Kansas City Royals

Royals reliever Tim Hill believes he found his command again in Omaha

The Royals recalled left-handed relief pitcher Tim Hill from Triple-A Omaha prior to Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The club optioned Glenn Sparkman to the minors on Sunday, but they didn’t make a corresponding roster move until Monday.

Hill began the season with the major-league club, but he struggled with command before being optioned to the minors on April 9. Hill allowed two earned runs in 2.0 innings over five appearances.

Hill walked two and struck out five in five innings with Omaha.

“Sometimes it’s not just as easy as knowing something’s wrong,” Hill said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to grind it out and get the feel back. Basically, that’s what I did. I went down there (and) the extra reps helped me just be able to find it.

“I think I would’ve found it up here either way. It’s just down there it happened quicker because more reps.”

Dozier at DH: Royals manager Ned Yost slotted Hunter Dozier in as designated hitter for the second game in a row. Yost said Dozier had been dealing with stiffness/tightness in his back. With Dozier on a hitting tear of late Yost wanted to have Dozier serve as DH for another game or two.

Hunter Dozier hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season to give the Royals a one-run lead in the eighth inning on Sunday afternoon. In his past 11 games, he’s batted .447 with a .553 on-base percentage and an .868 slugging percentage. Four of his six home runs and 7 of 11 RBI have come in that span.

Monday’s lineup

1. Whit Merrifield, 2b

2. Adalberto Mondesi, ss

3. Alex Gordon, lf

4. Hunter Dozier, dh

5. Ryan O’Hearn, 1b

6. Chris Owings, 3b

7. Jorge Soler, rf

8. Martin Maldonado, c

9. Billy Hamilton, cf

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.