Let’s start with the game the KC Royals won, which came in Surprise against the SF Giants. Lorenzo Cain broke a scoreless tie with a two out, two-run home run in the 5th inning (he also struck out twice). The Royals pitching continued to dominate and held on for the 2-0 victory.
Seven Royals pitchers held the Giants to three hits (and just four base runners overall). It started with Jason Hammel, who allowed two hits and a hit batter over the first two innings. Lefty Mike Minor followed with two perfect innings, collecting a strikeout. He also induced three ground outs.
Fellow lefty Scott Alexander was credited with the victory, as he induced two ground outs and struck out a batter in his perfect 5th inning. Miguel Almonte struck out one in his perfect sixth. Veteran Al Alburquerque allowed the other Giants hit, but also induced two ground outs in the seventh. Kyle Zimmer pitched a perfect 8th inning with a strikeout. Bobby Parnell picked up the save with a perfect ninth.
I mentioned above that LoCain struck out twice. Strikeouts were the theme of the day for the Royals offense. They would strike out 11 times against the Giants and 11 more times against Cincinnati (more on that later).
They collected eight hits, seven were singles. Raul Mondesi went 2-for-3. Cam Gallagher was the only Royal off the bench to collect a hit.
*In the game, former Royal Orlando Calixte started at third base for the Giants. He went 1-for-3.
Over in Goodyear, the Royals blew a 7-1 lead and lost to Cincinnati, 9-7.
In the bottom of the 8th inning, the Reds scored eight runs all before the Royals could record an out. Jonathan Sanchez started the inning and it started with a leadoff double and a wild pitch, followed by a walk. Then a single drove in a run and another single loaded the bases. Sanchez then walked the next batter to force in a run. A two-run double and an RBI single followed to chase Sanchez from the game.
Reid Redman was called on to get out of the inning, but he allowed a three-run home run to the first batter he faced before finally recording three outs. Just going to point out that all the offense for the Reds in this inning came from minor leaguers.
That ruined the solid start from Jason Vargas, who allowed a run on three hits over two innings. He struck out three. Then Jonathan Dziedzic followed with two scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out three.
The Royals had a big inning of their own, a five-run 4th inning against newly signed Reds reliever Drew Storen. He allowed a three-run home run to Samir Duenez (who started in place of the injured Brandon Moss) and a two-run homer to Jorge Bonifacio.
Seven of the 11 Royals strikeouts came from the 2-3 hitters in the order. Mike Moustakas started as the DH and struck out three times. Zane Evans pinch-hit for him in the 8th inning and struck out. Paulo Orlando started in center and struck out three times.
The Royals collected nine hits, with all of the offense coming from the 5-6-7-8 hitters. Duenez, Brayan Pena, Christian Colon, Bonifacio each had two hits in the loss. Pena doubled twice. The other hit came from minor leaguer Elier Hernandez in the eighth.
*Former Royal Cody Reed followed Storen in the game and allowed two runs on four hits over 2.1 innings. He struck out four.
On Sunday, the Royals head to Scottsdale to face the Giants. Danny Duffy is expected to start before joining Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Matt Strahm and Joakim Soria are also expected to pitch.