Having tripled off the center-field wall in his first plate appearance, Paulo Orlando sent another rocket to the wall, this time to left center.
As he approached second, Orlando slowed up and stayed put with a double.
“I feel tired already,” Orlando said. “What was that, five innings?”
Nope, 3 1/2 for the Royals’ intrasquad scrimmage on a sun-splashed Monday at the team’s complex.
Orlando was the hitting standout of the first live action with a triple and double with a run score and RBI, helping his team to a 3-0 victory in a game played by mostly non-regulars.
As the Royals prepare for Wednesday’s exhibition opener, Orlando and Jarrod Dyson are pegged as a right-field platoon, and if that’s what unfolds, speed won’t be an issue.
Both players are among the fastest in baseball, with Dyson finished tied for third in the American League with 26 stolen bases while playing in 90 games.
Orlando was a triples machine in his major-league debut last season, blasting triples for five of his first seven hits. He finished the season with six triples and a .249 batting average in 86 games, spending time at Class AAA Omaha.
Orlando made the postseason roster for the World Series run, appearing in 12 playoff games and hitting .273 with three runs scored. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is poised to see more action. But Monday, a triple and maybe a second triple were enough
“Probably I hustled for third base but it’s Arizona, it’s pretty hot,” Orlando said.
Ramon Torres’ single and Bubba Starling’s fielder’s choice ground-out accounted for the other two runs, and the game’s most effective pitcher was left-hander Brian Flynn, who opened the scrimmage by striking out Raul Mondesi, Cheslor Cuthbert and Torres.
“Definitely felt great to get a real inning under my belt,” Flynn said. “Happy to pound the strike zone, get ahead and spin a few breaking balls.”
Flynn just missed making the team last year, suffered a muscle injury in his back during in his first appearance at Omaha and spent the rest of the season recovering.