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Herrera makes timely return to Royals 'pen

Reliever back with team after serving 6-game suspension
Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Kelvin Herrera returned from a six-game suspension Wednesday with impeccable timing, considering closer Greg Holland pitched two innings in Tuesday's 7-6 victory over Texas in 10 innings.

"That's a nice present there," fellow reliever Ryan Madson said before Wednesday's game.

ARLINGTON -- Kelvin Herrera returned from a six-game suspension Wednesday with impeccable timing, considering closer Greg Holland pitched two innings in Tuesday's 7-6 victory over Texas in 10 innings.

"That's a nice present there," fellow reliever Ryan Madson said before Wednesday's game.

The Royals aren't in dire straits as far as bullpen usage goes, but they did play 10-inning games on Sunday in Detroit and again Tuesday in Texas, both of which ended in Kansas City wins. The Royals also are in a stretch of 14 straight games without an off-day.

Royals manager Ned Yost used four of his top relievers in Tuesday's win -- Madson, Luke Hochevar and Wade Davis all went one inning, and Holland went two innings for the first time since Sept. 13, 2012.

Video: KC@TEX: Holland gets the final out to earn the win

The Royals have the Major League's best bullpen ERA at 1.65 entering Wednesday, and they plan to keep it that way.

"You want to stay away from overworking that crew down there," Yost said. "There's strength in numbers, and we have some solid, solid guys down there."

Herrera returned after serving a five-game suspension for throwing behind Oakland's Brett Lawrie on April 19, and a two-game suspension that was reduced to one for his part in an altercation with the White Sox on April 23.

It's a pretty comfortable feeling having arguably the deepest bullpen in baseball.

"What was more comforting was being able to send Greg Holland out for another inning last night knowing that Herrera was coming back," Yost said. "Our bullpen is in pretty good shape. The back-end guys had all had a day off from the day before. It helps get them back on track. So having a fresh arm in Kelvin back tonight helps not having Holland available."

Worth noting

• Wednesday's faceoff between Royals starter Yordano Ventura and the Rangers' Yovani Gallardo was the first time that two pitchers whose names start with the letters "Y-O" faced each other in a Major League game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

• The Royals were still buzzing on Wednesday about the throw that left fielder Alex Gordon made in the seventh inning that got Shin-Soo Choo at third base for the first out of the inning. The Rangers had a hit and run on, and Gordon had to run to his left to field the ball, and then make a quick throw to third baseman Mike Moustakas.

Video: KC@TEX: Gordon throws out Choo at third in the 7th

"He's a multiple Gold Glove Award winner," Yost said. "His infield experience helps him in the outfield because he has a very short release and very accurate release and a very strong arm. So he can catch the balls and throw on the run and put it right on the money."

• Gordon also made history with Tuesday night's 10th-inning home run, moving into second place in Royals history for most career extra-inning homers. Gordon hit his fifth in extras, passing Danny Tartabull's four. Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett tops the list with seven extra-inning homers.

Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com.

Kansas City Royals, Alex Gordon, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland