KANSAS CITY -- After catching two full games in his return to the Royals, Salvador Perez is pain-free.
"My knee feels 100 percent, I feel nothing in my knee," Perez said on Monday. "It's unbelievable what they did."
Perez underwent left knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on March 16. He returned on Friday night for the Cardinals series and caught all nine innings before taking off on Saturday. Perez again caught nine innings on Sunday -- with the temperature hovering at 100 degrees.
"It was hot. I lost like 10 pounds during the game," the 240-pound Perez said.
Perez was back in the starting lineup for Monday night's series opener against the Rays. In his first two games, Perez was 3-for-8 with a home run and three RBIs.
In addition to all the squatting that goes with catching, Perez has had no problems with his running.
"Perfect," he said, adding with a grin: "I think I'm faster now."
There will be no match race, however, between him and superfast teammate Jarrod Dyson.
Teaford likely to get start on Wednesday
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' probable pitching rotation still has some openings, starting with Wednesday afternoon against Tampa Bay.
Indications, though, are that left-hander Everett Teaford likely will be recalled from Triple-A Omaha to make that start. He last pitched on Thursday and went six shutout innings against Memphis. For Omaha, Teaford is 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA in seven games including six starts.
Teaford, in three games (one start) for Kansas City this year, is 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA. He began the season as the Royals' long reliever and was optioned to Omaha on April 28, before being recalled on May 17. But two days later, Teaford suffered a lower abdominal strain and went on the disabled list. Subsequently, he rehabbed with Omaha and was re-assigned to the Storm Chasers.
Meanwhile, right-hander Vin Mazzaro was in the bullpen as a potential long reliever on Sunday and Monday. He's made five starts; the last on Friday night against the Cardinals, who chased him in the second inning.
Left-hander Doug Davis, 36, also could figure in the rotation mix at some point. Signed by the Royals on May 12, the 13-year veteran of the Majors is 3-1 with a 3.08 in seven games for Omaha. He's won all of his three starts, giving up just three earned runs in 17 1/3 innings, the last on Sunday.
Moustakas hits in three-hole for time being
KANSAS CITY -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was back in the No. 3 spot in the batting order on Monday night against the Rays, but don't expect him to stay there.
Meantime, first baseman Eric Hosmer batted sixth as he tries to dig out of his season-long bumpy ride. Hosmer sat out Sunday's I-70 Series finale after batting fourth in the previous two games against the Cardinals.
This was just third time for Moustakas in the three-hole.
"We think he's going to be a middle-of-the-order lineup hitter," manager Ned Yost said. "We think Hoz is more likely to be a three and Moose a four, but right now that's what fits best for our team and our lineup, and we'll leave him there for a little bit."
Prospect Smith twice as good on mound
KANSAS CITY -- Now here's a pitcher on the fast track.
Kyle Smith, a right-hander from Lantana, Fla., and the Royals' fourth-round Draft choice in 2011, made his professional debut last week with the Rookie team at Idaho Falls.
Smith, 19, pitched last Tuesday and went five innings for the Chukars, allowing one run on three hits with an eye-popping 11 strikeouts, and earned the 11-4 win over Orem.
Immediately promoted to Class A Kane County, Smith pitched on Sunday night and worked six no-hit innings with one walk and six strikeouts in the Cougars' 4-3 win at Clinton.
For his efforts, Smith was named Pitcher of the Week in both the Pioneer and Midwest leagues. That two-league sweep might be a first in the annals of weekly awards.
Right-hander Roman Colon, designated for assignment by the Royals on Saturday, cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Omaha. He bailed out the Royals with 4 1/3 innings of relief in St. Louis' blowout victory last Friday night.
When the Royals play a day-night doubleheader at Minnesota on Saturday, they'll be able to take advantage of a new rule this season which enables a club to add a 26th player for the two games. "One player, you can't pull up two," Yost said.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain hit a home run on Monday in Double-A Northwest Arkansas' 3-2 win over Arkansas. There's no timetable for his return to KC. "He just played five innings. We've got to get him back to playing nine innings on a regular basis before we can consider bringing him back," Yost said.
Catcher Manny Pina, out following knee surgery since Spring Training, has started a rehab assignment with the Surprise Royals in the Rookie Arizona League.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.