4/1/13: Sale sharp, Flowers homers to start year

CHICAGO -- Even though the Royals were shut out on Opening Day, manager Ned Yost stuck with the same lineup Wednesday in the second game against the White Sox.

"I don't want to start mind-fryin' guys on Day 2 of the season," Yost said. "The kid [Chris Sale] pitched a great game. Take your hat off to him. You don't need to be changing your lineup and doing stuff like that. I don't think they changed their lineup, did they?"

No, and the White Sox did not exactly beat up on the Royals' James Shields and Kansas City's bullpen in their 1-0 win.

There will be some lineup changes necessary when the Royals move to Philadelphia for a weekend Interleague series. With no designated hitter, Yost could move Billy Butler to first base and perhaps switch Eric Hosmer to right field.

But Yost is not ready to say what he will do.

"The reason is I don't know what I'm going to do yet," Yost said. "I'm still evaluating it. We've got a righty and two lefties [starting for the Phillies] there, and we'll just see how it goes."

The Phillies' probables are right-hander Kyle Kendrick on Friday, left-hander John Lannan on Saturday and lefty Cole Hamels on Sunday. So Yost could sit the right-handed Butler on Friday and left-handed Hosmer in the other two games.

Yost not thrilled with arm-strengthening method

Moustakas optimistic Royals will be in the hunt

CHICAGO -- It wasn't just the football-like weather that had Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas throwing the pigskin around to teammates before Wednesday's game.

"I do it to keep my arm loose and keep throwing," Moustakas said. "Throwing a baseball every day works different muscles than throwing a football, so it helps me keep my arm strong."

So there he was, floating spirals before batting practice.

"It's a proven fact," Moustakas said. "Look up what Nolan Ryan and the old Texas Rangers used to do. They used to throw footballs all the time before they starting throwing their baseballs. Look it up. The Express -- I'm not saying I have anything close to what he's got, but if he was doing it, there's got to be something to it."

Royals manager Ned Yost recalled that when he coached for Atlanta, Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone used to have his pitchers toss footballs.

"Leo was a big proponent of pitchers' throwing footballs, especially when you were hurt, because he claimed it strengthened your arm," Yost said. "I tried it a couple times, and it always loosened me up quick. It does strengthen your arm."

Braves general manager John Schuerholz ended the practice, Yost said, because he thought it was inappropriate. Yost does not like his pitchers doing it because catching a football might injure the pitching hand.

"I don't want them to do it because there's the danger of stoving a finger and all that stuff," Yost said. "But I'm not going to stop the infield guys from doing it. They're doing it for a reason, because it does strengthen your arm in different ways."

Royals face another cold afternoon in Windy City

CHICAGO -- It was 39 degrees, but sunny, during batting practice Wednesday in the Windy City, and it promised to be another cold afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

Although the official high for Chicago on Monday was 39 degrees, the game-time temperature was announced as being 44. That must have been the Chamber of Commerce reading.

Afterward, Royals manager Ned Yost said he could not get warm all Monday afternoon, despite occasionally ducking deeper into the dugout for a brief stop in front of the heater. And he is an outdoorsman accustomed to winter-weather hunting.

Of course, he did not bring his hunting clothes to Chicago.

"I don't think camouflage overalls would look good in the dugout," Yost said.

Crown points

• Monday's loss made the Royals 15-30 in their Opening Day history, with five straight defeats.

• Against Thursday's White Sox starter Gavin Floyd, Jeff Francoeur is 6-for-15, .400; Alex Gordon, 8-for-22, .364; and Chris Getz, 4-for-11, .364. Billy Butler is just 9-for-40, .225.

• The Royals' roster is the sixth youngest in the Major Leagues at 28 years, 200 days, up from last year's 27/155. Atlanta is the youngest at 27/290.