Danny Duffy is the first KC Royals starter to four innings, but the Royals lost to the host Chicago Cubs, 4-3.
Duffy was solid, as he allowed one run on three hits, two walks, and a hit batter over four innings. He struck out five.
It could have been worse for Duffy in the first (as he allowed two singles), but with one out, he picked Chris Denorfia off first base before allowing a single to Anthony Rizzo.
After a perfect 2nd inning with two strikeouts, Duffy got into trouble in the third (and he admitted to nibbling a little too much). It all started with two outs and nobody on base…with a walk. Denorfia singled again and a hit batter loaded the bases. Duffy walked Starlin Castro to force in the game’s first run.
Duffy then worked a perfect fourth, ending his day with a strikeout.
The Royals almost had another comeback victory, as Lane Adams homered for the first time this spring in the 8th inning. Whit Merrifield tripled with two outs, but Erik Kratz popped up in foul territory to end the inning.
In the ninth, the Royals faced former lefty teammate Francisley Bueno. With two outs, Terrance Gore reached on a throwing error by Bueno. Then Ryan Roberts reached on a fielding error by the Cubs shortstop. Jorge Bonifacio pinch-hit and delivered an RBI single. With the tying run on second base, the Cubs changed pitchers and Adams struck out on three pitches to end the game.
More notes from spring training:
- So much for lefty Brandon Finnegan getting stretched out. He lasted just two innings this afternoon and didn’t pitch great once again. The Cubs immediately ripped him (double, RBI single on the first three pitches he threw). Finnegan did get two ground outs, around a caught stealing of third base (after a stolen base) to end the sixth. In the 7th inning, Finnegan walked two around an RBI double (aided by a passed ball). He faced four left-handed batters, the first being Miguel Montero, who led off with a double. He did induce two ground outs and his only strikeout against the lefties.
- The Royals collected eight hits, five for extra bases. Lorenzo Cain continues to hit, as he had two doubles this afternoon to up his average to .391. Omar Infante once again was the DH and went 2-for-3.
- Louis Coleman, who is competing for a bullpen spot on the roster, pitched a perfect 8th inning. He struck out the final batter of the inning.
- Alex Gordon had six at-bats today in a minor league intrasquad game (he led off each inning for both teams) and singled, doubled, and homered. He also struck out, grounded out to second base, and reached on an error in center. Gordon is expected to play on Thursday in another instrasquad game.
- Luke Hochevar and Ryan Madson are both okay with starting the season in the minors if they do not make the Royals Opening Day roster. Hochevar is still getting three days off between outings and may not be deemed ready for Opening Day. Madson is not on the 40-man roster and has not pitched in a few years.
Next up, the Royals face Milwaukee in Surprise on Wednesday afternoon. The Royals will start Edinson Volquez, while the Brewers will start Wily Peralta. Adam Lind is also expected to make his Brewers debut in the field.