Starting Jarrod Dyson in center field for Thursday’s series finale against the White Sox marked the first example of Royals manager Ned Yost’s plans for increased duty for his backup players.

“It’s going to be a bit of a challenge,” Yost said, “but I’ve got a pretty good versatile bench, and I want to try to keep them all involved. I don’t want them sitting for long periods of time without playing.”

Dyson played Monday in the season opener as a pinch-runner. Veteran infielder Miguel Tejada batted for Chris Getz in Wednesday’s game — and drew a walk — before remaining in the game at second base.

Utilityman Elliot Johnson and catcher George Kottaras did not play in the opening series.

Putting Dyson in the starting lineup meant Lorenzo Cain went to the bench after going one for eight with three strikeouts in the first two games.

It helped that Dyson, a left-handed hitter, had three hits in seven previous at-bats against Chicago starter Gavin Floyd. Dyson went hitless in three a-bats but drove in the game’s first run with a groundout.

“My plan going into the year, and it’s flexible,” Yost said, “is to play Cain about five days a week to keep his legs underneath him. I want to keep Dyson involved.

“Going into Philly,” Yost said, “where we’re facing a righty and two lefties, I wouldn’t have (as much of) an opportunity there.”

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