Bannister pulls self from game vs. A's

Bannister pulls self from game vs. A's

OAKLAND -- Brian Bannister didn't think he was helping the team, so when Royals manager Trey Hillman came out with the team trainer during Wednesday night's 7-2 loss the Athletics, he told them his right shoulder was bothering him.

"You always want to put the team in the best chance to win," Bannister said. "I was not making pitches, so that's why I mentioned it. It was a close game and their guy was pitching well."

Bannister took a shutout into the sixth inning, but left with right shoulder stiffness after giving up two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings in another quality performance among many since his recall in mid-April. He struck out three and walked one.

"It's not necessarily an injury, it just tightened up on him," Hillman said. "He was down with his pitches innings 1 to 5, but then he started elevating. I think it had more to do with it being cool. He couldn't get loose. Hopefully, it checks out good tomorrow."

Bannister said he's gone through this same thing before and it's always proved to be nothing serious. He thinks he'll make his next scheduled start against the Cleveland Indians next week.

"This happened a couple of times in my career, where I've had mild tendinitis and I've dealt with it," he said. "I just throw a little less between starts. I was having trouble getting on top of my pitches. I was throwing well to that point."

Bannister has pitched into the sixth inning in all five of his starts for the Royals, and was coming off one of his best efforts in a win over the Seattle Mariners last Thursday. He extended his scoreless inning streak to 11 before Jason Giambi's RBI double in the sixth.

Bannister retired 14 of the first 16 batters he faced, giving up two hits, before the A's struck for three consecutive hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly. Following Jack Cust's sacrifice fly, Bannister was replaced by Horacio Ramirez, who got out of the sixth without further damage.

"He's been outstanding," Hillman said of Bannister. "He took the objectives from Spring Training to Triple-A and has done everything he needs to do. I hope there's nothing in there and it's just sore."

Bannister takes a 3-1 record with a 1.80 ERA into his next start.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.