OAKLAND -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was back in the lineup in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the A's after taking his first day off this season on Friday. Moustakas said before the game he's not too concerned about a nagging hamstring injury that has bothered him for the past week. He made a tremendous diving catch to rob Yonder Alonso of a hit in the third inning.
Before the game, Moustakas carried a bat and walked through Kansas City's clubhouse wearing a large, thick bag of ice bandaged around his right thigh. It was the only visible sign that he was hurting. Even then, Moustakas looked healthy enough to enter a foot race.
"It was a perfect opportunity to take a day off," Moustakas said. "The way the training staff and [manager Ned Yost] figured it out, a long late game, a long road trip followed by a pretty quick turnaround, so I was able to take that day [on Friday]. It worked out pretty good."
The Royals didn't get into Oakland until 3 a.m. on Friday, and with a night game followed by Saturday's afternoon game with the A's, Yost figured the timing was right for Moustakas to get a rest. Yost noted the injury was not serious enough to keep Moustakas from playing and emphasized that by putting him back in his normal No. 2 spot in the batting order, where he went 0-for-5.
Moustakas said the day off was good for his legs, but he didn't anticipate having to be restricted in any way.
"I try not to sprint or do anything I'm not able to do, but I don't run very fast anyway so it's not too hard to do," Moustakas said. "If I was playing center field like [Lorenzo] Cain, then it would be an issue, but I play third. It's a step and a dive here and there so it's not too bad."
Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.