Jason Donald provided a game-tying homer in the ninth inning, and the Royals cobbled together three more runs in the 10th for a 9-6 victory over the Padres on Sunday.
The offensive rush saved reliever Kelvin Herrera, who combusted in the seventh inning as the Royals fell behind 6-4. He gave up three runs and recorded only one out in a miserable appearance.
He was pitching for the first time in six days, after throwing a two-inning stint in a minor-league game on Monday. Herrera looked lost from the outside. He gave up a pair of leadoff singles, then walked two batters. He was charged with three runs.
“I didn’t have the (right) feeling (on the mound),” Herrera said.
Jason Vargas cruised through four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth. Yonder Alonso hit a solo homer to open the inning, and Kyle Blanks soon followed with a two-run shot of his own. He gave up the three runs on four hits. He struck out four and walked one.
The Royals notched a first-inning run off San Diego starter Ian Kennedy. Nori Aoki led off with a single. Omar Infante doubled him home with a groundball down the third-base line. After a single by Justin Maxwell, Infante was gunned down at the plate for inning’s final out.
Carlos Peguero rocked his first home run of the spring in the third inning. He clobbered a hanging changeup from Kennedy for a solo shot.
A one-out double by Salvador Perez led to another run in the fourth. Danny Valencia walked and Lorenzo Cain singled to load the bases. Perez scored on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Pedro Ciriaco. Infante started the fifth with a single and scored on a wild pitch from Padres starter Robbie Erlin.Arms race
Bruce Chen and Danny Duffy have been slotted on the same day in the rotation. Chen will start during their next turn on Thursday against the Angels, with Duffy backing him up. Duffy is trying to usurp Yordano Ventura for the last spot in the rotation.
Francisley Bueno, a candidate for the final spot in the bullpen, struck out one in an inning of scoreless relief.Medical updates
Luke Hochevar is scheduled to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers team physician, will perform the operation to repair Hochevar’s torn ulnar collateral ligament. Hochevar decided on the surgery after receiving a second opinion from ElAttrache two weeks ago.
The injury calls into question Hochevar’s future with this organization. He will be a free agent after this season.
Hochevar, the 30-year-old former No. 1 overall pick, shined as a reliever in 2013. He struck out 82 batters in 70 1/3 innings with a 1.92 ERA. The team will try to offset his absence in the bullpen with Wade Davis, another hard-throwing right-hander.Etc.
The Royals completed a small trade on Sunday, shipping minor-league infielder Brandon Laird to the Nationals for a player to be named. The team had shipped Laird, a 26-year-old corner infielder, to minor-league camp last week.Up next
The Royals play their first night game of the spring on Monday. Yordano Ventura gets to follow his dominant performances against Oakland by facing the Rangers. The game begins at 8:05 p.m. Central, can be heard on KCSP (610 AM) and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Kansas City.Quote
“We’ve had some guys with some really, really good springs. But Maxwell is right up there at the top of the list, too. He’s been phenomenal all spring.”
— Ned Yost on Maxwell, who went three for five, pushing his Cactus League average to .419.