It was a chilly, overcast day in Surprise and the KC Royals may have wished the game had been cancelled (it rained all night without the tarp being on the field). The Royals lost to visiting Colorado, 13-2.
Jason Vargas didn’t make it out of the 2nd inning, as he allowed nine runs on nine hits over 1.2 innings. He allowed three home runs, including two to Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (two-run homer in the first and a three-run homer in the second). Vargas also threw 63 pitches (39 for strikes).
In his last two starts, Vargas has allowed 14 runs (12 earned) on 17 hits and two walks over just 4.2 innings.
I know it is only spring training, but when do you start getting worried about the Royals starting pitchers? Outside of Danny Duffy’s start on the 17th, it has been ugly for the starters.
Malcom Culver made his first appearance in a big league game, entering with one runner on base. He allowed a hit, but got a strikeout to end the second.
Greg Holland and Wade Davis each threw a scoreless inning of relief.
Jandel Gustave made his first appearance since March 14th and struggled. He allowed two runs on two hits and a walk over two innings. He struck out four, but both runs scored via a wild pitch. Gustave also needed 40 pitches to get through the outing (25 strikes).
Yohan Pino made his first appearance since March 11th and showed a little rust. Over two innings, he allowed two runs on three hits while striking out three.
Brian Flynn pitched a scoreless ninth. He faced two lefties and recorded two strikeouts.
More notes from the game:
- The Royals collected just three hits, though two went for extra bases. Moises Sierra doubled and Kendrys Morales hit a solo home run in the fifth. On a curious note, Sierra was taken out on defense in the middle of the sixth (after he and Paulo Orlando switched outfield spots to start the second) in favor of Terrance Gore (who committed a fielding error).
- Alex Liddi made his first appearance in a big league game for the Royals. He pinch-hit
for Morales in the seventh and stayed in the game as the DH (0-for-2).
- Lorenzo Cain was a late scratch due to the wet playing field. Brett Eibner made the start in centerfield and went 1-for-3 with a strikeout. He hit a line drive single off the right jaw of veteran Rafael Betancourt (who is trying to make a comeback from injury and was pitching in his first game).
- Dominique Taylor went 0-for-1, as he entered on defense in the ninth in centerfield. Angel Franco also entered on defense in the ninth at shortstop.
- Alex Gordon is expected to make his Cactus League debut on Saturday.
Next up, the Royals will play their first night game of the Cactus League, when they travel to Peoria to play the San Diego Padres on Friday. Chris Young will start against his former team, while Ian Kennedy gets the start for the Padres.