Banged-up DeJesus takes day off
Outfielder took pitch off knee, dived into stands in series
DETROIT -- Tough to keep your hottest hitter out of the lineup, but that's what Royals manager Trey Hillman did with David DeJesus on Thursday.
DeJesus was hit in the left knee by a pitch in the first inning of Wednesday night's 4-3 loss to the Tigers but, after hobbling around for a minute or two, he stayed in the game and finished the nine innings.
Not only that but also, in Tuesday night's 11-1 Royals win, DeJesus flipped into the left-field seats while chasing a foul ball.
"He's a little banged-up. He's black and blue. He just needs a day," Hillman said. "He's pretty stiff. I'm sure the tumble into the stands the night before he didn't help either."
DeJesus has a 16-game hitting streak (23-for-68, .338, with 11 runs) and has hit in 26 of his past 27 games (.345) since Aug. 18. He socked his career-best 13th home run on Tuesday night. So his absence leaves a void in the lineup.
"That wasn't an easy decision, but he needs it," Hillman said.
When DeJesus was drilled by Eddie Bonine's pitch on Wednesday night, it marked the 67th time in his career that DeJesus had been hit by a pitch. That put him in third place on the Royals' all-time list, one ahead of Mike Sweeney but behind Mike Macfarlane (78) and Hal McRae (74).
"It's just sore," DeJesus said, exhibiting a large bruise on the side of his knee. "It got me pretty good."
He plans to be back in the lineup on Friday night at Chicago. Against the Tigers, Mitch Maier played left field, and Willie Bloomquist filled his leadoff spot.
Infielder-outfielder Mark Teahen was still out of the lineup because of back concerns. He last played Friday night at Cleveland.
"He said he's continuing to improve quickly," Hillman said. "I'm hoping to get him back in the lineup in Chicago. But it's one of those things I won't force."
Teahen is one of the chief tormentors of left-hander Mark Buehrle, the White Sox starter on Friday night. Teahen is 24-for-53 (.453) against Buehrle in his career.
Reliever Juan Cruz, out with a right shoulder strain, did well in a bullpen workout on Wednesday and will throw live batting practice in Chicago. Starter Gil Meche, out with right shoulder fatigue, also got through a throwing session in good shape.
Meche is presumed to be finished for season. Any chance that Meche might see action before it ends?
"Not for me," Hillman said. "I don't think that'd be the most prudent thing to do, but we'll see."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.