Ned Yost media session: July 13, 2014

Bruce Chen will get his first start since April 24 this afternoon in the final game of a four-game series, as the Royals look to snap a six-game home losing streak to Detroit. Manager Ned Yost said the club plans to ride Chen “as far as we can.”

“I hope he can get us through five, and I think he will,” said Yost. “He threw 88 pitches on [June] 28th, he got extended in his rehab, so Bruce can go 75-90 pitches today. We’ll just see where that takes us.”

With a victory today, Chen would tie former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for the most wins (82) of any Panamanian pitcher in Major League history.

“He’s done a great job,” said Yost. “He’s always been a real steady contributor to our pitching staff.”

The Royals will have rookie Yordano Ventura on stand-by in the bullpen should Chen need some assistance. Yost said that Wade Davis, Greg Holland, Louis Coleman, and Francisley Bueno will also be available. Aaron Crow and Kelvin Herrera will be out of action today after pitching in last night’s game.

With an All-Star game start on the horizon, catcher Salvador Perez will also get the day off, replaced by Brett Hayes behind the plate.

“Salvy has played 27 games in the last 29 days,” said Yost. “It’s a huge game, but he’s getting worn down. And that’s my fault because I play him so much, but with the All-Star game coming up he’s not going to have much of a break and we’ve got to find some ways to take some of the load off of him.”

Perez will be joined on the pine by ailing outfielders Alex Gordon (wrist) and Lorenzo Cain (legs), but Yost says, in spite of a weakened lineup and the impending four-day respite, he does not expect the team to have a let-down this afternoon.

“It’s a huge game, I would hope not,” said Yost. “Because this was a big series for us and we’ve done nothing. We’re 0-3, and, really, we’ve had opportunities to be 2-1 in this series, but it hasn’t materialized.

By Kolby Paxton

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