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Cuthbert's timing at plate sharp in rare start

Reserve third baseman notches 2 hits, 2 RBIs vs. Tigers
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- This season has been quite an adjustment for Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert. As a rookie in 2016, Cuthbert filled in for the injured Mike Moustakas and played 128 games, hitting .274 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs.

But with Moustakas back, playing time has been hard to come by for Cuthbert. Also hard is keeping his timing at the plate.

Full Game Coverage

KANSAS CITY -- This season has been quite an adjustment for Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert. As a rookie in 2016, Cuthbert filled in for the injured Mike Moustakas and played 128 games, hitting .274 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs.

But with Moustakas back, playing time has been hard to come by for Cuthbert. Also hard is keeping his timing at the plate.

Full Game Coverage

So, Cuthbert was encouraged after his rare start Wednesday in the Royals' 6-5 loss to the Tigers. He delivered two hits and two RBIs with a run scored.

Cuthbert delivered a big two-out, two-RBI single in the first, giving the Royals a 3-0 lead.

"He did a great job," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He always plays good defense. It was a good night for him. He's seeing the ball better."

Cuthbert was just happy to produce some runs in that first at-bat off Tigers starter Matthew Boyd.

"It felt really good," Cuthbert said. "I just went looking for a pitch I could handle and he gave it to me."

In the fourth, Cuthbert doubled and scored off Boyd.

"He left that one up," Cuthbert said.

Video: DET@KC: Escobar laces an RBI single to center

But the at-bat Cuthbert really wanted back came in the eighth. With the potential tying run on second and two out, Cuthbert rolled out softy to first.

"Yeah, I was just looking to get a base hit to tie the game," he said. "It didn't happen."

Keeping his timing has been the biggest challenge for Cuthbert this season.

"I just keep trying to get my work in every day," he said. "I work in the cage. I watch a lot of video. That helps.

"It's hard not playing every day. But I got to get used to it."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals, Cheslor Cuthbert