Down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, the KC Royals minor leaguers fought back to beat Texas, 5-4 in walk off fashion.
In his second at-bat of the game, right fielder Brett Eibner hit a solo home run to left-center off Rangers minor leaguer Alec Asher to cut the Royals deficit to one run (he went 1-for-1 with a walk).
In the bottom of the ninth, Whit Merrifield (playing second base) led off the inning with an infield single off Asher’s foot. Terrance Gore followed with a walk before Gabriel Noriega sacrificed both runners into scoring position.
That brought up Bubba Starling, who took a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch. It was his third strikeout of the game (and second time looking).
Up came Cheslor Cuthbert, who was playing first base. He singled down the left field line just past the diving third baseman for the walk off hit.
The Royals had ten hits, but all but one were singles. DH Kendrys Morales had two of them.
On the pitching side, lefty Brian Flynn got the start against the mostly minor league Rangers lineup. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk over the first two innings. He did strike out two (prospect Joey Gallo and veteran Nate Schierholtz).
Prospect Miguel Almonte followed, and though he threw 96-98 mph with his fastball according to the ballpark radar gun, he allowed two runs on two hits and a hit batter. Almonte did strike out the side (Ed Lucas, Jared Hoying, and Adam Rosales). He showed off a nasty curveball, but Ryan Rua was waiting for it and hit a two-run triple. Reymond Fuentes lost it in the sun in left field.
Lefty Chris Dwyer followed with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, a walk, and a hit batter. He struck out one. Brian Broderick followed and allowed an unearned run on three hits over two innings. The run came after a throwing error by Merrifield while trying to turn a double play.
Lefty Joe Paterson allowed one hit in the eighth and Michael Mariot finished off the Rangers in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning (ground out, pop up, ground out). Paterson faced just one lefty in the eighth and that was former Royal Carlos Peguero, who flied out to end the inning.
Yordano Ventura will get the start for the Royals on Friday against Cleveland in Goodyear. Lefty Franklin Morales is expected to make his Royals debut in relief. The Indians are throwing Danny Salazar, who is competing for the 5th starter spot. Former Royal Scott Downs is slated to pitch for the Indians.
Spring training news:
- Rangers starter Yu Darvish lasted just one inning because of right triceps tightness.
- Former Royal Spencer Patton made his Cactus League debut with the Rangers with a scoreless 7th inning. He allowed a single to Noriega with one out, but got a ground out of Gore, a strikeout of Starling, and a fly out by Cuthbert to end the inning.
- Former Royal Bruce Chen made his Cleveland debut today against Cincinnati. He pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts.
- No word yet on the MRI results for Royals lefty Tim Collins.