustakas had moved to catcher, Yost would have switched Alex Gordon from left field to his old third-base spot.

That would've meant a pitcher in left field.

"We've got guys that like to shag balls who are athletic enough -- [James] Shields is one, [Jeremy] Guthrie is one," Yost said.

Anyways, with Perez going on the seven-day concussion list, the Royals called up Brett Hayes to help out Kottaras. So Moose won't be needed in catching gear unless, of course, another emergency arises.

"That's one of those things I don't even want to think about," Yost said.

Lough to be checked out after tweaking quad

KC@NYM: Byrd loses Lough's fly in sun, nets a double

NEW YORK -- David Lough left Sunday's game in the fifth inning with a tight right quadriceps, and the Royals announced the right fielder would be reevaluated on Monday after the club returns to Kansas City.

Lough opened the Royals' three-run fifth inning with a sun-aided double and was bunted to third base before being replaced by pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson.

"He's been nursing it," manager Ned Yost said. "He's about 80 percent. I just didn't like the way he was running on that play."

Lough figured he pulled something while stealing a base recently.

"I've just been battling it. Hopefully a couple of days and it'll be gone, but it's kind of bothering me a little bit," he said.

The double raised Lough's average to .300 (65-for-217) in 62 games since being recalled from Triple-A Omaha on May 17.

Hayes called up to fill Perez's roster spot

NEW YORK -- The Royals summoned catcher Brett Hayes from Triple-A Omaha on Sunday to take the roster spot vacated by Salvador Perez. Hayes brought with him different mask protection.

Perez sustained a low-grade concussion when a foul ball banged his mask on Saturday, and he's been rattled by a number of blows this season. Hayes favors the protective and colorful helmet-type gear that some catchers have gone to in the last several years.

"I use the one-piece hockey mask," Hayes said. "They used to be really heavy, and about two years they came out with a lighter version. They're not as light as the two-piece like Salvy wears, but I like it because it has better visibility and I feel like it takes a blow a little better. That's why I switched. And it protects you against back swings -- you see guys get hit all the time."

Considering Perez's problems with his mask, the Royals might consider alternative gear for him.

Yost shuffles lineup for finale vs. Mets

KC@MIN: Butler singles home a pair of runs

NEW YORK -- There was no right-field duty for Eric Hosmer on Sunday against the Mets. And no Billy Butler in the Royals' starting lineup.

Manager Ned Yost had moved Hosmer from first base to right field for the first six of Saturday's 12 innings, with Butler -- the designated hitter under American League rules -- playing first base. Hosmer had no chances in the outfield and Butler handled routine chances well.

But for Sunday's finale at Citi Field, Yost went back to a more conventional lineup, although with an unusual look. Right fielder David Lough led off for only the eighth time this year, and second baseman Miguel Tejada batted second for just the second time.

There won't be much more down time for Butler. This was the last series for the Royals this year in a National League city. Miami and Washington are still to come on the schedule, but they'll be playing in Kansas City.

Worth noting

• The 12-inning, 4-3 victory the Royals pulled out on Saturday marked their 39th one-run game this season, as well as the 39th for the Mets. The two teams are the Major League leaders in one-run games. Saturday's win put the Royals at 22-17 and the Mets at 18-21.

It was the Royals' ninth straight victory in a one-run game.