KANSAS CITY -- For the first time in a Royals uniform, Emilio Bonifacio started at second base on Saturday against the Nationals.
Bonifacio, a switch-hitter who can play either in the infield or outfield, was acquired in a trade with Toronto on Aug. 14. Since then, he had started two games at third base and four games in the outfield filling in for Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain, who have been battling injuries.
"We've been trying to see him there [at second base]," manager Ned Yost said. "We just haven't had the opportunity with Moose getting hurt, Cain getting hurt."
This season, Bonifacio has started 49 games at second base, 26 in the outfield and three at third base. He said he enjoys being that versatile.
"I get more chances to be in the lineup every day," Bonifacio said. "You get to be out there for your team."
Bonifacio admitted there are some challenges that arise, however, when you're switching between the infield and outfield. He said he takes extra ground balls during pregame before his infield starts to stay sharp.
"It's a little bit tough because once you've been in the outfield and come to the infield, the game is a little bit faster," Bonifacio said. "You just have to stay down and have to be prepared."
Bonifacio also made his first appearance hitting in the No. 2 spot in the lineup while Eric Hosmer moved to the three-hole, while Salvador Perez received an off-day.
"He can bunt, he can do some things, he can run," Yost said. "When Toronto went on their run, they went on a pretty good run, and Bonifacio was hitting second there too. We'll see how it looks."
Paulino logs longest rehab outing for Omaha
KANSAS CITY -- Royals right-hander Felipe Paulino made his longest rehab start of the season on Friday night -- five innings in Triple-A Omaha's 8-4 loss to New Orleans.
"The good thing right now is that I'm building up, and I feel like I'm going the right way," Paulino said.
Paulino, who is recovering from last season's Tommy John surgery, allowed six runs on nine hits, including two home runs. He also had one walk, one strikeout and one hit batter. He threw 80 pitches -- 52 for strikes -- while taking the loss. Paulino is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in four starts with the Storm Chasers.
"I want to be back to myself, I want to be back in the shape I was in last year before the surgery," Paulino said. "I believe that I am going to be back, I just need a few more starts to find my poise."
Paulino is scheduled to start again on Friday for the Storm Chasers.
Yost hoping offense can spark winning streak
KANSAS CITY -- Friday night's 11-10 loss to the Nationals didn't have a lot of positives for the Royals between the blown 6-0 lead and short starting pitching outing by Bruce Chen, but manager Ned Yost said the team took a big step forward offensively.
"As hard as that game was to swallow last night, the one positive was the offense. I felt really good and I felt like, here we go, we're getting back on track again," Yost said. "We don't pitch many games like that, we haven't done it all year long so the key was getting the offense back.
"If we get the offense back and going again, we could get another good run going, but it was imperative that we get that offense going. In order for that to happen, you have to be more consistent with it. Last night was a great start and let's see if we can continue it."
Prior to Friday night's game, the Royals were batting .211 (72-for-341) as a team and .129 (11-for-85) with runners in scoring position in the 10 previous games. They'd scored three runs or fewer in nine of those games and lost eight of 10.
On Friday however, the Royals went 13-for-38 overall and 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.