Padres rough up Heath Fillmyer as Royals’ split-squad team loses 10-5

Kansas City Royals pitcher Heath Fillmyer on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 in Surprise, AZ.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Heath Fillmyer on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 in Surprise, AZ.

Naturally, right-hander Heath Fillmyer will want to dwell on his start Saturday in the Royals’ split-squad team’s 10-5 loss to the Padres.

Fillmyer allowed seven runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings with two walks and a pair of strikeouts. But he said lessons can be learned when things don’t go well, too.

“I take ... what I can out of it,” Fillmyer said. “Take the positives out of it and work with it and try to get better and learn from the bad. Just try and go out there next time with a clear head and clear mind and do what I can to win a ballgame.”

Staked to a 3-0 lead in the first inning at Peoria Stadium, Fillmyer gave up two runs to the Padres on three hits in the bottom half. An inning later, Fernando Tatis, Jr., had an RBI single and scored on a two-run home run by Franchy Cordero that gave San Diego a 5-3 lead. Cordero crushed a Fillmyer fastball 447 feet over the right-field bullpen. The ball had an exit velocity of 113 mph.

After the blast, Fillmyer settled down and retired five straight, including two by strikeout. The Royals got a run back in the fourth, but Fillmyer gave up two runs on three hits, including two doubles, and a walk. He was lifted with two outs in the frame.

Fillmyer, who is in the running for a spot in the rotation, saw his spring ERA jump to 9.35 after three starts (nine earned runs in 8 2/3 innings pitched). It was the first time he allowed multiple runs in a start.

“I wanted to work on getting the ball down and making better adjustments,” Fillmyer said. “Work off your last outing. Something I wanted to come in (and do) was pound the zone. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do that. I was up in the zone and it cost me.”

Lopez sparks fast start: Shortstop Nicky Lopez had two hits and drew a walk in his three plate appearances. He had a one-out single in the first inning, took second when Whit Merrifield reached on an error and they both scored when Jorge Soler pulled a double down the left-field line. Soler later scored on an error, the Padres’ third of the inning.

Goodwin homers: Center fielder Brian Goodwin had his third hit of the spring, a line-drive home run to right field that was 111 mph off the bat and traveled 394 feet.

Dozier returns: Third baseman Hunter Dozier played in his first game since Sunday and had a hit in three plate appearances. He had been dealing with a slight groin injury.

Up next: The Royals, 13-11, will travel to Scottsdale on Sunday to face the Giants as Cactus League play continues. First pitch is at 3:05 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on KCSP (610 AM). Brad Keller is the scheduled starter with Ian Kennedy expected to pitch as well.

From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.