Down 5-2 heading into the top of the fifth, the KC Royals erupted for eight runs en route to their 11-9 victory over Cleveland in their first official road game of spring training.
It didn’t start out so well for the Royals, as Cleveland batted around against Yordano Ventura in the first (his only inning). Ventura did not have much command of his fastball (two walks) and when he did, he was hit (four hits). The Indians led 4-0 after one inning.
The Royals scored single runs in the first and second innings off Indians starter Danny Salazar (who is competing for their fifth starter spot).
There really wasn’t much action until the fifth.
The Royals sent 13 men to the plate, capped by Brett Eibner‘s two out, three-run home run. It was his second homer of spring training, as he was starting as the DH in place of injured again Omar Infante.
In that inning, Alex Rios also drove in two runs with a single in his second at-bat of the inning. He also hit a solo home run in the game, his second of spring training. Rios fell a triple short of the cycle.
Only one of the eight runs was earned.
The Indians fought back against lefty Scott Alexander, who allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits in the 7th inning.
Casey Coleman would allow a run in the bottom of the ninth in his first spring training action. Lefty Franklin Morales made his Royals debut in the 8th inning and was perfect with a strikeout. Another lefty in the mix for a possible bullpen spot, Buddy Baumann, allowed a hit in his one inning of relief.
Joe Blanton also made his Royals debut, allowing a run on three hits and a walk over two innings.
Jason Frasor and Kelvin Herrera both pitched scoreless innings. Frasor allowed a hit in the fifth while striking out two, while Herrera was perfect in the sixth.
Ryan Roberts, who started at second base and is competing for a possible bench spot, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Both of his hits went for extra bases (a double and a triple).
Once the starters came out, there wasn’t a whole lot of offense for the Royals. Orlando Calixte hit a double in his only plate appearance, while Reymond Fuentes singled in two at-bats.
Bubba Starling struck out in both of his ABs, while Matt Fields and Lane Adams both struck out in their only plate appearances.
Next up, the Royals will start Danny Duffy when they play Cincinnati in Surprise. For the Reds, first baseman Joey Votto is expected to make his spring debut. The Reds will be starting Mike Leake, followed by JJ Hoover, Kevin Gregg, Sam LeCure, and Jumbo Diaz.