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Moore believes Royals will step it up

Moore believes Royals will step it up

KANSAS CITY -- What's next for the slumping, shell-shocked Royals? Apparently no personnel changes before they open a home series against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said during Monday's off-day that no player moves were expected.

"No, nothing planned," he said. "There shouldn't be anything in the works tomorrow unless there's something unforeseen."

The Royals limped home after a 3-8 trip that began promisingly with a four-game split at Tampa Bay. But they won just one of three at Chicago and were swept in four at Texas.

Moore has not lost confidence in manager Trey Hillman.

"I think Trey's done a terrific job," Moore said. "We all are evaluated and he evaluates himself harder than anybody else. But we left Spring Training very prepared, not as healthy as we wanted to, but we're prepared every day to play regardless of the outcome. I mean, the players have to play. And I'm confident our players will play."

The Royals are 10 games under .500 at 11-21, the worst 32-game record in Hillman's three seasons. They are last in the American League Central, already 10 games behind Minnesota. A year ago, they were 18-14 and tied for first place. In 2008, the mark was 14-18 and they were in fourth place but only 2 1/2 games out.

Manager Buddy Bell's last team in 2007 was also 10 games behind at this early point with a 10-22 mark.

"The best teams make mistakes every night, but they overcome them," Moore said. "And we're not in that position yet."

Although right fielder David DeJesus and designated hitter Jose Guillen are names that have surfaced in early trade rumors, Moore indicated that no deals are in the offing.

"We're confident in the group we have on the field," he said

Close games have been a staple. The Royals have the most one-run games in the Majors (13 with a 5-8 record) and they've also played five two-run games (2-3), so 18 of 32 games have been decided by one or two runs.

"We're just a couple hits away, a play away, a pitch away, a call that goes your way. But you can't make excuses. It is what it is. You've got to win games," Moore said.

"We've got 130 games left, and it's a big boy game and you've got to step it up and perform."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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