KANSAS CITY -- How's this for a battery? Mike Sweeney pitching and George Brett catching.
The two former Royals stars teamed up for the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday night's game against the Twins. Sluggerrr was the umpire.
In a pregame ceremony, Sweeney was recognized as a new member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and re-presented his plaque by the hall's president, Jerald Andrews, and vice president, Marty Willadsen. Sweeney was inducted in January at Springfield, Mo.
Gordon's cannon racking up assists for Royals
KANSAS CITY -- With the Royals struggling to score, it's all the more important to have strong fielding and keeping teams leery about trying to take an extra base. Left fielder Alex Gordon is leading the charge with a team-high six outfield assists.
Gordon got his sixth on Tuesday night, throwing out the Twins' Chris Parmelee at second base. That tied him for second in the Majors behind Alex Rios of the White Sox. For the Royals, Lorenzo Cain and Jeff Francoeur each have three assists, David Lough has two and Jarrod Dyson one.
"He's a huge asset out there," manager Ned Yost said. "He could be the best throwing outfielder in all of baseball. Especially when you aren't scoring runs, you better keep the opposing team from scoring runs, and he does that with great frequency."
Entering Wednesday's action, the Royals were second in the Majors with 15 outfield assists behind Minnesota's 17. Since 2011, the Royals have 117 assists, 34 more than next best Houston's 83.
Since making the move to the outfield in 2011, Gordon has turned in a big league-best 43 assists from left field.
Yost sets Royals lineup based on data analysis
KANSAS CITY -- In his never-ending search for runs, Royals manager Ned Yost sought help from the numbers analysts in the front office.
"I had our statistical guys make up an optimum lineup for us by the way we're going against right- and left-handed pitching to take any advantage of it," Yost said.
As a result, the latest lineup wrinkles on Wednesday night against Twins right-hander P.J. Walters had Eric Hosmer moving up to the No. 2 spot behind Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez going to the No. 3 spot ahead of Billy Butler.
"They liked Salvy in the three because he's a contact guy with power, they liked Hoz in the two for the left-handed advantage behind Alex [Gordon]. Billy in the four, obviously," Yost continued. "They liked [Lorenzo] Cain in the five but I had a hard time having three lefties in a row, especially since they've got three lefties [in the bullpen]. So we put Moose [Mike Moustakas] in the five, Cain in the six to break up the lefties."
So that meant two lefties, Gordon and Hosmer, followed by two righties, Perez and Butler, and lefty Moustakas. Cain, a righty, was followed by lefties David Lough and Chris Getz and righty Alcides Escobar.
At evening's end, the Royals were celebrating a 4-1 victory from this new lineup.
Would those stats guys get a bonus?
"Not yet," Yost said. "We'll see how it works tomorrow."
Royals reschedule promotions for current homestand
KANSAS CITY -- Weather delays have taken their toll on the Royals' promotions schedule, but they're going to try to make up the postponed events during this nine-game homestand in addition to a couple of themed nights.
The annual Broadcast Auction will be made up on Friday and fans will have the ability to call into the broadcast and bid on a variety of one-of-a-kind experiences including a Fantasy Camp spot for 2014 in Surprise, Ariz., where one fan will play on George Brett's team for a week of games.
Friday will also be Girls Night Out with free chair massages, mini spa services, entertainment from Howl at the Moon dueling-piano performers, chocolate fountains, a fashion show from Macy's and more. The first 10,000 women also will receive a pink KC hat. The following night, the Royals will celebrate Retro Night and the first 10,000 fans will get a retro powder-blue jersey courtesy of FOX Sports Kansas City.
"Summer School Day at The K" with Mike Thompson and the FOX4 weather team will be made up on June 12 prior to the afternoon game with the Tigers. The event will feature an on-field weather and science presentation and a science fair. Gates will open for students at 8:30 a.m. CT with the presentation starting at 10 a.m.
Duffy progressing to Triple-A Omaha in rehab
KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Danny Duffy made his third rehab start of the season for Double-A Northwest Arkansas and posted on Twitter that he is "Omaha bound."
Duffy, who had Tommy John surgery last June 13, gave up five hits and three runs including a homer in four innings. He also walked one batter and had six strikeouts. He threw 71 pitches in the 11-1 loss to Tulsa. He's 0-2 with a 4.22 ERA.
He had his first rehab start on May 26 when he pitched three innings with two hits, two walks, four strikeouts, a hit batter, a wild pitch and a balk. He threw 63 pitches, 37 for strikes. In his second outing, he went 3 1/3 innings with five runs, two hits and four strikeouts on 63 pitches.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.