Royals

Alex Gordon, Brandon Moss hit towering blasts in Royals’ 7-4 win over White Sox

Royals outfielder Alex Gordon hit one out of Surprise Stadium in the first inning of a 7-4 win over the White Sox on Tuesday.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon hit one out of Surprise Stadium in the first inning of a 7-4 win over the White Sox on Tuesday. jsleezer@kcstar.com

The confines at Surprise Stadium are typical for a Cactus League venue. The dimensions are relatively large — 350 feet in the corners and 400 in dead center. The outfield walls are surrounded by a spacious grass berm, perfect for spectating, with a large white tent sitting above the hilly terrain in right field.

What is not typical here is a baseball clearing the grass berm and soaring over the stadium’s secondary white fence, which surrounds the property in right and left field. Well, it did not seem typical until Tuesday afternoon, when Alex Gordon and Brandon Moss took turns at the plate in a 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Gordon clobbered a solo blast to right field in the bottom of the first inning that left the stadium premises. Moss delivered a towering shot in the fourth that cleared the pavilion tent and disappeared from view. Both homers came against White Sox right-hander Chris Volstad, who made the start while staff leader Jose Quintana pitched in a minor-league game.

Gordon’s homer, his second of the spring, left the bat at 113 mph and carried an estimated 481 feet through the dry desert air, according to the Royals’ in-stadium TrackMan system. Moss’s homer — his third in three games — didn’t even register, perhaps a glitch, perhaps a result of the long distance.

“Brandon Moss is on fire right now,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He crushed that ball.”

The solo homers provided support for starting pitcher Nathan Karns, who allowed one earned run in six innings in his final start before the regular season. Karns, who will make his regular-season debut April 9 in Houston, struck out seven and issued one walk while throwing 91 pitches.

In two starts since being chosen as the Royals’ fifth starter, Karns has allowed just one earned run in 12 innings while striking out 16, lowering his Cactus League ERA to 3.91.

“I’m just working in and out, commanding, really trying to challenge the hitters,” Karns said. “And I’m having positive results right now.”

In between the mammoth homers, third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert clubbed his second homer of the spring, a high drive that landed in the bullpen in left field.

“Kind of a long Arizona home run that just kept going and going,” Yost said.

The Royals piled on two more runs in the eighth after the White Sox cut the deficit to 5-3 by scoring twice against reliever Peter Moylan in the top half of the inning.

Kansas City improved to 17-13-1 in Cactus League play. The club will conclude the Arizona portion of its spring with a final game against the Texas Rangers at 2:05 p.m. Wednesday.

The team is set to fly to Dallas on Wednesday night. They will play exhibition games against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, on Friday and Saturday.

The arms

Left-hander Travis Wood posted a scoreless inning in the seventh before Moylan ran into some trouble in the eighth inning.

Left-hander Eric Stout allowed a run in the top of the ninth.

The regulars

Center fielder Lorenzo Cain was scratched for precautionary reasons after experiencing some tightness in his “left side” before the game. Gordon moved over to center field, Whit Merrifield started in right, and Moss moved from DH to left field.

Cain was listed as day to day, according to a Royals official. The ailment was not considered serious.

The young guys

Still battling for a roster spot, Christian Colon finished 2 for 4 with a double in the fourth inning. He also stole a base.

Terrance Gore scored two runs and drew a walk after replacing Moss as a pinch runner.

ROYALS 7, WHITE SOX 4

Chicago

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

Jac.May cf

4

1

2

0

0

2

.349

M.Adolfo pr

1

1

1

0

0

0

.500

Anderson ss

3

0

1

0

0

1

.309

Sanchez ss

2

1

2

1

0

0

.321

C.Asche lf

3

0

1

0

0

0

.310

H.Jones lf

2

0

1

0

0

0

.333

J.Abreu 1b

3

0

1

1

0

0

.267

D.Hayes 1b

1

0

0

0

0

1

.333

Frazier 3b

2

0

0

0

1

1

.189

Delmonico 3b

0

0

0

1

1

0

.263

Davidson dh

3

0

0

1

0

2

.246

Ge.Soto c

4

0

1

0

0

2

.192

Cabrera 2b

4

1

1

0

0

0

.244

Schnurbusch rf

4

0

1

0

0

2

.167

Totals

36

4

12

4

2

11

 

TableStyle: SP-basebattersCCI Template: SP-basebatters

Kansas City

AB

R

H

BI

W

K

Avg.

A.Gordon cf

2

1

1

1

2

0

.364

Collins pr

1

0

0

0

0

0

.000

Cuthbert 3b

4

1

2

1

0

0

.262

S.Perez c

4

0

0

0

0

2

.200

E.Hosmer 1b

3

0

0

0

0

0

.182

Arteaga ss

1

0

0

0

0

1

.205

Br.Moss lf

3

1

2

1

0

0

.302

Te.Gore pr

0

2

0

0

1

0

.200

Escobar ss

2

1

1

0

0

0

.280

Br.Pena 1b

1

1

1

1

0

0

.429

C.Colon 2b

4

0

2

0

0

0

.291

Merrifield rf

4

0

1

1

0

1

.276

D.Butera dh

3

0

1

1

1

1

.250

Totals

32

7

11

6

4

5

 

TableStyle: SP-basebyinningsCCI Template: SP-basebyinnings

Chicago

100

000

021

4

12

3

Kansas City

101

201

02x

7

11

1

E: Ynoa (1), Anderson (2), Soto (1), Karns (1). DP: Chicago 0, Kansas City 1. LOB: Chicago 8, Kansas City 6. 2B: Moss (2), Colon (4). HR: Gordon (2), Cuthbert (2), Moss (4). SB: Lopez (1), Gore (6), Colon (2). SF: Davidson (2), Pena (1).

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Chicago

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

ERA

Volstad L, 0-1

3.2

6

4

4

2

1

6.35

Ynoa

2.1

1

1

0

0

1

5.17

Burdi

1

1

0

0

1

3

6.75

Infante

0.2

3

2

2

1

0

5.40

Bummer

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

3.00

TableStyle: SP-basepitchersCCI Template: SP-basepitchers

Kansas City

IP

H

R

ER

W

K

ERA

Karns W, 3-2

6

5

1

1

1

7

3.91

Wood

1

1

0

0

0

2

3.86

Moylan

1

3

2

2

1

1

3.00

Stout

1

3

1

1

0

1

1.80

WP: Moylan. Umpires: Home, Bryan Fields; First, Rob Drake; Third, Quinn Wolcott. Time: 2:49. Att: 4,224.

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