Eibner is big part of winning debut for Royals

Rookie doubles in pivotal 7th for 1st MLB hit, lays down sac bunt

Eibner is big part of winning debut for Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Rookie Brett Eibner's nerves, which had been churning for two days, finally calmed down in the seventh inning on Friday night when he stroked a double for his first big-league hit. And that hit helped the Royals go on to a 7-5 win over the White Sox.

"I was overswinging almost every at-bat tonight," Eibner said. "I was kind of coming out of my shoes on every swing. But that last swing, that was more like me."

Eibner, the Royals' second-round pick of the Draft in 2010, was called up on Thursday and expected to make his debut then. But the game was rained out, so the 27-year-old had another day of waiting around.

"I was pretty jacked," said Eibner, the Royals' No. 23 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. "You wait so long and then you get your chance to make your debut. And it rains. But at least I got to do a more normal routine."

And Eibner was able to contribute in the win Friday. He scored after his double, and then had a key sacrifice bunt in the eighth inning that led to a tack-on run.

Eibner bunts, thrills mom

Eibner missed the sign on the bunt, but neither he nor manager Ned Yost seemed to mind.

"But I didn't want to miss it the other way," Eibner said. "I'm glad it worked out and we ended up getting a run out of it, and a two-run cushion for Wade [Davis] which is all you need."

Added Yost, "Being new, he [messed] the sign up and thought Jirsch (third base coach Mike Jirschele) put the sign on. Jirsch didn't put the sign on. I told him 'Don't worry about it son, nobody else on the team knows the signs either.'"

Eibner, Hosmer interview

Eibner was called up to fill in for designated hitter Kendrys Morales, who is out for three to four days with a sprained finger.

Eibner has spent five-plus seasons developing in the Minors. His breakthrough year came in 2015 at Omaha, where he hit .303 with 19 homers and 81 RBIs.

Yost noticed Eibner in the spring of 2015.

"He had a phenomenal spring that year," Yost recalled. "This year, he didn't have that great of a spring, but he did show patience at the plate. He'd take walks. I knew the power was still in there.

"I was hoping he'd come to Spring Training and take off like he did the year before. But he just didn't. But I knew once he got back to Omaha and back in the swing of things, he'd be pretty productive. And he has been."

Eibner was hitting .309 at Omaha with 10 homers already and 28 RBIs.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.