The KC Royals played two on Wednesday afternoon, one at home in Surprise and the other on the road in Goodyear. The Royals won both.
At home against San Diego, the Royals won 4-3 and welcomed former top prospect Wil Myers to town. He led off for the Padres and went 2-for-3. He was also picked off first base by Royals starter Yordano Ventura in the first.
Speaking of Ventura, he was much better in his second start of the the spring, throwing three scoreless innings. However, he needed to throw 54 pitches to get through those innings (33 were strikes).
The Royals led 2-1 after five innings thanks to two RBI singles by Lorenzo Cain. They tacked on two more runs in the seventh on a Paulo Orlando RBI single and a Casey Kotchman double play ground out (his first game with the Royals).
The insurance runs were needed, as lefty Joe Paterson allowed a two-run home run to Cody Decker (a right-handed batter) in the top of the eighth.
In Goodyear, the Royals won 5-2 over Cincinnati.
Despite manager Ned Yost saying that they were not going to stretch out Joe Blanton because the only way he would help the team was as a reliever, the Royals are stretching out Blanton.
Blanton got the start against the Reds and allowed one run over three innings. The run came via a Joey Votto sac fly in his final inning of work.
Lefty John Lamb followed with two strikeouts over two scoreless innings of work (though he only faced one left-handed hitter). Fellow lefty Brian Flynn followed and was perfect facing three right-handed hitters.
Yohan Pino allowed a solo home run in the seventh before Michael Mariot and Chris Dwyer finished off the Reds over the final two innings. Dwyer induced two ground outs to end the game after Mariot struck out the first batter of the ninth.
The Royals needed a big comeback, scoring two runs each in the eighth and ninth.
Jorge Bonifacio, a replacement in right field, delivered a two-run double to give the Royals a 3-2 lead in the eighth. In the ninth, Cheslor Cuthbert (third base) drove in two runs with a double.
More notes from the games:
- Lefty Buddy Baumann pitched a scoreless seventh against the Padres, getting the lone left-handed batter he faced out on a fly out.
- Wade Davis struck out two in his scoreless outing against the Padres.
- The top three batters in the Royals lineup against the Padres each had three hits: Gabriel Noriega (shortstop), Ryan Roberts (second base), and Cain. Replacements Whit Merrifield (second base) and Orlando (centerfield) each had singles.
- Against the Padres, Kotchman was not the only player to play in his first Cactus League game. Parker Morin caught the final three innings and Dominique Taylor (up from minors camp) played the final three innings in right field. Both went 0-for-1.
- Omar Infante returned to action as the DH against the Reds. He went 1-for-4 with a double. He was pinch run for in the ninth by minor leaguer Justin Trapp, who scored a run.
- Kendrys Morales started yet again, this time at first base against the Reds. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
- Bubba Starling did not strike out today, but he was picked off first base when he pinch ran in the sixth. He was hit by a pitch later in the game and scored a run.
- Fellow outfielder Lane Adams (left field) went 2-for-2 with a run scored, as he replaced
starter Brett Eibner in the game (1-for-2 with a double).
- Even though Yost stated that Erik Kratz won’t get much time during the regular season, the backstop is making the most of his playing time now. He went 1-for-2 in the start against the Reds with a solo home run. He also threw former Royal Jason Bourgeois out at second base trying to steal.
Next up for the Royals is American League Central rival Cleveland in Goodyear. Instead of throwing reigning CY Young Award winner Corey Kluber (who will throw a simulated game on the back fields), the Indians will throw Nick Maronde.