CLEVELAND -- Bill Fischer, in his 65th year of professional baseball, will spend two days of it in the Royals' bullpen.
Fischer, 81, will act as the Royals' bullpen coach on Friday and Saturday during the games against the Oakland A's. He'll step in for Steve Foster, who will move from the bullpen to the dugout as acting pitching coach.
Those moves were prompted by pitching coach Dave Eiland's departure to his Florida home for his daughter Nicole's high school graduation.
Fischer is the Royals' senior pitching advisor, joining the organization in 2007. He pitched in nine seasons, 1956-64, for five clubs including the Kansas City A's.
So he'll fit right in on Saturday afternoon when the first 20,000 fans receive a replica 1960 Kansas City A's cap, in commemoration of that year's All-Star Game in K.C., and former A's will be honored before the game.
Sanchez, Betancourt solid in rehab outings
CLEVELAND -- Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, coming back from biceps tendinitis, did well in his first rehabilitation start for Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday night.
Sanchez retired the first 13 Iowa batters and went 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run on three hits and one walk. He struck out five.
"Everybody that watched him said he threw good," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He'll probably have one more rehab start."
Infielder Yuniesky Betancourt, rehabbing from a right ankle sprain, was 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in Omaha's 5-4 loss. In four previous games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, he was 5-for-15 with a homer and four RBIs.
"He could be back as early as this weekend," Yost said.
If Sanchez gets another rehab start, Yost is leaning toward Vin Mazzaro and Will Smith as the possible starters, respectively, on Sunday against Oakland and on Monday night against Minnesota. Those spots are still in the "to be announced" category. Luis Mendoza is another possibility, but Yost prefers to use him out of the bullpen.
Royals hit three-error mark twice vs. Tribe
CLEVELAND -- The Royals did something they hadn't done in nearly three years, not that they're bragging about it.
On Monday and Tuesday nights against the Indians, the Royals made three errors in each game to mark their first back-to-back three-error games since June 17-18, 2009, against Arizona.
Oddly, the Indians' Luke Carlin reached base on all three errors in Tuesday night's 8-2 Royals victory -- a booted grounder by second baseman Johnny Giavotella, a wild throw by third baseman Mike Moustakas and a missed catch by first baseman Eric Hosmer.
Carlin was the first Major Leaguer to reach base safely three times via error in a game since Sept. 2, 2009, when the Braves' Brian McCann did it against the Marlins.
The errors in Monday night's 8-5 loss to the Tribe involved a missed tag (or so ruled by the umpire) by Moustakas, a wild pickoff throw by pitcher Jose Mijares and a booted double-play grounder by second baseman Irving Falu.
Going into Wednesday's game, the Royals ranked 10th in American League fielding and had the fifth-most errors with 33. Baltimore had the most errors at 47.
Yost prefers Gordon taking a lead role
CLEVELAND -- Alex Gordon was in the Royals' leadoff spot for the fourth straight game and for the 15th time this season on Wednesday, and manager Ned Yost likes him there.
"Gordy's hitting better from the one-hole. That's why we put him back there. He's just got a different approach in that spot," Yost said. "Get him settled, he hit there the majority of last year and did really well. He feels comfortable there and that's why we put him back there -- to get him comfortable and get him going."
Gordon was 2-for-4 in Wednesday's 6-3 victory over the Indians and is 6-for-17 in his last four games at the top of the order. Yost sees him getting more good swings even on outs.
"It seems like it's working," Yost said.
The best spot, statistically, for Gordon this year has been the No. 2 spot (.343 in 18 games). He had never started a game in the two-hole before this year. But in his career, Gordon's best success has come as the leadoff man, with a .290 mark, including .305 in his breakthrough 2011 season.
Yost believes that Gordon tends to take more pitches and is more selective when he bats first.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.