KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- First baseman Eric Hosmer was not in the Royals' lineup for the third time in four games because of a bruised right hand.
Hosmer left after two at-bats Wednesday against the White Sox when he irritated his hand on a check swing. Hosmer was used as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, but when it came his turn to bat in the 11th, Raul Ibanez pinch hit for him. Hosmer still has trouble gripping the bat.
Hosmer received treatment in the trainer's room, but did not take batting practice or hit off a tee.
"Just a matter of rest," Hosmer said. "I think the first time I feel good enough to take swings I think it will be good enough to play in a game and good enough from there.
"I'm just trying to come in each day and gain as much ground as we can, get it better, get it feeling better to where it's good enough where I can go in and I don't have to sit any more games out. Obviously it's getting late in the season and we're playing some big games, some division games, so I want to be in there.
"I tried to get in there yesterday. I've got a pretty good tolerance for pain. I try to squeeze for more strength and it just shuts down on me. Soon as the feeling is back and we're good to grip a bat, we're good to go. We have obviously learned our lesson from last time. Now it's got to be where it's gripping at full strength. My next time in the lineup we're definitely going to make sure."
Royals manager Ned Yost said it is "hard to tell how fast" Hosmer will return to the lineup.
"He can handle the pain of it," Yost said. "He just loses weakness pretty quick and grip strength in the bat. We'll monitor it every day.
STREAK: Won three
NEXT: Indians (RHP Josh Tomlin, 5-7, 4.43 ERA) at Royals (RHP Yordano Ventura, 7-8, 3.59 ERA)
--OF Nori Aoki was the designated hitter for the first time in his career. Aoki, who batted in the eighth hole, had started 71 games in right and one in left this season. Aoki delivered the game-winning hit with a RBI single in the 14th.
--DH Billy Butler started at first base for the third time with 1B Eric Hosmer out with a bruised right hand. "Billy's been working his tail off at first base all year long," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The last two games Billy's played at first, he's done a really nice job. That was an easy decision."
--RHP Wade Davis worked out of a bases load jam in the eighth inning. Davis pitched in three consecutive games for the first time in his career. He has yet to allow an extra-base hit this season.
--LHP Jason Vargas, who is recovering from an appendectomy, is scheduled to throw three 15-pitch innings against batters Saturday. "So we'll have three ups and downs and see where he's at after that," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's the comfort level. When you get cut open those incisions have to heal. He threw 25 pitches (Wednesday) and sat down for a little bit and threw another 10, so he making progress."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was huge. We were really struggling at that point to make anything happen." -- Royals manager Ned Yost on DH Nori Aoki, who delivered the game-winning hit with a RBI single in the 14th against Cleveland on Thursday.
--1B Eric Hosmer (bruised right hand) was hurt July 20. He didn't play July 21-22. He returned to the lineup July 23, but he was forced to leave after three at-bats and missed the game July 24. He is still day-to-day.
--RHP Jason Vargas (appendectomy) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 9. He had emergency surgery in St. Petersburg, Fla., on July 9. He resumed throwing July 18, and he threw a 20-pitch side session July 21. He is scheduled to throw a side session July 24, and he could return after two or three mound sessions.
--RHP Luke Hochevar (Tommy John surgery in March 2014) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 21, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 2. He is out for the season.
RHP James Shields
RHP Yordano Ventura
RHP Jeremy Guthrie
LHP Danny Duffy
LHP Bruce Chen
RHP Greg Holland (closer)
RHP Aaron Crow
RHP Kelvin Herrera
RHP Wade Davis
LHP Scott Downs
LHP Francisley Bueno
RHP Jason Frasor
1B Eric Hosmer
2B Omar Infante
SS Alcides Escobar
3B Danny Valencia
DH Billy Butler
INF Mike Moustakas
LF Alex Gordon
CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Nori Aoki
OF Raul Ibanez
OF Jarrod Dyson
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