Joseph gives Royals fourth southpaw in 'pen
He joins fellow relievers Bueno, Collins, Smith after recall for third stint
KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Donnie Joseph has been watching the Royals' success from a distance, but after being recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday, he's making his third stint in the American League's top bullpen.
Entering Tuesday's game against the Mariners, the Royals' bullpen led the AL with a 2.51 ERA and had surrendered just one run in 20 2/3 innings for a 0.44 ERA. They've also held opponents to a 0.87 batting average (6-for-69) with 30 strikeouts.
"They're lights out, they're unbelievable. That's why they're in the position they are because the bullpen is so good," Joseph said. "I hope I can come and help out in any way possible."
Joseph is the 11th pitcher in the bullpen and fourth lefty -- joining Francisley Bueno, Tim Collins and Will Smith.
"I think the biggest benefit that we have now is four lefties in the 'pen," manager Ned Yost said. "Will Smith gives you length. Bueno and Timmy Collins can get give two innings max and Donnie Joseph is probably going to be a situational-type guy. A guy that can come in and get you a big out when you need it. So, we can mix-and-match down there now a lot better than when you just have a conventional bullpen."
Joseph had appeared in three games for the Royals this season, giving up four walks and two hits in 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He played in 47 games for Omaha, going 4-3 with a 3.95 ERA. The lefty had six saves and 84 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings.
Tests pointing toward concussion for Getz
KANSAS CITY -- Royals second baseman Chris Getz left Tuesday night's 4-3 win over the Mariners after only two innings as a precautionary measure due to an upset stomach and mild dizziness. Manager Ned Yost said early tests are leaning toward a concussion.
"The tests are kind of pointing that direction, but it's too early to tell," Yost said. "We don't know. It's kind of a weird deal."
Getz batted second in the first inning and grounded out. In the second inning, he made a stop of a ground single by the Mariners' Mike Zunino and his throw skipped past first baseman Billy Butler for an error, allowing Justin Smoak to reach third.
"He felt fine before the game," Yost said. "That play in the second inning where he had to range way over to his left, he caught the ball and when he turned to throw, he threw off-balance and then he fell and kind of snapped his head and got real dizzy from that point on. We don't really know what it was."
Getz finished the inning, but was replaced by Emilio Bonifacio in the top of the third.
Getz was hit in the head in September 2010, sliding into a base, and missed the rest of the season with a concussion. On Friday in Toronto, Getz was hit in the helmet running the bases, but Yost said he felt no concussion symptoms after that game.
Giavotella will be infielder in return to Royals
KANSAS CITY -- Second baseman Johnny Giavotella spent his last couple of weeks with Triple-A Omaha playing in the outfield, but Royals manager Ned Yost said on Tuesday that Giavotella will shift back to the infield.
"I'm not exactly sure how they're going to use me, but whatever they ask, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability and come out here and help the team any way I can," Giavotella said.
Giavotella spent two weeks with the Royals in July and played in 10 games -- batting .206 with four RBIs. He was slowed by a hip flexor injury at Omaha, but played in 100 games and hit .286 with seven homers and 46 RBIs.
He's spent parts of each of the last three seasons with the Royals -- batting .239 with three homers and 43 RBIs in 109 games.
"All these guys are my friends," Giavotella said. "I've been playing with them for a few years now so I'm always encouraging them, rooting for them and hoping for the best for them."
Ciriaco excited to help Royals' playoff push
KANSAS CITY -- Shortstop Pedro Ciriaco has been with three different Major League teams this season. On Tuesday, after being recalled by the Royals, he said he's always pleased to get another opportunity.
"I feel great," Ciriaco said. "I'm here to help the team and right now we are pushing for the playoffs, and I am happy to be here."
Ciriaco started the season with Boston and was traded to San Diego before being claimed off waivers by Kansas City on July 16.
On the depth chart, Ciriaco is slated behind Alcides Escobar, who's started all but four games this season at shortstop. Former Royal Elliot Johnson made the other four starts.
"In case we pinch-hit for Escobar, we've got a fill-in at short," manager Ned Yost said.
In the Major Leagues, Ciriaco has started 35 games at third base, 15 at shortstop and 11 at second base. He's also appeared at each position in the outfield.
Hosmer, Shields top KC players for August
KANSAS CITY -- First baseman Eric Hosmer was named the Royals Player of the Month and right-hander James Shields was tabbed as Pitcher of the Month for August.
Hosmer led Kansas City and was tied for third in the American League with 40 hits and 20 RBIs. He batted .323 with seven doubles and 14 walks. It was Hosmer's third consecutive Player of the Month honor.
Shields led the Royals in wins and innings -- going 4-1 in six starts (40 1/3 innings). His four wins matched seven other pitchers for second in the AL. Shields also tied for the club lead with 28 strikeouts. The ace right-hander had four starts of seven innings or more, including a 3-0 victory on Aug. 16 against Detroit with seven scoreless innings.
Royals keeping Oct. 2 open for Wild Card
KANSAS CITY -- Mark your calendar, Kansas City fans. If the Royals earn an American League Wild Card berth, they'll be playing on Wednesday, Oct. 2, for the chance to advance.
Any necessary tiebreaker games would be played on Monday, Sept. 30, the day after the regular season ends. The National League Wild Card game is set for Tuesday, Oct. 1.
The Royals have a good patch of ground to make up, but manager Ned Yost believes his team is staying focused on its postseason chances.
"It's a bit impressive," Yost said. "I think everybody feels good about where we're at right now and has a lot of energy with the way that we're playing. And they've got a one-mindset focus and they do it as a group. You've got to have everybody buy into that and our guys are doing a great job of that."
As for himself, Yost insisted that he's not paying that much attention to how the Royals stand in the Wild Card race.
"No. What good does it do me?" Yost said. "I can pay attention to it all I want and if we don't win a ballgame that night, what difference does it make? So, I stay focused on what we need to do."
Major League Baseball announced the postseason schedule on Tuesday. If the World Series goes seven games, it would end on Oct. 31.
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.