Opinion

Royals rookies pick up the pace on the bases

The Royals’ Raul Mondesi stole second ahead of the tag from Texas’ Thomas Field in the sixth inning Thursday in Surprise, Ariz.
The Royals’ Raul Mondesi stole second ahead of the tag from Texas’ Thomas Field in the sixth inning Thursday in Surprise, Ariz. The Kansas City Star

The Royals were off and running in their second exhibition game of the spring on Thursday.

There was no need to steal in their opener when they hit three home runs and took a commanding 6-0 lead in the first inning on Wednesday against Texas. But the Royals, in Thursday’s 5-4 win over the Rangers, looked like the team that ran teams ragged in the 2014 postseason.

With the Royals trailing 4-3 in the sixth, rookie Raul Mondesi pinch ran for Kendrys Morales and promptly stole second. With one out, Brett Eibner walked, and after two were out, the Royals pulled off a double steal with Mondesi taking third and Eibner trailing and taking second.

Though the Royals failed to score, the message was clear. The younger Royals are runnin’ just like veterans Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar.

“Monde’s taken the lead on that one,” Eibner said, laughing. “He’s the lead man on that.”

Mondesi has stolen 54 bases in three minor-league seasons, including 24 at Class A Lexington in 2013. Eibner has but 22 stolen bases in four minor-league seasons.

“I know they ran a lot last year, and obviously what this team loves to do, is run,” Eibner said. “Why not? Keep going.”

To reach Randy Covitz, call 816-234-4796 or send email to rcovitz@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @randycovitz.

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