If you have been following along on my trip to Arizona, then you know I skipped Day 2. Well, yesterday didn’t exactly go as planned. I did get to the backfields in Goodyear, but not the game between Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox (my mom had some issues with the heat and it was a little scary).
Anyway, Day 3 was much better (and calmer).
I headed over to the Texas side of the Surprise complex, as the KC Royals and Rangers upper level teams were facing off once again. It was a WINDY day, so the balls were flying over the fences.
Luke Farrell started for Triple-A, while Zach Lovvorn started for the Double-A team. But since the Royals were the road team, let’s start with the offense.
Against Rangers starter Chad Bell, they scored four runs in the first and Bell did not record an out (he faced just four batters). Ramon Torres (playing shortstop) led off with a single down the left field line. Jorge Bonifacio (in right field) doubled him in with a ball into the left center gap. Jose Martinez (who later came in to play right field) singled Bonifacio in with a ball hit up the middle (hard into the ground in front of home plate). Balbino Fuenmayor then hit a no doubt two-run home run over the left-center wall (everyone just turned and watched).
Farrell struggled in the first, allowing a leadoff double to Rangers prospect Lewis Brinson. Farrell induced a ground out from Jurickson Profar before an RBI double scored Brinson (it was lost in the sun in left field). Joey Gallo then broke his bat on a fly out to center and Jared Hoying struck out.
In the top of the second, Cheslor Cuthbert (playing third base) led off with a single to right field. After Hunter Dozier (he would later play third base) struck out swinging, Zane Evans walked. Jack Lopez (playing second base) grounded into a 4-4-3 double play.
I missed Farrell’s second inning, but did see the caught stealing to end the it. I instead went over to check out Lovvorn, who was getting knocked around in both the second and third (three runs on hard hit balls through the infield).
Back to the Triple-A game, where Edward Salcedo led off the third by flying out to center field. Dominique Taylor, who played center the entire game, singled through the 5-6 hole. Torres then came up and hit a two-run home run to dead left field (the fielder just turned and watched it). Bonifacio grounded out before Martinez flied out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Brinson hit a two-run homer against Farrell.
Brooks Pounders was next to pitch for the Triple-A team. It didn’t go so well. Gallo greeted him with a no doubt home run to right center. Hoying grounded out and then Pounders got a fly out for the second out. Then Alex Burg hit a homer to left. Pounders got out of the fourth with a ground out.
The 5th inning was much quicker for Pounders, as he worked around a one out single by Brinson (two ground outs and a foul pop up).
In the sixth, Pounders got Gallo on a fly out to left. However, Hoying followed with a homer to right. The Rangers then got two straight singles (one a blooper to center) before Pounders got a comebacker with the out coming at first. A hard hit ball to newly inserted Angel Franco at shortstop that he couldn’t handle scored the tying run before a pop up on the infield ended the inning.
Kevin McCarthy was next up for the Triple-A Royals and he had a 1-2-3 seventh. He induced a ground out from Profar. McCarthy then struck out Patrick Kivlehan before getting a ground out from Gallo.
In the top of the eighth, Allan de San Miguel struck out swinging. Franco grounded out to first before Logan Moon flied out to end the inning.
New Royal Bruce Kern started out good in the bottom of the eighth, getting two quick ground outs to second base. Kern then allowed back-to-back doubles and a bloop to right field to give the Rangers the 9-7 lead.
Malcom Culver pitched the ninth and allowed a single to Profar that went off his glove. Kivlehan flied out before Culver walked Gallo. Culver struck out the final two batters of the game.
Back to the Double-A game, where I caught the Royals batting in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Humberto Arteaga flied out on a shallow ball down the left field line. Bubba Starling followed with a single to left while Ryan O’Hearn singled to right. Cam Gallagher flied out to right field to end the inning.
In the fifth, Elier Hernandez reached base (I missed his at-bat) and Alfredo Escalera moved him to second base on a grounder. Mike Hill and Riley King both struck out swinging to end the inning.
I saw the start of the bottom of the fifth with Evan Beal entering in relief, but I turned my back and his inning was over.
In the sixth, Mauricio Ramos (just back from Panama in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier) singled hard past the third baseman but was thrown out trying to steal. Brian Bien walked, and the inning was over. In the seventh, the Royals broke the 4-4 tie with two runs and ended up winning 7-4.
Tomorrow, I will be back in Goodyear (pray for better luck this time), as the Royals face the Indians. Kris Medlen is scheduled to start versus Danny Salazar.
*If anyone knows what is up with Brett Eibner, let me know. I’ve seen him take BP two days with the Triple-A group, but he never showed up for either game so far this week.