DETROIT -- Career hit No. 1,000 was a big one for the Royals' Jeff Francoeur.
Francoeur belted a 0-1 pitch from Tigers rookie Jacob Turner, a 20-year-old right-hander, into the left-field seats in the second inning of the Royals' 11-8 victory on Thursday. His 16th homer of the season came with Eric Hosmer on base after a leadoff single.
"He told us he was going to get it in his first at-bat and he did, he didn't mess around with it," manager Ned Yost said.
The hit was Francoeur's 144th this season, his first year with the Royals. He also had 653 hits for the Braves, 185 for the Mets and 18 for the Rangers.
For Francoeur, the best part was hit got two more hits and another RBI in the win.
"It's a lot more enjoyable when you win a game like this," he said.
Perez sustains sprained finger after collision
DETROIT -- Rookie catcher Salvador Perez was out of the Royals' starting lineup on Thursday as a result of one of the hazards of his trade.
Perez had his right hand wrapped in a blue bandage, the result of a home-plate collision when he tagged out the Tigers' Alex Avila in the eighth inning of Wednesday's 5-4 loss.
"It's a just a little sprain on his little finger," manager Ned Yost said. "He'll be fine in a day or so. It's nothing major."
Brayan Pena, who pinch-hit for Perez in the ninth inning, was the starting catcher on Thursday. Perez said the trainers told him he might miss Friday night's game against the Indians as well, but he believes he'll be ready. In fact, Yost said Perez could play on Thursday if necessary.
Ironically, the injury occurred just after the Royals completed a deal that sent catcher Matt Treanor to the Rangers for cash. If that had not happened, Treanor was scheduled to rejoin the Royals from injury rehab on Thursday, the first day rosters can be expanded.
"That's the first thing that I thought about," Yost said.
But Yost said there are no immediate plans to call up another catcher.
Royals' struggling bullpen trying to reload
DETROIT -- Reliever Jesse Chavez arrived from Triple-A Omaha to become the ninth member of the Royals' bullpen.
That's a lot of arms, even with Nate Adcock temporarily on starting duty.
"But not a whole lot of 'em that are getting a lot done right now," manager Ned Yost pointed out.
In the first nine games of this 10-game trip, the Royals were 4-5 and the bullpen had absorbed four of the five losses while giving up 19 hits, eight walks and 10 runs in 11 2/3 innings.
"This whole trip. Quite frankly, we'd be 8-1 if our bullpen was ...," Yost said, his voice trailing off. "Efficient" or a similar word was left unsaid.
For most of the season, the Royals' rookie-dominated bullpen has been extraordinarily efficient considering its relative inexperience. Yost and his staff have been careful, though, to avoid taxing the young pitchers with a high number of innings or too many back-to-back outings.
"We've done a great job of protecting these guys," he said.
Now Yost sees the maturation process moving to the next step.
"When we get to a point where we're competing, these guys are going to be able to go three days in a row and they're going to have to be productive," he said. "So, for me, going forward is to continue to observe and evaluate the guys that have that durability to still produce in the fifth and sixth month [of the season]. These are all things that we're continuing to evaluate to get us to the next level."
He added: "You look at the championship teams, the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Phillies -- these guys use their relievers every day."
The Royals have yet to reach that point and, meanwhile, they've been absorbing some punches.
"It just hasn't been a good trip for our bullpen," Yost said.
Adcock remains on alert for spot duty
DETROIT -- Right-hander Nate Adcock, who made an impressive spot start on Wednesday, could go again on Monday at Oakland if Felipe Paulino isn't ready.
"He could," manager Ned Yost said. "If Paulino can't make his next start, he'll definitely start that game."
With Paulino out with back spasms, Adcock jumped in against the Tigers and worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up just two runs on six hits while throwing 55 pitches.
"You've got a kid in a spot start that hadn't thrown in 11 days, and you're looking at a 50- or 60-pitch count limit," Yost said. "You're just hoping he can get you through three, this kid got us into the sixth. He did a phenomenal job, using his defense, using his good heavy sinker. He did a tremendous job."
With Omaha's starters headed into the Triple-A playoffs, Adcock might also step in for Danny Duffy, if and when the Royals decide he's ready to be shut down for the season.
Paulino said on Thursday that his back was feeling better and, "We'll know more [Friday]."
Soria might adopt new training technique
DETROIT -- If Joakim Soria is worked similar to a starting pitcher in Spring Training next year, don't be confused. There's absolutely no plan to make him a starter, it'd be just a new training technique.
It's just a possibility being discussed by pitching coach Bob McClure and the Royals' closer.
Soria has struggled more this season than in any previous year with seven blown saves. McClure recalled that, as a Rule 5 rookie in 2007, all of Soria's pitches and his command were very sharp.
"That was the best I had seen him. The reason is, he had been a starter that winter in the Mexican League and he came into Spring Training as a starter where he used all of his pitches," McClure said.
"I just thought that perhaps it might be better for him to go along with the starters -- to a point, maybe four innings -- and then go backwards, so that he's got the feel of all his pitches coming out of Spring Training."
As of now, it's just a thought.
"We're having discussions on that," Soria said. "to find a way that we can throw all my pitches in Spring Training, so we can start with all my pitches sharp. I think it's a good idea. I don't know about the four or five innings, for me that's too much, but we need to find a way."
Soria throws a fastball, curveball, slider, changeup and cutter off his fastball, a large repertoire for a closer.
Manager Ned Yost isn't too concerned with Spring Training just yet but, lest anyone think the old idea about changing Soria into a starter is in the plans, he has a one-word answer: "No."
Royals, Padres slated for exhibition games
DETROIT -- The Royals and the Padres will meet in two Spring Training games in 2012, just before the start of the regular season.
On Tuesday, April 3, the teams will play at 9:05 p.m. CT at San Diego's PETCO Park, and on Wednesday, April 5, they'll play at noon CT at Lake Elsinore, Calif., home of the Padres' California League affiliate.
Lake Elsinore is 75 miles north of San Diego and not far from Anaheim where, it could be assumed, the Royals will open the season against the Los Angeles Angels. The regular season schedule will be announced on Sept. 14.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.