Royals acquire OF Justin Maxwell before trading deadline

The Kansas City Royals acquire Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros.
The Kansas City Royals acquire Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Kansas City Royals have acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros for minor league pitcher Kyle Smith in an attempt to upgrade their depth for the stretch run.

Maxwell made his major league debut in 2007 for the Nationals. He has spent the past two seasons with the Astros. He’s hitting just .241 with two homers and eight RBIs in 40 games this season, but that includes a .302 average against left-handed pitchers.

The Royals already were trying to upgrade in right field, where David Lough has played well after Jeff Francoeur was waived earlier in the season. But the need for depth became more pressing when center fielder Lorenzo Cain hurt his left groin on Saturday.

Smith is a 20-year-old right-hander who is 5-4 with a 2.89 ERA for Class-A Wilmington this season. He was a fourth-round pick of the Royals in the 2011 amateur draft.

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