Ned Yost media session: Royals host Cardinals

Prior to Friday’s interleague opener against the St. Louis Cardinals, Royals manager Ned Yost said that his squad is looking forward to the intrastate series and understands the emphasis placed on these three games by fans of both clubs.

“We want to play well and put on a good show for our fans,” Yost said.

The skipper was complimentary of the Cardinals, who lead the Major Leagues with a .284 team batting average. Sluggers Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman lead the National League in average at .357 and .349, respectively.  Berkman is sidelined tonight with a wrist injury.

Yost also pointed out St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, who is hitting .323 and is known for being a standout defensive backstop.

“I think he’s the best catcher in baseball,” Yost said.

After receiving a lot of work recently, the KC bullpen benefitted from a stellar performance last night by starter Luke Hochevar, who worked 8.2 innings before giving way to Greg Holland, who threw the final 1.1 innings en route to earning his first big league victory.

Yost said that all his relievers were willing to pitch if called upon last night, but was quick to note the importance of keeping the bullpen fresh.

“A main concern of mine is making sure our bullpen stays healthy and refreshed, not overworked,” Yost said.

Following tonight’s contest, the teams will play consecutive 1:10 games on Saturday and Sunday.  The Royals are expecting good crowds all weekend, but tickets remain for each of the games.

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