ANAHEIM -- It's been a slow climb for Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, inevitable when you dig yourself into a deep hitting hole as he did this season.
But Hosmer has made some progress in the last month. On June 23, his average was at .213. After his two hits in Monday night's 6-3 loss to the Angels, he reached .233. That gain of 20 points came as he went 27-for-95 (.284) over a 25-game stretch.
"I've gotten a lot shorter on my swing lately and I'm not missing as many good pitches as I was before, so you take the positives from it and build from it, so I'm moving in the right direction now," Hosmer said.
"You find yourself just trying to do too much and trying to make it all back up, but the reality is, you're not going to make it up in one game or one swing. I think I just got away from my approach a little bit like that, and the positive thing is I learned a lot from it. Anytime now in my career when I get in a slump, I'll be able be able to bust out of it a lot quicker just because of what I learned in the first part of this season."
During that 25-game span, Hosmer's production has included a modest seven RBIs with one home run and six doubles. But it's progress in what began as a very tough second year. He was under .200 until late May.
"The league adjusts to you. There's a book out there and it's a game of adjustments. That's just the way it is; it's a tough league," he said. "The important thing is to finish strong and just continue to learn every day and take it game by game."
He entered Tuesday night's game with a five-game hitting streak in which he was 8-for-19 (.421).
Soria on track in recovery from Tommy John
ANAHEIM -- Royals closer Joakim Soria is on schedule in his recovery from the Tommy John surgery he underwent during Spring Training, the Royals reported on Tuesday.
Soria, who underwent the elbow ligament reconstruction on April 3, is doing his rehabilitation work at the Royals' facility in Surprise, Ariz. He can begin throwing about October, and could possibly be ready to pitch a year from the surgery. The Royals are being extra cautious because this is Soria's second such surgery.
The Royals also face a decision on Soria's contract for 2013. The club holds an option on him for $8 million.
The Royals have three other pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery this year. Reliever Blake Wood is rehabbing with Soria in Arizona. Starters Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino are doing their work in Kansas City.
Royals aim to battle back after recent skid
ANAHEIM -- Just under a month ago, the Royals won a tough game at Minnesota, the clubhouse was ecstatic after an 11-5 surge and the players were sniffing the long-sought .500 mark.
"We were four games under, then boom," manager Ned Yost said.
Yep, the next three games were losses to the last-place Twins. From there through Monday night's loss at Anaheim, the Royals went 5-16. That put them 15 games under .500.
"Right now, for us, we just have to be perfect every night and take advantage of every situation, and that's tough to do," Yost said.
When things are going bad, every mistake is magnified as the losses grow.
"It gets to be more glaring," Yost said. "But we battled through it early. We lost 12 in a row and we were 12 games under .500 and battled back. We'll battle back again."
To reach the .500 goal by season's end, starting on Tuesday night, the Royals would have to go 41-26, a .612 clip.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.