Moustakas expects to play tonight after exit

All-Star third baseman leaves Wednesday's game with knee inflammation

Moustakas expects to play tonight after exit

DETROIT -- Mike Moustakas is confident he'll be back in the lineup Thursday, and so is Royals manager Ned Yost.

Moustakas, who has continuously battled knee issues the past two months, left the Royals' 13-2 win on Wednesday at Comerica Park in the seventh inning with right lateral knee inflammation. The All-Star third baseman said he's planning on being ready for the Royals' series opener Thursday against division-rival Minnesota at Kauffman Stadium.

"I'm coming in anticipating playing third tomorrow," Moustakas said. "Things may change, but I'm pretty confident in how I feel right now."

"He just got sore," said Yost, who called Moustakas' removal precautionary. "It's a pain management thing. It's nothing different than what it's been. Probably a DH day for him [Thursday]. We'll see how he is tomorrow."

Moustakas, who went 2-for-3 before exiting, said he tweaked his knee when he scored from first base on Alcides Escobar's triple to give Kansas City a 2-0 lead. He initially stayed in the game before eventually being replaced by Ramon Torres after the Royals built a four-run cushion in the seventh inning.

Escobar's RBI triple

"It wasn't feeling great after that happened," Moustakas said. "Fortunately, we were able to score some runs toward the end, and I was able to get out of there and get some treatment. It ended up working out well for us."

Moustakas previously battled knee issues after being hit on the hip by Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon on July 26 at Comerica Park. He appeared to reaggravate the area in late August when he felt a pop in his knee during an at-bat against the Rockies.

"Tonight was pretty much the exact same thing that happened," Moustakas said. "Nothing too serious. I just reaggravated it."

Moustakas, who has a team-leading 36 home runs this season, remains one homer shy of breaking the Royals' single-season home run record, set in 1985 by Steve Balboni. But he has been held homerless in his last five games.

James Schmehl is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Royals on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.