OAKLAND -- Royals manager Ned Yost noted that, despite his slow start at the plate, Mike Moustakas has been providing stellar defense at third base.
Moustakas has a little secret: a little glove.
He uses a training glove or mini-glove in practice, a Rawlings mitt that looks made for a Little Leaguer. But many players use it as a tool to improve their fielding and Moustakas is a true believer.
"It keeps your hands down and makes you actually feel the ball, make you catch the ball in the right part of the glove," Moustakas said. "You don't have a lot of room to miss. So when you're fielding ground balls you have to be a lot more perfect, a lot more fine to be able to get it right in that little area."
He said the mini-glove measures just 9 1/2 inches from bottom to top while his normal glove is 12 1/4 inches. Moustakas has been using it since his Minor League days.
Gordon, Moustakas get respite in A's opener
OAKLAND -- After thinking it over, manager Ned Yost decided to put Alex Gordon on the Royals' bench on Monday night and, while he was at it, had Mike Moustakas join him.
Yost characterized it as a one-day break from the lineup, letting his two slumping and left-handed-hitting regulars sit out while the Athletics started a left-hander, Tommy Milone, in the series opener.
Gordon pinch-hit for Jason Bourgeois to lead off the ninth -- striking out against A's closer Grant Balfour, who got the save in a 1-0 Oakland win.
Gordon and Moustakas likely will be back in the starting lineup on Tuesday night against A's right-hander Graham Godfrey.
"I can almost guarantee it," Yost said. "I've got 25 guys on this team. Everybody's got to play. I've got to get everybody at-bats when I can and the only time I can get the [reserve] outfielders their at-bats is if one of the other outfielders is really struggling."
Bourgeois, who didn't play as the Royals won two of three games at Anaheim, replaced Gordon in left field and the leadoff spot on Monday. Yuniesky Betancourt took over for Moustakas at third base and batted sixth. Both Bourgeois and Betancourt bat right-handed.
Gordon was 0-for-13 with six strikeouts in the three games against the Angels and Moustakas was 1-for-11 (a home run) with four strikeouts.
"Both of those guys are really close to putting it together," Yost said. "They haven't had a lot of luck, Moose especially. It's not like we're putting them on the bench [Monday] because they can't handle lefties, it's mostly getting Bourgeois in there and we'll look sometime in the next two days to get Mitch [Maier] in a game."
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain, a right-handed batter, also was 1-for-11 at Anaheim. Maier gives Yost a left-handed alternative.
Chris Getz, off to a 3-for-5 start, was at second base on Monday night with Betancourt moving to third.
"It's left on left [Monday], so get Yuni over at third," Moustakas said. "Getzy hit the ball real well [Sunday] so keep him in there, give me a nice little day off and get ready to come off the bench later on today."
Gordon hit .366 in Spring Training with four homers and 14 RBIs in 25 games.
"No one wants to be out of there, everyone wants to play," Gordon said. "Obviously I want to be in the lineup, but Ned knows what he's doing so it's his call."
Gordon was used as a pinch-hitter for Bourgeois in the ninth inning of Monday night's 1-0 loss against right-hander Grant Balfour. He struck out.
Duffy ready to start over again at Coliseum
OAKLAND -- Left-hander Danny Duffy returns to the scene of the conquest.
It was at the Oakland Coliseum that last June 14 Duffy posted his first Major League victory while about 100 family and friends celebrated in the stands. Many of them had made the 2 1/2-hour trip from his hometown, Lompoc, Calif.
"It's cool to pitch there, I've pitched well there and it's going to be nice to pitch in front of my family again," he said. "I can't wait -- Game 2, Tuesday."
Yep, he'll start Tuesday night's game against the A's whom he defeated, 7-4, last year in his sixth start after being called up from Triple-A Omaha. He worked six innings and gave up two runs on four hits and four walks.
Duffy is coming off a remarkable last Spring Training outing in which he threw three perfect innings with seven strikeouts against the Padres at Lake Elsinore, Calif.
"I was feeling good," he said. "I've got to ride that into season. I'm excited to play with these guys and do what we've been working toward."
Royals Hall excited about fresh, new site
OAKLAND -- The Royals Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) have collaborated to put together a new website that showcases the history of the Royals franchise and the rich tradition of baseball in Kansas City.
Each of the 24 members of the Royals Hall of Fame is featured, including video induction ceremonies.
The site also includes feature stories, on-going series, a photographic library, virtual exhibits and video elements on the story of the Royals franchise and the 128-year history of pro baseball in Kansas City.
"When the Royals Hall of Fame building opened in 2009, it finally allowed us to tell a more detailed story of Kansas City baseball," said Curt Nelson, the Hall director. "Now with the website, we can add even more depth. As we change exhibits inside the Royals Hall of Fame, our past efforts will now have a new life on-line."
The Hall also is introducing a Twitter feed @royalshof to share information on Royals history.
"One of the great parts of the game of baseball is its deep historical connections from one generation to the next," Nelson said. "We want to try and connect today with the broader story of Royals baseball back to our founding and all the teams that were part of Kansas City before 1969."
The Royals began play in 1969 after being founded by Ewing Kauffman.
In Sunday's 7-3 win, starter Jonathan Sanchez got his first victory since he beat the Cardinals for the Giants last June 2. Jonathan Broxton got his first save since last May 22 against the Cubs when he was with the Dodgers.
Broxton's three-strikeout save marked the eighth time in Royals history that a closer fanned all three batters he faced to record a save. Joakim Soria did it four times, Jeff Montgomery twice and Mike MacDougal once.
Royals pitchers on Sunday combined to hold the Angels 0-for-13 with a total of 12 runners in scoring position. That was the team's biggest oh-fer since the Tigers were 0-for-16 with RISP on Aug. 16, 2009, a 3-2 KC win.
The A's have some former Royals in uniform -- outfielder Coco Crisp, first baseman Kila Ka'aihue, hitting coach Chili Davis and manager Bob Melvin.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.