BALTIMORE -- After tweaking his swing, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar has become a model of consistency.
Escobar hit just .235 in 2010 and .254 in 2011, his first two full Major League seasons. But so far in 2012, he's hitting .316, a change manager Ned Yost attributed to taking the "loop" out of Escobar's batting motion.
"He's got a flatter swing now," Yost said. "His bat stays through the strike zone longer, and it enables him to use the whole field better."
Instead of trying to consistently pull the ball to left, Escobar has started to use right-center field more effectively.
The 6-foot-1 Escobar also added muscle to his listed 190-pound frame.
"When I first saw him, he was like a broomstick," Yost said. "He always had good hands swinging, so once he filled out a little bit and got a little more strength, you could envision him being a pretty good hitter, and he's started to do that."
Even when Escobar was middling on offense, he won Yost over in the field. Escobar has made only four errors in 187 chances at short this season after finishing last season with a .980 fielding percentage, good for fourth among American League shortstops.
Now that he's producing at the plate, it's just a bonus.
"We used to be, anything you get out of him offensively is a plus because he's such a good defender," Yost said. "But I think he's going to be a guy that's going to be able to swing the bat, too, and give you some offensive production."
Yost moved Escobar up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order for the fifth time this season on Saturday. Escobar has batted at six different spots in the lineup, making a combined 34 starts in the eight- or nine-hole.
Yost has been searching for answers with his lineup all season, starting at least four different players in every spot in the order. His most popular shuffles have been at No. 2 and No. 7, where he's tried 10 different options.
"It's like trying to catch lightning in a bottle when you start screwing with the lineup," Yost said. "I just try to take advantage of who is hot now and try to get them in front of guys that are hot. We need to get our lineup going so we can just set it and just leave it. Not moving guys around. Nothing you can do but wait it out, just keep working and wait it out."
Dyson sustains bruised hamstring in collision
BALTIMORE -- Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson left Saturday's game after sustaining a right hamstring contusion during a collision with left fielder Alex Gordon while chasing a fly ball in the second inning.
Mitch Maier came on to pinch-hit for Dyson in the third, and after the Royals were retired, Gordon returned to his spot in left. Dyson is listed as day to day with the injury.
The Royals posted a 4-3 win to even the series against the Orioles.
Dyson said afterward that the injury was "not bad" and that he could play in Sunday's rubber game if needed, but manager Ned Yost said he'll likely keep Dyson on the bench in favor of Maier.
"[Dyson's] got a bit of a bruise, but I think he's going to be OK," Yost said. "It's not anything serious. He might be a little sore tomorrow, but I think he'll be available to play. We probably won't start him."
Baltimore's Xavier Avery lined a ball into the gap in left-center, where Dyson and Gordon converged. Dyson dove into Gordon's path to try to make the play, while Gordon remained on his feet and made the catch.
Gordon's momentum carried him into the prone Dyson, who appeared to take a blow to his legs as he undercut Gordon. It appeared that Gordon took the worst of the collision, as he nosedived to the turf. Both stayed down down for a few seconds before walking off the field, although Gordon said he was never truly hurt.
The consensus was that Gordon stepped on Dyson's hamstring. Gordon said he made a late call for the ball as Dyson dove into his path.
"I didn't see him, that's why I was laying on the ground for a while," Gordon said. "I caught it and all of a sudden it falls straight to the ground and I was like, 'Did that really just happen?' I wasn't hurt or anything because I knew I had the ball, so it was fine."
But whose fault was it?
"It doesn't matter, we caught the ball," Gordon joked.
Getz looking to resume baseball activities
BALTIMORE -- Chris Getz said the inflammation in his left ribcage has subsided as expected, and the Royals second baseman hopes to resume baseball activities on Sunday.
"I finally feel I've progressed the last two days," Getz said on Saturday before the middle game against the Orioles. "We kind of thought it was going to take five days before I was going to be able to feel progression, feel better, and we're at that point right now. So we're starting to ease into some activities."
Getz said he's done mostly mild cardio work since being placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday in an effort to stay in shape without forcing himself into too many deep breaths.
"The more you expand your lungs, the more pressure you're putting on that whole area," Getz said. "That's something we've got to be at least aware of."
Getz planned to do a little bit of core work on Saturday, adding that rest is really the best healer.
If the inflammation continues to die down and his recovery continues on schedule, Getz hopes to join one of the team's Minor League affiliates in the near future.
"That would be ideal," Getz said. "The quicker I can get down there, the more games I can play. The more at-bats, the more prepared I can be coming back. So that would be the goal."
Getz first sustained the injury against the Orioles on May 16, when he collided with Chris Davis while trying to field a ball behind first base. Getz sat for two games, returned to the lineup on May 19, and re-aggravated the injury on Monday against the Yankees sliding into second while trying to stretch a single into a double.
Yost said third baseman Mike Moustakas feels fine after colliding with a security guard while chasing a foul ball in the first inning on Friday night. Moustakas said after the game that he was hit in the Adam's apple, but remained in the game.
Left-hander Doug Davis was reinstated from the temporary inactive list and has been placed on the roster for Triple-A Omaha. He had previously been working in extended spring training since signing a Minor League contract on May 12.
Yuniesky Betancourt started in the field for Double-A Northwest Arkansas for the first time on Friday and went 0-for-2. Betancourt is on the 15-day disabled list and has been out since May 3 with a high right ankle sprain.
Yost said the plan is to have Betancourt alternate between designated hitter and second base for the next few days in an effort to ease him back into action.
Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.