Poor pitching again costs the Royals in 8-2 loss to Rockies

03/24/2014 6:24 PM

03/24/2014 8:53 PM

A day after a bullpen breakdown, the Royals on Monday fell once again thanks to another collection of lackluster pitching performances in an 8-2 defeat to the Colorado Rockies.

Jeremy Guthrie gave up four runs in five innings. After Guthrie exited, minor-league right-hander Spencer Patton gave up a two-run homer. Tim Collins gave up another run in the seventh. Kelvin Herrera served up a solo homer in the eighth.

“The bullpen’s not been sharp here the last week,” manager Ned Yost said. “A lot of that has to do with bullpen guys, it’s a real adrenaline-driven position. We’re in the last week of spring training. They’re ready to go.”

Alex Gordon scored an unearned run in the second. After working a one-out walk, he watched as Rockies starter Franklin Morales committed a throwing error trying to pick him off. Two batters later, Danny Valencia ripped an RBI single.

The lead didn’t last. Troy Tulowitzki deposited a solo homer just over the left-field fence near the foul pole. Guthrie yielded a single to third baseman Nolan Arenado and designated hitter Jordan Pacheco. Second baseman Charlie Culberson knocked both in with a single.

The Rockies picked up another tally in the third, thanks to an RBI double by former American League MVP Justin Morneau. The ball found a hole in the Royals’ defensive infield shift, and Morneau took advantage.

Arms race

After another series of cuts on Monday, left-hander Francisley Bueno is left as the lone in-house candidate for the seventh spot in the Royals bullpen. The team re-assigned right-hander Jon Rauch to minor-league camp (and also re-assigned catcher Adam Moore and optioned outfielder Jimmy Paredes to Class AAA Omaha).

But Ned Yost refuses to say Bueno has made the club. He will reserve the honor until as late as Sunday. The team is in the market for upgrades on the waiver wire.

“Until we leave here, and that roster’s set, that roster’s not set,” Yost said. “He’s still very much in the running. Very much in the running. Until our roster’s set, it’s not set.”

Medical updates

Omar Infante (bone spur in elbow) completed a full workout, which included throwing drills and on-field batting practice, without incident. He is slated to play five innings in a minor-league game, and take five at-bats. Yost is still debating whether to bring Infante to Milwaukee on Wednesday, or leave him back in Arizona to play in minor-league games.

If Infante experiences a setback in a minor-league game, he can still have his stint on the disabled list backdated. If he gets hurt in a big-league game, he won’t be available until 15 days later.

“I’ve got different ways I could do it,” Yost said. “I could leave him here to play in the minor leagues through Saturday. You can get him at-bats. And then fly to Detroit for the workout.

“Or he can play tomorrow, the next day and DH on (Wednesday). And then fly out and be in Milwaukee for Friday’s game and Saturday’s game.”

Etc.

Bruce Chen will stay back in Surprise this weekend. He will pitch in a minor-league game. Jason Vargas starts Friday night at Miller Park. Yordano Ventura and Jeremy Guthrie will split Saturday afternoon’s game.

Up next

Tuesday marks the Royals’ final Cactus League game at Surprise Stadium. They host the Mariners under the lights. Chen will pitch. The game begins at 8:05 p.m. Central, will be broadcast on Fox Sports Kansas City and can be heard on 610 Sports.

Quote

“Hopefully they’re getting all their bad innings out in spring training.” — Ned Yost, on his bullpen.

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