Cuthbert, pitching trio staying warm in Arizona

Cuthbert, pitching trio staying warm in Arizona

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals sent four players from their expanded September roster to their spring complex in Surprise, Ariz., in order for them to keep playing games in case of a sudden need in the American League Division Series.

Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert, and pitchers Louis Coleman, Miguel Almonte and Scott Alexander all were sent to Surprise. Cuthbert would be a replacement at third if Mike Moustakas were to get injured. The pitchers would all be additional bullpen help.

"[They're] down there just to continue to stay ready," manager Ned Yost said.

Game Date Result
Gm 1 Oct. 8 HOU 5, KC 2
Gm 2 Oct. 9 KC 5, HOU 4
Gm 3 Oct. 11 HOU 4, KC 2
Gm 4 Oct. 12 KC 9, HOU 6
Gm 5 Oct. 14 KC 7, HOU 2

LoCain is fine
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain said his right knee was "a little bit" better after more than three days of rest. Cain is recovering from a deep bone bruise on his knee after taking a foul ball square off the kneecap.

"I'll just play through it," he said.

Esky's magic
The baseball world continues to be amazed at the connection between shortstop Alcides Escobar leading off and the team's success: The Royals are 44 games over .500 with Escobar in the top spot since last season, including the postseason.

Here's a new one, though: According to the Royals, the team is 39-17 when Escobar swings at the first pitch.

"There's times where he'll get up there and swing at the first pitch of the game and our guys go crazy when he does that, because our percentage in winning ballgames when Esky swings at the first pitch is huge," Yost said. "As soon as Esky swings at the first pitch, you hear everybody in the dugout go, 'We're winning today, we're winning today.'"

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.