Royals

Mike Moustakas launches grand slam as the Royals down Rangers, 11-7

Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) and Kansas City Royals right fielder Alex Rios (15) celebrate Moustakas grand slam in the first inning during the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers spring training baseball game at Surprise Stadium on Monday, March 30, 2015, in Surprise, Arizona.
Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) and Kansas City Royals right fielder Alex Rios (15) celebrate Moustakas grand slam in the first inning during the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers spring training baseball game at Surprise Stadium on Monday, March 30, 2015, in Surprise, Arizona. Kansas City Star

Mike Moustakas punctuated a seven-run, first-inning pounding of a Rangers pitcher with an exclamation point in the form of a grand slam in an 11-7 Royals victory Monday.

Moustakas was the last batter faced by Texas right-hander Lisalverto Bonilla, a 24-year-old hurler who allowed eight of the first nine Royals to reach base. The first four batters of the game all collected singles.

Bonilla exhibited the tell-tale signs of shakiness. He balked. He hit Salvador Perez with a pitch with the bases loaded. He hung a curveball to Moustakas, who lined the pitch over the center-field fence. The ball exited the premises in expedient fashion.

Alex Gordon mashed his first homer of the spring in the sixth inning.

The rest of the game was somewhat interminable. Royals starter Jason Vargas gave up a quartet of solo home runs to Adam Rosales, Leonys Martin, Jake Smolinski and Ryan Rua. Three of the homers came in the third inning. In the fourth, Vargas yielded another run on an RBI single by Martin.

Vargas lamented falling behind in the count too often.

“That never leads to anything good,” he said. “Sometimes you can wiggle out of it, and you get away with some things. But that’s usually the cause of most problems.”

Vargas gave up seven hits in all. It was his final Cactus League outing. He finished with a 9.68 ERA.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4730 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @McCulloughStar. Download True Blue, The Star’s free Royals app, here.

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