In his final Cactus League outing, Bruce Chen absorbed a pummeling by the Mariners in a 9-6 loss. Seattle taxed nine runs out of Chen in four innings.
The brunt of the damage occurred in a six-run third inning. But he also gave up runs in the first, second and fourth. One of the runs was unearned.
“Things didn’t go our way tonight,” Chen said.
Chen departs Arizona with a 7.27 ERA. He had looked sharp before Tuesday night.
Chen gave up an RBI single to Justin Smoak in the first inning and a solo homer to catcher Mike Zunino in the second. Those tallies negated a two-run double by Alex Gordon in the first inning.
But the heavy stuff had yet to fall. In the third, the onslaught started with a two-run homer by outfielder Stefen Romero. With the bases loaded, outfielder Dustin Ackley chopped a ball back up the middle. It was an infield single, but second baseman Pedro Ciriaco couldn’t help himself. He flung the ball past first base to allow another run to score.
The Mariners picked up two more runs that frame on a groundout and another infield single. Romero notched an additional RBI single in the fourth.
“I tried to keep the ball down,” Chen said. “I got a lot of ground balls. But they went through.”
The Royals claimed a pitcher off waivers on Tuesday, but don’t expect him to compete for a spot in the big-league bullpen. Patrick Schuster, a 23-year-old left-handed Rule 5 pick, had been placed on waivers by San Diego. The Royals are likely to return him to his original club, the Diamondbacks, in the coming days. The move was designed, in part, to help outfielder Carlos Peguero, who was designated for assignment, slip through waivers.
Second baseman Omar Infante (bone spur in elbow) played five innings in a minor-league game, and completed a pair of infield throws. The team plans to play him in minor-league games these next two days before he can rejoin the big-league club.
The Royals traded catcher Adam Moore to San Diego for cash considerations. Moore appeared in nine big-league games for the club between 2012 and 2013. The Royals appear content with Brett Hayes as Salvador Perez’s primary backup.
Second baseman Johnny Giavotella was optioned to Class AAA Omaha. He hit .341 with a .977 on-base plus slugging percentage in 21 games this spring.
First baseman Eric Hosmer was ejected from Tuesday’s game for arguing balls and strikes.
For their last Cactus League affair this spring, the Royals trek to Peoria, Ariz., to play the Padres. James Shields will throw about 60 pitches. Then the team will board a flight to Milwaukee, where a two-game series begins Friday night at Miller Park.
“He said I stared him down, so I decided to say something. It set me off. It happens.” — Eric Hosmer on his ejection by home-plate umpire Brian Hertzog