Royals 3, Reds 2
Come on now. Really? Homers by Chris Getz Chris Getz! and Brett Hayes? The Royals might never lose this spring.
Hayes homer was leadoff laser in the eighth inning Friday that provided the winning margin in a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Surprise Stadium.
A blind squirrel does find a nut every once in a while, right? Hayes asked. Ive worked really hard for six months or so. We all have. Its nice to see it paying off a little bit.
The Royals improved to 7-0-1 this spring and would be perfect if not for surrendering a two-run, two-out homer in the ninth inning of their Cactus League opener a week earlier against Texas.
That start, Hayes homer and everything else pale in comparison to Getzs no-doubt bomb. He turned on a full-count fastball from Sam Lecure while leading off the fifth inning and drove it deep over the right-field wall.
His first thought?
The barrel hit the ball , Getz said. Its certainly been a while. I thought I got it. It felt good.
Neither team scored until Devin Mesoraco rocked a 3-0 fastball from Royals closer Greg Holland for a two-out homer in the fifth inning.
Getz tied the game later in the inning, but Cincinnati regained the lead when Kristopher Negron opened the sixth with a homer against Aaron Crow. It was Crows first pitch of the spring a 92-mph four-seamer.
The Royals drew even again in their sixth on Salvy Perezs RBI single. They then put runners at second and third with no outs but couldnt capitalize. It remained 2-2 until Hayes game-winner.
Royals starter Ervin Santana needed just six pitches, all fastballs, to set down the Reds in the first inning. Every pitch was either 92 or 93 mph.
I take that during the season, he said. I dont know that I want it right now.
Santana got two quick outs in the second before starting to labor. He issued a walk to Todd Frazier before Chris Heisey pulled a full-count pitch past third for a double. Santana stranded both runners by striking out Zack Cozart on three pitches.
Greg Holland and Aaron Crow each saw their spring debuts marred by a homer but otherwise appeared sharp. Donnie Joseph extended his spring strikeout streak to seven in a row before ex-Royals prospect Derrick Robinson bunted for a single.
Chris Getzs homer followed an adjustment in his batting stance after consultation with hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David.
Im much more spread out, Getz said. Im already in my landing position to start out. Im just kind of lifting (my front foot) and putting it back down. Im already down there as opposed to having to travel to get there.
Getzs last homer in the regular season was July 19, 2009 while playing for the Chicago White Sox. It came in Baltimore against now-teammate Jeremy Guthrie on a leadoff drive to right in a 10-2 loss.
It was the second of Getzs career. His 793 at-bats and 887 plate appearances with the Royals without a homer are a franchise record.
Sometimes, some things feel good, Getz said. Sometimes, they dont. We fooled around with (a new stance) in the cage and BP. It felt pretty good. I felt I might as well try it in the game and see how it goes. I was able to get a quick result. A positive result.
The Royals made it a lot harder on themselves than it should have been. They were one for 14 with runners in scoring position.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain helped Dan Wheeler close out the victory in the ninth by running down Ryan Ludwicks leadoff drive deep into the right-center gap.
I got to the fence, Cain said. I thought I was going to have to (jump to) try to rob it. I thought it was going to go a little farther. I kind of stopped, made an adjustment and made the play. Thats what Im trying to do, be a playmaker out there.
Minor-league camp opens Monday, but the Royals arent planning any immediate cuts to their major-league camp roster.
It wont be for a little while, manager Ned Yost said. Not in the next four or five days.
Utilityman Elliot Johnson tested his bruised left knee by taking swings in the batting cage. He suffered the injury Wednesday on a play at second in a 3-2 victory over Milwaukee. Johnson isnt expected to play again until early next week.
Left-hander Everett Teaford continued his recovery from early-camp shoulder soreness by throwing another bullpen workout. Barring setbacks, he should be game-ready by late next week.
As expected, Bruce Chen will get the front end of a piggy-back start over Luke Hochevar when their turn comes around Tuesday against an Oakland split squad in Surprise.
Hochevar started last Wednesday against Milwaukee, and Chen worked later in the game. The two, along with Luis Mendoza, are battling for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.
Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie completes the Royals first cycle through their projected rotation when he makes his spring debut Saturday against a San Francisco split-squad. Plans call for him to work two innings.
Luis Mendoza will follow Guthrie in a piggy-back start that marks his final appearance before departing Sunday to join Mexico for the World Baseball Classic. He allowed one run in four innings last Sunday against Texas.
Relievers Tim Collins and Kelvin Herrera are slotted for their third appearances. They also leave Sunday for the WBC; Collins to join the United States, and Herrera for the Dominican Republic.
Royals (RHP Jeremy Guthrie) vs. Giants split-squad (RHP Boof Bonser), at 2:05 p.m. Central time in Surprise, Ariz.
Hey, yeah! My team in the Dominican (wears) blue. Licey. So, Im happy to be in blue.
_ Royals pitcher Ervin Santana on whether he feels he looks good in blue after 12 years in Angels red.
| Bob Dutton,
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