The KC Royals won their last road game this spring training in Arizona, beating Oakland, 10-3.
Prior to the game, the Royals named Raul Mondesi their starting second baseman for Opening Day (which is Monday, April 3rd in Minnesota). He went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs today.
They have announced that utility man Whit Merrifield and infielder Christian Colon will battle for the final roster spot. Not sure what these two can prove over the next three days and CC is out of options, so Merrifield may be headed to Triple-A.
Oft-injured outfielder Jorge Soler has a strained oblique and could start the season on the DL. That means that speedster Terrence Gore could make the team and the Royals starting outfield will be Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, and Paulo Orlando (though I think Merrifield should make the team over Gore). This is why I would have loved for the Royals to have kept Jorge Bonifacio in big league camp a little longer because he definitely deserves the chance to battle Orlando for the right field job.
The Royals also sent a ton of players to minor league camp and the bullpen situation seems to have been settled. Veteran Al Alburquerque, lefties Scott Alexander and Eric Stout, and right-handers Malcom Culver and Yender Caramo, joined catcher Zane Evans (he had a hit today), infielder Humberto Arteaga, and outfielders Billy Burns and Peter O’Brien on the cut list.
Veteran Peter Moylan, who’s opt-out date is tomorrow, looks to have earned the final bullpen spot. However, the Royals need to make a roster move to add him to the already full 40-man roster.
Now to the game.
With the score tied at 1-1 heading into the 3rd inning, the Royals scored five runs and then another two runs in the fourth. Mike Moustakas hit a solo home run in the third and later in that inning, Orlando hit a two-run homer. Moose had two hits.
In the 4th inning with two outs, Brandon Moss hit a two-run homer. Cain and Alcides Escobar each had two hits in the win. Esky hit a solo homer in the fifth.
The Royals pitching scattered 11 hits (three for extra bases). Jason Vargas got the start and pitched seven solid innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out five. Vargas did allow a solo homer in the fifth. Kelvin Herrera escaped a bases loaded jam in the eighth. Chris Young allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth.
*The Royals beat former minor leaguer Andrew Triggs, who allowed eight runs on eight hits, two walks, and a hit batter over 3.2 innings. Triggs was just named to the A’s starting rotation this weekend.
**I am curious to see what the Royals do with Brayan Pena. He has had a good spring, but I’m not sure how he fits right now, with Moss being able to back up Eric Hosmer at first base and Drew Butera as Salvador Perez’ backup.