The KC Royals won their spring training opener over Texas, 7-5 after Peter O’Brien‘s pinch-hit, two-run home run in the top of the 8th inning broke the 5-5 tie.
That made a winner of lefty Eric Stout. Yender Caramo earned the save with a pop up and two ground outs to end the game.
The game started sadly, as the Rangers (the home team) honored Yordano Ventura.
The Royals got on the board in the top of the first with two runs: one scored on an Eric Hosmer double and Salvador Perez followed with a double. Perez hit a three-run home run in the top of the third to give the Royals a 5-0 lead.
Josh Staumont got the start and in typical fashion, he bent but did not break. He needed 23 pitches to record three outs in the first, walking two. He struck out one (Carlos Gomez).
Jake Junis followed with a perfect 2nd inning (a pop up, a ground out, and a strikeout of Will Middlebrooks), but then things fell apart in the third. After a one out walk, Junis allowed three straight singles (two never left the infield) before an RBI double chased him from the game. Luke Farrell followed and allowed both inherited runs to score on a double.
After walking the next batter, Farrell retired the next five hitters (on four fly outs and a line out).
Lefty Jonathan Sanchez was next. He struck out two, walked one, but picked off that base runner (although shortstop Humberto Arteaga dropped the ball and was charged with an error). That was the last base runner of the game for the Rangers.
Andrew Edwards pitched a scoreless 6th inning, inducing two ground outs. Stout induced two ground outs and struck out the final batter of the seventh. Veteran Al Alburquerque struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth.
On offense in the win, the catcher’s spot in the order (fifth) went 3-for-4. Perez had two hits and four RBIs, while Brayan Pena went 1-for-2. Terrance Gore pinch ran for Pena in the 8th inning and scored on O’Brien’s homer.
On the other hand, the third base spot in the order (eighth) went 1-for-4. Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Dozier each hit into a double play.
New Royal Jorge Soler started in right field and batted seventh. He walked in both of his at-bats.
Ramon Torres came in to play second base (he got hurt at the end of the winter ball season) and went 2-for-2.
Game 2 of spring training for the Royals will once again be versus the Rangers, however this time the Royals will be the home team. Kyle Zimmer will get the start, followed by Miguel Almonte, Scott Alexander, Jonathan Dziedzic, Malcom Culver, Kevin McCarthy, Bobby Parnell, and Brandon League.
Yu Darvish is expected to start for Texas.