OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -The Kansas City Royals activated first baseman Ryan Shealy from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, making the move sooner than expected because they needed some reinforcement.
Shealy was in the lineup and batting eighth for the third game of a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics. While getting him some more at-bats in a minor league rehab assignment would have been ideal as he recovered from a left hamstring strain that had sidelined him since May 1, the Royals lost first baseman Ross Gload to injury Monday. That made bringing up Shealy more urgent. He played in two minor league games, going 1-for-7 with a double and two RBIs.
Kansas City made room for Shealy by optioning outfielder Billy Butler to Triple-A Omaha so he can play every day. Butler batted .243 with two doubles in 10 games for the Royals.
``We wanted Ryan to go down and have a few more at-bats than he did,'' manager Buddy Bell said. ``Because Ross went down Sunday, it was out of necessity. Billy needs to play every day. It was a logical move. Billy needs to get comfortable at a position, whether outfield or first base. He's going to play both.''
Gload went on the DL with a torn right quadriceps and infielder Angel Berroa, the 2003 AL Rookie of the Year, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha.
Injured right-hander Octavio Dotel, who hasn't pitched this season because of a strained muscle in his left side, is slated to pitch again in minor league rehab assignments Friday and Saturday - to test his arm on back-to-back days - and could join the Royals and be activated as soon as Tuesday at home against Cleveland.
Dotel allowed one earned run and two hits in one inning, with no walks or strikeouts during a rehab outing for Triple-A Wichita at Tulsa on Tuesday.
Bell plans to use Dotel as the closer as long as his body will hold up enough to handle the demands of ninth-inning work.
``We're pretty sure Dotel will close,'' Bell said. ``We have to see how durable he is. If you have a closer, you like to know when he's available.''
Bell said right-hander Luke Hudson, on the 15-day DL since May 13 with right biceps tendinitis, will be sidelined for ``a while.'' He was examined by Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Tuesday in Los Angeles and will begin an extensive physical therapy program for the next month or so and likely not be back with the Royals for two months.

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