Infante feeling better, likely to return in Boston

Infante feeling better, likely to return in Boston

CINCINNATI -- Royals second baseman Omar Infante was deemed available for Wednesday night's series finale against the Reds, according to manager Ned Yost.

Infante was listed as day to day after being a late scratch from Tuesday night's lineup with back spasms. Yost was forced to unload his bench during the 13-inning affair in the opener, but he didn't consider throwing Infante into the game despite his back feeling better as the game progressed. Infante could play on Thursday against the Red Sox.

"It felt better as the game went on a little bit," Yost said. "It feels better today, I wouldn't have used him last night. We can use him today, it's more of a precaution today than anything else. He feels better. We'll give him another day, probably have him ready tomorrow in Boston."

Entering Wednesday, Infante was hitting .216/.232/.298 with one home run and 33 RBIs in 109 games this season. The 33-year-old has struggled of late, in the midst of an 0-for-26 skid. He was only hitting .158/.189/.267 in 29 games since the All-Star break.

While it's never good to deal with an injury, Yost said this situation will give Infante a couple of days off to regroup.

"We gave him a couple of days in Kansas City just to kind of reset and relax a little bit. Do some work in the cage to get back on track," Yost said. "We know what kind of hitter Omar is, but it doesn't hurt to take a couple of days every once in awhile to just reset."

Yost mixes up lineup
Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie was in the No. 8 spot in the lineup on Wednesday, marking the first time Yost has not had the pitcher slotted at the bottom of the order since arriving in Kansas City six years ago. Instead, Jarrod Dyson hit out of the nine-hole in the Interleague finale.

Yost experimented with this lineup while he managed the Brewers, and said it can set up a second leadoff hitter out of the nine-hole.

"It has some advantages to it," Yost said. "We wrote it up both ways and this way looked better to us. Last night there was a time or two where it would have been an advantage to us to have the pitcher hitting eighth. Without Salvador [Perez] that's a big bat out of the lineup so we wanted to kind of shorten it a little bit. Put Guthrie eighth and now you got Dyson, [Alcides] Escobar. Both could be leadoff guys and create some havoc after the pitcher spot to get to our run producers there in the middle."

Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.