OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -The Kansas City Royals placed first baseman Russ Gload on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a torn right quadriceps and recalled infielder Angel Berroa from Triple-A Omaha.
Berroa, the 2003 AL Rookie of the Year, was demoted to the minors late in spring training after coming into camp as the team's starting shortstop. But with Berroa having a rough spring, the Royals acquired Tony Pena Jr. in a trade with the Atlanta Braves and gave him the starting job.
Berroa hit .287 and led AL rookies with 92 runs and ranked third with 163 hits and 21 stolen bases. His 17 home runs and 73 RBIs were the most by a rookie shortstop since Nomar Garciaparra hit 30 homers with 98 RBIs in 1997 with the Boston Red Sox.
Berroa hasn't come close to approaching his rookie season again. He hit only .234 in 2006 with 28 extra-base hits. The past two years, he has had more errors than walks - 18 errors and 14 walks in 2006 and 25 errors and 18 walks in 2005.
Berroa was hitting .303 with one homer and 15 RBIs at Omaha before getting the call back to the majors. Berroa will serve primarily as a backup infielder with the Royals.
We're happy to have him back,'' Bell said. ``He's very deserving of it. He did what we asked him to do when he went down there.''
Gload had been Kansas City's primary first baseman against right-handers after Ryan Shealy went on the disabled list May 1 with a strained hamstring. He was hitting .284 and was tied with Mike Sweeney and Mark Teahen for the team lead with 17 RBIs before reinjuring his hamstring on Sunday.
With Gload and Shealy both sidelined, rookie Alex Gordon made his first career start at first base Monday against Oakland. Gordon, a prized prospect at third base after being named baseball's top minor leaguer last year, has struggled so far this season. He entered Monday with a .164 average, two homers, five RBIs and seven errors.
Gordon has played parts of four games at first base this season and also played there in spring training.
``We don't want to make it a habit,'' Bell said. ``But in cases like this where we need to move some people around, it's nice that he has the versatility that we need.''

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