KANSAS CITY Womens Kareem Hunt Jersey , Mo. — The end is near.

No, not for the season, although for the Kansas City Royals, it can’t come soon enough. Shortstop Alcides Escobar’s string of starting 406 consecutive games at shortstop might be coming to an end.

Escobar may or may not be at shortstop Wednesday night when the Royals close out a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. It will also be the finale of an eight-game homestand with the Royals failing to collect a victory in the first seven.

The Royals are in a full-fledged youth movement with a 22-51 record. Escobar, 31, is not part of the future. The Royals are optimistic Adalberto Mondesi, 22, will be.

“Esky’s been our shortstop for a long time,” Royals manager Ned Yost said Tuesday. “It’s a pretty big change, seeing somebody different at short, but it’s exciting, too because now you’re starting to give other younger players opportunities to see what they can do.”

Escobar has been the Royals starting shortstop since he arrived in 2011 from the Milwaukee Brewers as part of the Zack Greinke deal. He started for the American League in the 2015 All-Star game, claimed a Gold Glove that year and the Royals won the World Series.

The Royal re-signed him to a one-year contract during the winter after he declared for free agency.

“It’s a good chance to experiment right now,” Yost said. “There’s nothing that is going to make or break us. You can start looking at thing a little bit differently and start experimenting with some things.”

He said he plans to play Mondesi a couple of games a week at shortstop, which is his natural position. Meanwhile, he said he would use Escobar in different positions Womens Randall Cobb Jersey , including center field, second base and third base.

While the Rangers have won a season-high four straight, the Royals have lost eight in a row — equaling their season-high — and 14 of 15.

They managed a mere four singles in a 4-1 loss on Tuesday night to the Rangers’ Cole Hamels and relievers Jake Diekman and Keone Kela. In June, the Royals are hitting .186 and averaging 2.2 runs per game. They have scored 36 runs in 17 June games. They went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday and are batting .196 with RISP this month.

Left-hander Yohander Mendez was scheduled to start Wednesday for the Rangers, but instead he was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock for violating team rules. The incident occurred away from Kauffman Stadium and after the Monday night game.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the violation did not involve the police, was criminal or involve Major League Baseball.

The Rangers recalled right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx from Triple-A Round Rock and he will make the start Wednesday. He had a 2-3 record with a 4.47 ERA in 11 starts in the Pacific Coast League. He made two starts earlier this season for Texas, going 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA.

Bibens-Dirkx spent 12 seasons in the minors before making his big-league debut last season. He went 5-2 with a 4.67 ERA in 24 games, including six starts, for the Rangers as a rookie in 2017.

The Royals will counter with right-hander Jakob Junis, who is 5-7 with a 4.43 ERA. He has dropped his past four decisions. He yielded six runs, matching his career high, over 5 1/3 innings in his last start, a loss to the Houston Astros.

Junis is 3-5 with a 4.84 ERA in eight home starts this season. He has allowed 18 home runs, 13 of them at Kauffman Stadium.

This will be Junis’ first appearance against the Rangers.

The Rangers have won 16 of their last 19 games against the Royals, dating to July 23, 2016 Youth JuJu Smith-Schuster Jersey , including winning four of six this season.

Shin-Soo Choo singled in the sixth inning Tuesday night and has reached base in 33 consecutive games. The Rangers outfielder is hitting .328 during the streak, which is the second longest in the majors this year.

LATROBE, Pa. (AP) — Tyler Matakevich wants to prove he can handle the job. Jon Bostic just wants to be on the field.

Matakevich and Bostic are competing for Pittsburgh’s opening at inside linebacker after the Steelers did not use a draft pick on the position. The winner gets to start alongside veteran Vince Williams and an opportunity to help fill the massive void left by Ryan Shazier, who is out for the season while recovering from spinal stabilization surgery.

“What happened to Ryan was terrible,” Matakevich said. “But that was an opportunity that not too many guys get, to step in and really step up.”

The Steelers signed Bostic to a two-year contract in March to provide veteran depth at inside linebacker after Shazier got hurt last December at Cincinnati.

“I told (coach Mike Tomlin) that when I came in, I’m coming in to compete,” Bostic said. “I would like to not come off the field and going forward, I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure that happens.”

The Steelers gave Matakevich and Bostic a vote of confidence when they opted not to select an inside linebacker in April’s draft.

“Whether they (selected a linebacker or not), I would have the same mentality,” Matakevich said. “Seeing how everything unfolded, it definitely gives you a little boost knowing that they believe in you, too.”

Matakevich, a 2016 seventh-round pick, has played in 31 games with the Steelers. While he hasn’t made any starts on defense, his impact has been felt on special teams Youth Christian McCaffrey Jersey , particularly last season.

Matakevich blocked two punts, including one that was recovered for a touchdown. He also broke up a pass on a fake punt by Minnesota.

Matakevich took the majority of the first-team snaps during spring workouts, but he and Bostic have shared the starting role during training camp practices.

The well-traveled Bostic is currently on his fifth team, having also played with Chicago, New England, Detroit and Indianapolis. He said it doesn’t matter where he practices, as long as he’s on the field.

“To be honest, it’s important to get the reps,” said Bostic, who was Chicago’s second-round pick in 2013. “Regardless of whatever (group) you’re running on the field, I still have to earn my job.”

Bostic spent 2017 in Indianapolis, finishing with 97 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in 14 games before a knee injury ended his season.

Matakevich battled a shoulder injury last season, initially getting hurt against Kansas City in October. He left a December game against Cincinnati and was inactive the next week against Baltimore before finishing out the season and undergoing shoulder surgery following the Steelers’ playoff loss to Jacksonville.

“It definitely held me back, playing pretty much the whole year with one arm,” Matakevich said. “It’s hard enough with two Womens Joe Flacco Jersey , but it’s definitely a little harder with one.”

Now, there isn’t anything holding Matakevich back. The same goes for Bostic.

“When we’re out there, we’re competing against each other, but we’re making the defense better,” Bostic said. “When the defense is better, the team is better, and at the end of the day, we just have to make sure we get better on our side of the ball.”

NOTES: Tomlin said OLB Bud Dupree has a concussion. … WR Antonio Brown missed his fourth practice and is considered day to day. … CB Joe Haden, CB Brian Allen, OL Chukwuma Okorafor, OLB T.J. Watt, TE Vance McDonald and CB Coty Sensabaugh all missed Saturday’s practice. … WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster couldn’t finish the workout.

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