Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie scrambled through most of his four innings while allowing two runs on five hits and two walks.
A good day in terms of continuing to get innings, he said. I feel like I really havent pitched this spring. Its a weird. Its (almost) March 15, and I felt like it could have been my first outing. Im still trying to find a rhythm.
I think its because the outings have been so spread out.
Guthrie admits he alters his approach when facing a division opponent in spring training.
I try to experiment, he said. See what works. See what doesnt. So we found out a few things that dont, and a few things that do.
Lefty Francisley Bueno retired six straight hitters in his two innings after replacing starter Jeremy Guthrie. Right-hander J.C. Gutierrez worked around a leadoff double in a scoreless seventh.
Closer Greg Holland surrendered a leadoff homer to Matt Carson in the eighth before issuing a one-out walk and a wild pitch.
Were at the time in spring training, manager Ned Yost said, where were starting to build arm strength with him. He pitched two days ago, day off and pitched today. Hes getting used to that routine.
Right-hander Michael Mariot, who spent most of last season at Class AA Northwest Arkansas, worked a one-two-three ninth for his third save.
Hes definitely leaving an impression on all of us, Yost said. His name has been a topic of conversation on how well hes done here.
It was a rough day for right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who was hit on the left wrist in his first at-bat by an up-and-in pitch from Cleveland starter Zach McAllister.
It didnt feel good, Francoeur admitted.
Nor did this: He grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners at first and third in the fifth.
Second baseman Johnny Giavotella delivered a clutch two-run double on a 0-2 pitch from McAllister with one out in the fourth inning.
In that situation, Giavotella said, Im just trying to put a ball in play, preferably up the middle so at least one run scores. I was fortunate enough to hug it inside that line and score two.
Chris Getz answered with an RBI double in a two-run eighth inning.
Outfielder David Lough had a double in his only at-bat and raised his average to .536 at 15 for 28 in 14 games.
Catcher Salvy Perez picked off Ryan Raburn at third base for the final out of the fourth inning.
The Indians had one run in with runners at second and third with two outs when Jeremy Guthrie bounced a pitch to Cedric Hunter. Perez blocked the pitch and, when Raburn broke a few steps toward home, threw to third.
Raburn couldnt scramble back in time before third baseman Mike Moustakas applied the tag.
Im just doing my job, Perez shrugged. Mikeys call (to make the throw).
First baseman Billy Butler made a nice scoop on a throw from the hole by shortstop Elliot Johnson on a grounder by Asdrubal Cabrera for the final out in the fifth inning.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar is ticketed to return to the lineup Saturday against the Cubs in Mesa. He hasnt played since last Sunday, when a jarring turn at second base led to back spasms.
Right-hander Wade Davis returns to game action Friday for the first time since March 3 when he starts a minor-league game. He has been recovering from inflammation that surfaced behind his throwing shoulder.
Right-hander Luke Hochevar is slotted for his first appearance Friday since shifting to the bullpen. Plans call for him pitch behind starter Will Smith in the afternoon game against San Diego at Surprise Stadium.
The Royals play the second of their three split-squad, day/night doubleheaders today with an afternoon home game against San Diego and a night game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch in Glendale.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY: 17 DAYS
Royals SS (LHP Will Smith) vs. Padres (RHP Jason Marquis), at 3:05 p.m. Central time in Surprise, Ariz.
Royals SS (RHP Yordano Ventura) vs. Dodgers (RHP Stephen Fife) at 9:05 p.m. Central time in Glendale, Ariz.
| Bob Dutton, email@example.com