BOSTON -- It's been a rough week for Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera.
Last Tuesday, Herrera gave up three home runs in one inning and absorbed a 6-3 loss in Atlanta. The right-hander bounced back for a scoreless inning the next afternoon against the Braves, but he encountered big trouble again on Saturday.
In the eighth inning, Herrera came in to counter right-handed hitter Mike Napoli but gave up a four-pitch walk and then a three-run homer to Daniel Nava that resulted in a 4-3 Red Sox victory.
After the Atlanta incident, there was speculation that Herrera might be tipping his pitches.
"He's not tipping his pitches. It's poor location," manager Ned Yost said. "Look, it's as bad walking Napoli on four pitches as it is giving up a three-run homer. It's location on his pitches. His stuff is fine. The key matchup of the inning was Kelvin against Napoli, but that came out of play with a four-pitch walk."
Yost said he hasn't lost faith in the young right-hander, who didn't give up a run in six appearances before Atlanta.
"I don't bail on guys after a bad outing or two bad outings," Yost said. "He'll get on a good roll and be fine."
Herrera dismissed the idea that he was tipping his pitches.
"No, that's just an excuse," he said.
Seeking more runs, Yost shuffles lineup
BOSTON -- With the Royals averaging just 2.7 runs in the previous six games, manager Ned Yost did some lineup fiddling for Saturday's game against the Red Sox.
The Royals were 3-3 in those six games, but Yost is seeking more production, so he decided to try Eric Hosmer in the cleanup spot, dropping Salvador Perez to eighth.
"I'd like to get a lineup and firm it for a while," Yost said. "I'll probably keep this lineup for a while. We've got weather, we've got off-days, we've got all these outside conditions that are affecting our ability to get on a roll. Until we can start playing some games consistently and get on a bit of an offensive roll, it's hard to get any continuity offensively going. We've got some guys that haven't gotten on a real track yet. When they do, it's going to be a nice little, fun little venture."
Saturday's game followed two days off, one regularly scheduled and one because of the Boston manhunt. This was just the 15th game for the Royals in the 20 days of their season.
Gordon to help pick honorary bat girls
BOSTON -- Left fielder Alex Gordon has joined a celebrity panel for the 2013 Honorary Bat Girl program, which recognizes fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicate the disease.
Also on the panel are the Yankees' CC Sabathia, the Dodgers' Matt Kemp and the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen, along with Extra TV's Maria Menounos and MLB Network's Sam Ryan. The panel will assist in selecting one bat girl for each of the 30 Major League clubs.
"It's something that hits home and means a lot to me, and I'm very excited to be a part of it," Gordon said.
Gordon's mother, Leslie, is a breast cancer survivor.
"Luckily they caught it early enough and she's one of the survivors," Gordon said. "It's a fairly common thing and not a lot of women are survivors. So it was great that my mom was able to beat it and is still going."
Bat girl winners will be recognized by their clubs between Mother's Day, May 12 and May 31.
Smith earns one-day promotion to add bullpen depth
BOSTON -- Left-handed pitcher Will Smith will be the Royals' 26th player for Sunday's day-night doubleheader against the Red Sox.
Major League rules permit an extra player to be added in the event of a doubleheader. Smith will give added depth to the bullpen for the day.
Smith has made three starts for Triple-A Omaha, last pitching on Tuesday. He is 1-1 record with a 2.81 ERA, and in 16 innings for the Storm Chasers, he has 23 strikeouts against just six walks and has given up 17 hits.
Both games will be televised by Fox Sports Kansas City.
Game times are 12:35 p.m. and 6 p.m. CT. The twin bill makes up for the game postponed on Friday night because of the Boston manhunt.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.