Royals activate Gordon, Betancourt

The Royals made a series of roster moves Thursday in anticipation of resuming their schedule Friday night with the first of three weekend games against the Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium.

Third baseman Alex Gordon and new shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt were each activated from the disabled list after the club cleared space by optioning outfielder Mitch Maier to Class AAA Omaha and designating shortstop Tony Peña for assignment.

Gordon and Betancourt are each expected to be in Friday’s starting lineup.

Veteran right-hander Sidney Ponson also rejoined the club after completing his rehab assignment at Omaha. He was not added to the roster until the Royals gauge the recovery of Gil Meche from the back spasms that shortened his last start.

The Royals also announced their rotation for the upcoming three-game series. Brian Bannister will start the series opener followed by Zack Greinke on Saturday and Luke Hochevar on Sunday.