GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Unstoppable. Just unstoppable, these Royals.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Alex Gordon ignited an eight-run attack Sunday afternoon with a two-out homer in the third inning that started the Royals rolling to an 8-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in Goodyear, Ariz.
That makes nine straight victories for the Royals since they opened their Cactus League schedule with a tie against Texas.
Wade Davis worked three scoreless innings in his second spring start before Yordano Ventura added two more. The Royals led 8-0 before the Reds broke through with a run in the eighth against Justin Marks.
The Royals did little against Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey, who struck out five in two innings. Lorenzo Cain managed a two-out single in the second. Once Bailey exited, the offense stirred to life.
Gordons two-out homer in third inning, against Tony Cingrani, opened the scoring. Gordon sent the ball to right side of batters eye in center field.
I was taking a lot of pitches early on, he said. I decided if I get that first-pitch fastball, I was going to go after it. I put a good swing on it. It feels good to get a good swing.
I really havent been swinging it too well even though the numbers might show (otherwise at seven for 14). I really havent felt that good. That definitely felt better to have a result like that.
Max Ramirezs two-out RBI single in the fourth made it 2-0 before right fielder Jay Bruce ran down Chris Getzs deep drive with the bases loaded.
Mike Moustakas two-out RBI double in the fifth added another run before the Royals broke open the game with a four-run sixth inning.
Wade Davis worked three scoreless innings in his second spring start; he pitched two scoreless innings here last Tuesday against the Indians.
I was a little more efficient as far as being in the strike zone, he said. I had a cleaner line to the plate and got everything going in one direction. I got stretched out a little more, and that will be the goal again next time.
Davis permitted a pair of doubles while striking out three and throwing 27 of 39 pitches for strikes.
Bullpen candidate J.C. Gutierrez worked a one-two-three sixth inning. He has faced nine batters in three one-inning appearances and retired all nine.
It wasnt all positive. First baseman Eric Hosmer struck out swinging in his two at-bats before grounding out to first. He had two doubles and a homer in Saturdays victory.
Right fielder Jeff Francoeur also went zero for three with two strikeouts, which dropped him to four-for-17.
Salvy Perezs departure for the World Baseball Classic heightens the competition between George Kottaras and Brett Hayes for the backup job. Kottaras drew the start Sunday and went zero for two with a walk before exiting after six innings.
One of the two Cincinnati hits against Wade Davis was a leadoff double in the third inning by Devin Mesoraco on a drive that got past left fielder Alex Gordon.
I just read it wrong, Gordon said. I came in. I thought I was going to have to come get it. It kept sailing over my head. Its Arizona, and I should have known better. First step was in, when it should usually be back.
Davis kept Mesoraco at second by retiring the next three hitters on a strikeout, a liner to first and a routine grounder to short.
It was reported in some places that reliever Aaron Crow took a 20 percent paycut in agreeing to a $1.28 million deal. At best, thats misleading.
Crow signed a $4.5 million deal as the clubs first-round pick in 2009, which included a $1.5 million signing bonus. Crow actually made $1.1 million in 2012.
If his signing bonus is prorated over three years, as baseballs labor agreement allows, then, yes, it was a 20 percent cut. Luke Hochevar experienced a similar cut in 2010 when his original four-year deal expired.
First baseman Eric Hosmer received a $6 million bonus as the clubs first-round pick in 2008. He is making $528,250 this season.
Full-squad camps open Monday for the Royals minor-league operations. The roster lists 91 pitchers, 15 catchers, 37 infielders and 26 outfielders.
Monday marks the first of the Royals three open dates in their spring schedule. The others are March 11 and March 21.
Royals (LHP Bruce Chen) vs. As split-squad (TBA), at 2:05 p.m. Central time Tuesday in Surprise, Ariz.
I didnt see Homer Bailey.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas, who had two doubles in three at-bats, when asked whether he is seeng the ball well. He struck out in the first against Bailey.
Countdown to Opening Day: 28 days