The Kansas City Royals placed left-hander Scott Downs on the 15-day disabled Tuesday with a stiff neck.
The Royals had to open a roster spot with the arrival of Josh Willingham, acquired in a trade Monday with Minnesota. Willingham was in the lineup as the designated hitter and batting sixth for the second game of a four-game series with Oakland.
Downs, who had not pitched since Aug. 2, is 0-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 12 relief appearances with the Royals. The 38-year-old was signed July 6 after the Chicago White Sox released him.