Vargas lit up by former team, Royals lose in extras

Jason Vargas faced his former team, the LA Angels, and watched them score five runs in the 2nd inning off him. Though the KC Royals battled back, they still lost 7-6 in ten innings.

Royals starter Jason Vargas in a 2014 spring training start against SD (Jen Nevius).

Royals starter Jason Vargas in a 2014 spring training start against SD (Jen Nevius).

The Angels left most of their stars in Tempe and Vargas had a perfect first. Things changed in the second, when he walked the leadoff hitter. After a ground out, Vargas allowed an RBI single, with another run scoring when catcher Franciso Pena dropped the throw home from Jarrod Dyson.

Three more hits and a ground out later, the Angels led 5-0.

Lefty Brandon Finnegan, who will now pitch next on Tuesday instead of Thursday (and only threw one inning), allowed a leadoff home run in the sixth to Kyle Kubitza (a left-handed hitter). Finnegan settled down to induce two ground outs around a strikeout to end the inning (all right-handed hitters).

The Royals battled back with power. Kendrys Morales hit a solo home run in the sixth (1-for-3). Matt Fields, off the bench to play first base, hit his first home run of the spring. It was a three-run shot with two outs to tie the game in the 7th inning (he also struck out twice in the game). It also came off big league reliever Joe Smith.

The Angels put together back-to-back singles to start the tenth against Brian Broderick. A sac fly broke the tie. Broderick allowed that one run on three hits over two innings.

More notes from the game:

  • The Royals had 11 hits, but only Alcides Escobar had a multi-hit game (two doubles). Of those 11 hits, six went for extra bases.
  • Greg Holland allowed a walk and a single with two outs in the fourth, but escaped unscathed. Wade Davis pitched a perfect fifth with a strikeout.
  • Rule V pick Jandel Gustave pitched a scoreless seventh, though it wasn’t pretty. He walked CJ Cron with one out and allowed a single to the next hitter (Efren Navarro). A wild pitch on the strikeout followed by a hit batter loaded the bases. Gustave got Kubitza to fly out to end the inning.
  • Lefty Buddy Baumann, a long shot to make the team, threw a scoreless eighth with a strikeout. He allowed a two out single to Josh Rutledge and faced all right-handed batters.
  • If you are keeping track of the strikeouts with Bubba Starling, he struck out two more times today for a total of seven, though he did have a single in the sixth.


Next up for the Royals is a road game at Salt River Fields to play Colorado. Aaron Brooks will get the start in place of Jeremy Guthrie (who was battling a stomach bug).


About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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