The KC Royals left Surprise, Arizona and headed to Houston for two exhibition games against the Astros. But first, the Royals had to finish up Cactus League action on Wednesday afternoon. They played to a 4-4 tie with the LA Dodgers.
The Royals actually had a chance to win the game, as Brett Eibner hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game (he didn’t start but drove in three). After the home run, fellow minor leaguers Hunter Dozier (2-for-2) and Frank Schwindel singled. However, Gabriel Noriega grounded into a game ending double play.
Eibner finished Cactus League action with five home runs and nine RBIs, despite being sent back to minor league camp about a week ago.
The Royals had just five hits heading into the ninth, as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw held them to one hit over the first three innings (a Paulo Orlando single in the second).
Yordano Ventura ended his spring with a solid four inning effort. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out three. Remember, he will be starting Opening Day (which is April 6th).
Despite heading to the DL to start the season, Luke Hochevar was once again lights out. He needed just nine pitches (seven strikes) to get through his three hitters in the sixth (including a strikeout).
Wade Davis, Chris Young, and Franklin Morales struggled in their outings. Davis needed 30 pitches (19 strikes) to get through the fifth (three hits and one run). Chris Young allowed a solo home run to a minor leaguer. Morales needed 24 pitches in the ninth (a hit and a walk).
Next up, the Royals play two exhibition games in Houston, beginning on Friday night. Edinson Volquez is lined up to start for the Royals against Scott Feldman. Jason Vargas is expected to start on Saturday afternoon.
Manager Ned Yost still has not set the Royals Opening Day roster and figures to not make a decision until closer to the 3pm ET Sunday deadline. Veteran reliever Ryan Madson seems to be the holdup.
*One day after releasing veteran Rafael Furcal, the Royals re-signed him.
*Former Royals outfielder Carlos Peguero has been beaten out by Delino DeShields Jr for the final spot on the Texas Rangers.
*It looks as though Johnny Giavotella will be on his first Opening Day roster, as all signs point to him winning the LA Angels starting second base job.
*Former Royal Mike Montgomery, who was part of the James Shields-Wil Myers deal, was traded from TB to Seattle overnight.
*Former Royals reliever Aaron Crow, who the team traded to Miami this offseason, needs Tommy John surgery.