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Royals notebook: Mahay reports progress on his sore left foot

CHICAGO | Lefty reliever Ron Mahay reported no pain Tuesday in his left foot after a half-speed throwing working before the Royals’ series opener against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

“I didn’t do much, really,” Mahay said. “It wasn’t like really pitching. I wasn’t even wearing spikes. I just got on the mound and threw about 50 percent. But what I did felt good.”

Royals manager Trey Hillman expressed hope that Mahay could be available as soon as Wednesday, but that appears optimistic.

“He didn’t have any discomfort in his left foot,” Hillman said. “That’s a good sign. We see if (today), it reacts the same way. I’d like to have him available in this series.

“The most important thing is to not put him in harm’s way, but if we’re not going to have the availability of his services, there’s no sense in keeping him on the active roster.”

Mahay is battling plantar fascia, which causes pain in the heel and bottom of his foot. Doctors prescribed rest as the first option; Mahay hasn’t pitched since last Wednesday.

A full-scale test in the bullpen is the next step.

“The problem is I haven’t been able to push off,” Mahay said. “If I try that, and it still hurts, I’ll have to tell them. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen.”

If pain persists, the likely options are a cortisone shot and/or ultrasound. Either one would likely to force Mahay to the disabled list and, depending on how he responds, perhaps sideline him for the rest of the season.

Mahay, 37, was among the game’s best setup relievers before his foot began hurting. He was 5-0 with 18 holds and a 1.75 ERA in his first 47 appearances before yielding six runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings over his last three outings.

Olivo awaiting appeal

Catcher Miguel Olivo said he expects to learn the resolution on his appeal of a five-game suspension later this week when the Royals play a three-game series in New York.

“That’s what my agent tells me,” Olivo said. “I know I’m going to get suspended. I just don’t know when or how long.”

Olivo received the suspension and a $2,000 fine for his role in an on-field scrap Aug. 3 with the White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Olivo charged the mound after being hit by a pitch by reliever D.J. Carrasco.

Both players were ejected after the incident, but Carrasco was neither fined nor suspended. Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected for arguing the decision to eject Carrasco.

Royals pitcher Zack Greinke was subsequently ejected for hitting Nick Swisher with a pitch. Greinke’s ejection led to a five-game suspension and a $1,500 fine. Hillman was also ejected when Greinke hit Swisher because both benches had been warned against further incidents.

Greinke initially appealed his suspension and fine but later relented. Tuesday’s series opener against the White Sox marked the second game of his suspension.

Guillen and Hillman received fines and one-game suspensions. Both served their suspensions last week.

Minor leaguer suspended

Class A Burlington (Iowa) pitcher Victor Jorge was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a substance banned under the sport’s drug policy.

“Obviously we are very disappointed with the decision Victor made,” said J.J. Picollo, the organization’s assistant general manager for scouting and player development.

“We educate our players on what supplements are permissible by MLB and our players know the consequences if they choose to use any banned substance.”

Jorge, 21, was 0-2 with an 8.54 ERA In 10 games, including five starts, at Burlington. He allowed 25 earned runs and 32 hits in 26 1/3 innings while striking out 15 and walking 13.

MLB also announced 50-game suspensions two minor-league players on Arizona’s team in the Dominican Summer League: pitcher Winfild De La Rosa and first baseman Ramon Mariano.

The Royals signed Jorge on Aug. 30, 2006 as a non-drafted free agent. He allowed 11 runs and 12 hits last season in 8 1/3 innings at Rookie Surprise before shifting this season to Burlington.

Notable absence

The White Sox scratched AL home-run leader Carlos Quentin from the lineup because of “general soreness.” His status is regarded as “day to day.”

Quentin is understandably sore after being hit by a pitch in five straight games, but the Royals weren’t complaining. Quentin has hit four of his 32 homers against the Royals, including two against Brian Bannister, who started Tuesday’s game.

Fuel-up package

Concerned at the cost of gas required to get you to Kauffman Stadium in the season’s closing months? Well, the Royals have a ticket plan for you.

The club introduced a “Fuel Up for $40” package Tuesday that consists of four view-level tickets and a $20 QuikTrip card. View-level tickets sell for $15, so the package would normally sell for $80.

The package is available for all 19 remaining home games. The QuikTrip cards can be used at any of the company’s stores for gas or merchandise with the exception of lottery purchases and money orders.

Minor details

First baseman Kila Kaaihue continues to pound his way through the Class AAA Pacific Coast League with the same muscle he displayed earlier this season in the Class AA Texas League.

Kaaihue’s two-run homer provided Omaha with its only runs Monday in a 3-2 loss at Nashville. That was his seventh homer in 13 games since his promotion from Northwest Arkansas, where he had 26 homers in 91 games.

“He has made a seamless adjustment to AAA and has forced us to include him in our future plans,” Picollo said. “This is an ideal situation. The player has performed and given us reason to believe he can be counted on.”

Kaaihue also had a single in three at-bats Sunday and raised his average to .386. He batted .314 at Northwest Arkansas. Combined, he is batting .323 with 33 homers and 91 RBIs in 104 games.

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