The KC Royals welcomed the Oakland A’s and former teammate Billy Butler to Surprise. They had a heartfelt reunion, but the Royals won again, 8-4.
Butler got the scoring started in the top of the first against Edinson Volquez. He delivered a two-run double to put the A’s ahead. The lead didn’t last long, as the Royals scored four in the bottom of the first, capped by Salvador Perez‘ two out, three-run home run. Perez is five for his last five.
Volquez battled through just 2.1 innings, as he allowed two runs on five hits with one strikeout. He needed 52 pitches.
Volquez left with one runner on base in favor of Louis Coleman, who stranded the base runner. However, he allowed two runs of his own in the fourth on two hits. Coleman struck out four.
From there, the Royals bullpen was dominant. Jason Frasor was perfect in the fifth, needing 11 pitches. Kelvin Herrera allowed a hit in the sixth.
Chris Young made his Royals debut in the seventh and though he allowed two hits, he did not allow a run. He threw 18 pitches. Lefty Brian Flynn, still in contention for a possible bullpen spot, threw two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out two (both were left-handed hitters). Flynn needed just 20 pitches and induced three ground outs.
More spring training notes:
- Eric Hosmer got himself out of a funk (1-for-11), as he went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and the team’s first RBI.
- Terrance Gore stole his first base of the spring, as he pinch ran for Perez in the 3rd
inning. He isn’t getting much playing time.
- Paulo Orlando continues to be clutch this spring. He delivered a two-run double in the 6th inning. He now has seven RBIs and is hitting .500.
- Fellow outfielder Brett Eibner also continues to impress. He started in left field and went 2-for-3 with a triple and a run scored. Eibner is now batting .583.
- Orlando Calixte is a player to keep an eye on. He hit his third triple of the spring, as he entered on defense at third base. Calixte only had one at-bat, but he is hitting .444.
- The Royals lessened their spring training squad to 58 players, as they reassigned seven players to minor league camp. They are lefties Chris Dwyer, Scott Alexander, and Sean Manaea (who is hurt), right-handers Miguel Almonte and Christian Binford, and catchers Zane Evans (who did not play) and Cam Gallagher. Lefty John Lamb was sent to Triple-A.
- The Royals will decide on what to do with Brandon Finnegan over the next week. He is scheduled to pitch about two innings on Saturday. He will then pitch three innings five days later (probably next Thursday) and then the Royals should know whether they will transition him back to the bullpen or leave him as a starter.
Next up, the Royals welcome the LA Angels to Surprise on Saturday afternoon. The Angels will start Nick Tropeano, as they have a split squad game. It is Jason Vargas‘ turn for the Royals (to face his former team).