DETROIT -- In the starting lineup one day, out the next. That's the fate of third baseman Mike Moustakas as he continues to come back from a left calf injury.
After missing five games, Moustakas started Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Tigers but was pulled after six innings as the calf started getting sore and he went back under the care of Royals head trainer Nick Kenney.
"I talked to Nick and he's fine. He didn't do anything to it," manager Ned Yost said.
Even so, Moustakas was not in the starting lineup for Sunday's series finale.
"He's at 75 percent, and because the muscles are weakened, it starts to get fatigued and a little bit sore as the game goes on. It was starting to get a little bit sore and we got him out," Yost said. "Because of that, with an off-day tomorrow, it doesn't make any sense to try to push him through it right now."
As fate would have it, Moustakas' calf was put to the test on Saturday night. Among other things, he had to run out an infield hit in his first at-bat and then was caught in a rundown between second base and third. After a second single, there was more baserunning. He also was sent lunging to his right to knock down a ball hit by Miguel Cabrera (Moustakas got the out at first, as Cabrera is also slowed by leg injuries.)
Another factor in sitting Moustakas was that it was short rest with a day game following a night game.
"That was another reason for it. And an off-day tomorrow, and Chicago coming to town and a lefty [John Danks ] going the first day, we'll give him a couple more days," Yost said. "We probably won't play him [Tuesday night]. I've got [Emilio] Bonifacio and [Jamey] Carroll that are doing a nice job, and we'll have [Justin] Maxwell back, which will help."
Outfielder Maxwell is on bereavement leave following the death of his grandmother.
Yost's hand forced in ninth against Tigers
DETROIT -- After closing out two victories on Friday, Royals closer Greg Holland was ruled out of Saturday night's game against the Tigers.
Manager Ned Yost made that decision after talking to Holland.
"He said he felt good, but there's always a tone in their voice when they say, 'I feel good,' and I heard the tone," Yost said. "So I decided I'd go with [Aaron] Crow if it was a save situation. Then we got to the ninth, and I had to use Crow to get us out of the ninth."
If Crow had gotten through the ninth and kept the score tied at 5, Yost would have turned to a closer by committee, including Tim Collins, Louis Coleman and Luke Hochevar.
Miguel Cabrera, the first batter that Crow faced, eliminated all those possibilities by belting a game-ending home run on an opposite-field line drive to right. Cabrera's clutch hit still had Yost shaking his head on Sunday morning.
"He's amazing. I don't know what to say about the guy," Yost said. "He's really good, and there's not another player like him in the big leagues today. He's the cream of the crop. Who could match him, even in the National League?"
And if you walk Cabrera, behind him looms more danger in Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez.
"We've got to pitch to him," Yost said.
Royals send Duffy back to Triple-A after MLB calls
DETROIT -- Pitcher Danny Duffy was shooed off to Memphis to re-join Triple-A Omaha after Major League Baseball learned he was still with the Kansas City club after pitching on Friday.
Duffy was the 26th player allowed for the doubleheader. On Saturday, he was optioned back to Omaha, but he didn't physically leave.
"MLB called and said it was a violation of the taxi-squad [rule]," manager Ned Yost said.
"This is where common sense needs to come into play. A violation of the taxi-squad rule is if you've got a player hanging here that's available -- you've got a guy here three or four days in case something happens, that's a clear violation. This kid's not available, but they said it's a violation of the taxi squad -- get him back."
Duffy worked six innings, held the Tigers to one hit and outpitched Justin Verlander in the Royals' 2-1 first-game victory.
"He was going to fly back [to Kansas City] with us," Yost said. "My thinking is, 'OK, the kid pitched his butt off, he's unavailable, let him stay here, throw a side session, he can fly back with us and go to Omaha.' A little bit of a reward."
But no. Duffy was off to Memphis, where he'll sit on the Storm Chasers' bench. He's scheduled to pitch for them on Wednesday, after they return to Omaha.
• The Royals will have their only off-day in a 44-day period on Monday, and many of them will spend it playing in the Royals Charities Golf Classic at The National in Parkville, Mo.
The Royals will open a homestand on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series against the White Sox. That will be followed by a three-game weekend series against the Nationals, their first Interleague visit to Kansas City since the Expos relocated to Washington.
Oh, and don't pay any attention to that blank space on the printed schedules for Aug. 28. That's been filled by Tampa Bay, as the Rays come in for a 1:10 p.m. CT makeup for the May 2 snowout at Kauffman Stadium.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.