KANSAS CITY -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez left for Arizona on Sunday to continue his rehabilitation from left knee surgery.
His assignments will include working with left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez, who is on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis and is also at Royals extended spring training at Surprise.
"He'll be down there catching Sanchez and catching his sides, and catching his BPs and catching him in games. Taking batting practice and playing in games," manager Ned Yost said.
Perez is considered to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from March 16 surgery and might be back with the Royals within a month.
" I think he'll be back before a month, but that's just me," Yost said. "But if it's a month, I'll be happy."
Gio atop Royals' revamped lineup for finale
KANSAS CITY -- Often times a team's Sunday lineup is a little different as managers give certain guys a day off after a night game, and give extra men a chance to play.
But the Royals' Ned Yost did an extensive revamping for Sunday's game against the Diamondbacks. Part of the reason was to tilt the top of the lineup to the right-handed side with the D-backs starting left-hander Wade Miley.
"We've got a bunch of left-handed hitters in our lineup, and what we tried to do today is try to get our hottest hitters at the top of the lineup and see if we can get some production," Yost said. "Until we get it firing on all cylinders, we're just going to have to make adjustments and go day to day on it."
Johnny Giavotella got his second start at second base and his first in the leadoff spot since being recalled on May 9. Three other right-handed hitters were in the top five spots -- Alcides Escobar, Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur -- with lefty Mike Moustakas moving up to the three-hole for the first time.
Escobar (.304), Moustakas (.298) and Butler (.301) fit in the "hottest hitters" category. Meantime, Alex Gordon (.237) and Eric Hosmer (.176) were struggling lefties and were dropped into the sixth and seventh spots.
Hosmer's travail has been well-documented but, going into Sunday's game, Francoeur was 2-for-17 and Gordon 3-for-18 on this homestand.
"Both of them, I think, are close," Yost said. "And, it's the same thing for Hoz a little bit, their timing is off and they're late on fastballs. I think that comes from early in the year when they were seeing a real steady diet of offspeed stuff. Early in the year they were all geared for the fastball, they started seeing a lot of offspeed stuff, they started making an adjustment and now they're back to seeing fastballs and their timing is just a tick off."
In the end, it didn't make any difference how the lineup stacked up. Francoeur had four hits, but got little help as Miley and the D-backs prevailed, 2-0.
Fan Cave stop on Brett's New York agenda
KANSAS CITY -- George Brett, the All-Star Ambassador for the July 10 Midsummer Classic in Kansas City, is keeping busy.
He was in uniform to help the Royals during batting practice on Sunday and will join the club on its trip to New York. He'll make various appearances, including the "Fox and Friends" cable TV show at 5:50 a.m. CT on Monday morning and the MLB Fan Cave later Monday.
Royals players Billy Butler, Bruce Chen, Aaron Crow, Jeff Francoeur and Brayan Pena will visit the Fan Cave at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
It's possible that Brett will be at the Yankees series if and when Derek Jeter ties his career hit total of 3,154. Jeter went into Sunday's game against the Reds with 3,147 hits.
This will be Brett's first visit to the new Yankee Stadium.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.