The Kansas City Royals, led by smirking clubhouse prankster Alex Gordon, right, face flying ace Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants at Surprise today in a Cactus League friendly, countering with their own righthanded pitching stalwart, Luke Hochevar. These teams last met in regular season action in 2008 in Kansas City, when both sides wore Negro League throwback uniforms and Lincecum caught air.
They met three times in the Cactus League last year, when the Giants were preparing for the defense of their World Championship. The Giants prevailed in their first meeting, in Scottsdale, while the Royals took the remaining two, both played in Surprise during the 6-game winning streak that concluded their Cactus League schedule.
Lincecum has yielded 6 runs on 11 hits in his two prior preseason outings this season, March 3 against the Diamondbacks and March 7 against Colorado, each appearance lasting 2 innings. Over several seasons he has established an early spring tendency of having difficulty keeping his fastball down until he fully remasters his unusual delivery.
Hochevar is making his second appearance of the spring, having held the Padres scoreless over two innings March 6, giving up 1 hit, walking 1, and striking out 1. He has been working with pitching coach Dave Eiland on an improved changeup.
Radio broadcasts of the game will be carried live on KCSP in Kansas City and on MLB.com.