Kansas City Royals place Michael Massey on 10-day injured list with back strain

The Kansas City Royals on Sunday placed second baseman Michael Massey on the 10-day injured list with a strained ligament in his lower back.

Massey heads to the injured list for the second time this season. He missed the start of the season with a similar injury.

On Friday, Massey felt back discomfort against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. He exited in the sixth inning after his back flared up and became stiff. He received additional treatment but did not play in Saturday’s game.

The Royals started veteran infielder Adam Frazier at the keystone spot and recalled utilityman Nick Loftin from Triple-A Omaha.

“We are at a point where he wasn’t feeling great today,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “It’s been a couple of days and we have another day game tomorrow. We got to make a move to kind of put him on a course to get better and is more sustainable than going day to day.”

Massey was expected to return to Kansas City for further evaluation. The Royals will coordinate a plan to help him recover and manage the injury.

This season, Massey is hitting .294 with six home runs and 23 RBIs. He had settled into the fifth spot in the batting order behind captain Salvador Perez.

The injury breaks up Massey’s current hot streak. In his last seven games, he’s 12-for-25 with a .980 OPS (on-base plus slugging).

“I’ve had this (injury) a lot and have a pretty good experience with it,” Massey said after Friday’s game. “Kind of know when we need to go and when we need to pull the plug.”

Loftin hit .309 with four home runs and 15 RBIs with the Storm Chasers. He has appeared in 13 games with the Royals this season.

An update on Royals outfielder Kyle Isbel

Royals outfielder Kyle Isbel is recovering well after getting hit in a face by a foul tip Saturday night.

Isbel suffered facial lacerations and exited the game in the seventh inning. He avoided more serious injury and his status is considered day to day.

“He is doing really well,” Quatraro said. “He’s very fortunate, as the ball grazed the bat, grazed the helmet and then hit him. It’s a small fracture, but nothing that needs any time (other) than the swelling to go down and get him back out there.”

Utilityman Garrett Hampson got the start in center field for the series finale against the Rays on Sunday afternoon.