HOUSTON -- With a bullpen needing rest after working 15 1/3 innings in the last two games, manager Ned Yost said bringing up two more pitchers from Triple-A Omaha will help the Royals protect their biggest strength.
"If we start abusing these guys, we're going to kill them. We can't," Yost said. "We have to be smart about our usage with them without abusing them. They've all been worked to a high degree here, especially in the last week."
The Royals used seven relievers in Sunday's 15-inning victory over the Cardinals -- Kelvin Herrera, Jose Mijares, Aaron Crow, Greg Holland, Tim Collins, Nate Adcock and Jonathan Broxton.
Yost said Collins, Holland, Herrera and Broxton were most likely unavailable to pitch Monday. Collins, Holland and Herrera pitched on Saturday. Broxton pitched three innings over the weekend, including two on Sunday to pick up the win.
Right-hander Louis Coleman and left-hander Tommy Hottovy figured to see work on Monday if starter Jonathan Sanchez exits early. If there's a closing situation, Yost said Aaron Crow would probably handle it.
With just 11 position players, the Royals might need to get creative in the later innings.
Yost said Collins and Holland are athletic enough to play in the field. He also mentioned that Broxton could be used as a pinch-hitter. For his career, Broxton is 0-for-5 at the plate with two walks.
"We can get through it," Yost said.
If third baseman Mike Moustakas, shortstop Alcides Escobar or second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt get hurt, Yost is prepared to move Alex Gordon to third or first and Moustakas to second base or shortstop.
The Royals had catcher Brayan Pena, outfielder Mitch Maier and first baseman Eric Hosmer on the bench.
"We've got options," Yost said.
The Royals will reconsider their roster on a day-by-day basis. Yost said the Royals' bullpen should be in good shape by Thursday, an off-day.
Getz lands on disabled list with lateral strain
HOUSTON -- The Royals placed infielder Chris Getz on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a lateral strain in his lower leg and optioned right-handed reliever Nate Adcock to Triple-A Omaha.
Kansas City recalled right-handed pitcher Louis Coleman and left-hander Tommy Hottovy from Omaha. Both will be available for Monday's series opener with the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The transactions give the Royals a 14-man pitching staff.
Getz left Sunday's game against the Cardinals in the first inning after going down while trying to field a ground ball. Manager Ned Yost said Getz could be ready in 7-10 days, but the Royals couldn't wait that long for him to get healthy.
Getz had come off the disabled list six days ago after missing 17 games with a left rib-cage contusion. He will be eligible for reinstatement on July 3.
Adcock has a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings for the Royals. He pitched two scoreless outings against the Cardinals, going 1 1/3 innings on Saturday and an inning on Sunday.
Coleman last pitched for the Royals on June 9, throwing a scoreless inning against the Pirates. Hottovy, from Park Hill South High School (Mo.) last pitched for the Royals on May 6. He has a 3.38 ERA in 5 1/3 innings.
Chen basks in pinch-hit feat, ready for more
HOUSTON -- A day after becoming the first Royals' pitcher in franchise history to record a hit as a pinch-hitter, Bruce Chen was still telling teammates that he picked up the hit trying to go the opposite way with a two-strike approach.
"But in reality, the guy's throwing 91 [mph] and I was late on my swing and it happens to find a hole, but they don't know that," Chen said.
In the top of the 13th inning in Sunday's game against the Cardinals, manager Ned Yost sent Chen to pinch-hit for pitcher Tim Collins, batting second after a double switch in the ninth.
On a 3-2 count, Chen grounded a fastball from Fernando Salas in the hole between third base and shortstop.
Chen now has a .149 average for his career in 121 at-bats. With the Royals carrying just 11 position players for Monday's game, Chen said the coaching staff told all the pitchers to be ready to play.
"I'm going to have my spikes on and try to help my team win," Chen said.
Chen, a left-handed batter, noted that the Astros were starting two lefties -- J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez -- in the first two games of the series.
"My chances are diminishing right now," Chen said with a smile.
Clark Goble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.