Make that two stellar outings in a row for right-hander Nate Adcock, who allowed just one run and five hits in an efficient five innings Sunday during the Royals’ 2-0 loss to the Diamondbacks.
The performance came on the heels of a five-inning relief appearance during the Royals’ 15-inning loss to the Orioles on Wednesday, and came on short notice — Adcock had to be recalled Saturday after left-hander Everett Teaford went on the disabled list.
Now the relevant question: Has Adcock done enough to merit another start?
“We’re kind of looking at some different scenarios and some different things,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “But the answer is probably yes.”
Among the biggest concerns: The Royals need a long reliever as insurance against a patchwork starting rotation. Adcock can fill that role, too. And the Royals don’t currently have another on their staff.
For now, Felipe Paulino is scheduled to start tonight against the Yankees; Luke Hochevar will start Tuesday, and Luis Mendoza is scheduled to pitch the series finale on Wednesday. The Royals have an off-day Thursday before heading to Baltimore for a three-game series. Left-hander Bruce Chen is slated to throw Friday, and the final two games in Baltimore are still to be determined.
Adcock, acquired in the Rule 5 draft before the 2011 season, has certainly made his case. He’s posted a 2.33 ERA in 191/3 innings in the big leagues, while recording a 1.37 ERA in 261/3 innings at Class AAA Omaha this season.
“I hope so,” Adcock said, when asked if he believed he’d earned another start. “I mean, that’s not my decision. All I can do is go out there and pitch — pitch by pitch — and hopefully have some success and see what the decisions are.”
Yost opted for another new lineup Sunday against Arizona left-hander Wade Miley.
Johnny Giavotella played second base and moved into the leadoff spot; third baseman Mike Moustakas moved up to third; and Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer dropped down to sixth and seventh, respectively.
It didn’t lead to desirable results — small sample size alert! — but don’t expect the tinkering to end. Yost said he’ll continue to go day to day with it as the offense continues to get on track.
Perez leaves for Arizona
Catcher Salvy Perez left for Surprise, Ariz., on Sunday morning as he continues his rehab from a knee injury suffered during spring training. Perez will catch side sessions and live batting practice before eventually catching in extended spring-training games.
For now, Perez is expected to return to the big leagues within a month. But Yost is hopeful Perez can beat that timetable.
“I think he’ll be back before a month,” Yost said, “but that’s just me.”
Perez, 22, tore cartilage in his knee March 13 while catching Jonathan Sánchez during spring training. The injury occurred just 15 days after Perez signed a five-year contract that also included three club option years.
Jeter chases Brett
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter needs just seven hits to tie Hall of Famer George Brett for 15th on the career hits list. And Jeter, who has 3,147 career hits, will have a chance to chase down history with Brett watching in person. Brett is scheduled to be in New York for the first two games of the three-game series, which begins tonight at Yankee Stadium.
• While he is in New York, Brett also will appear Monday morning on “Fox & Friends,” the national morning show on Fox News.
• Third baseman Mike Moustakas has now reached base in 26 of his last 27 games, dating to April 17.
• Eric Hosmer is batting just .125 (10 for 80) in his last 18 games since April 26.
Tracking the Royals’ home attendance:
• Sunday: 24,234
• 2011 season: 398,310 (through 22 games)
• 2012 season: 502,285 (through 22 games)
• Ahead: 103,975
• 2011 average: 22,831
• 2012 average: 18,105