As we inch closer to opening day, here is the latest week of spring training action for the Royals.
Friday, March 10
Athletics 11 Royals 7 - Box Score
Jason Hammel gave up two runs in 2 2⁄3 innings of work, including a home run to Matt Olson, in his second start of the spring. Hammel struck out three, but also gave up a pair of doubles.
“I was not overly pleased, but I’m also not overly disappointed with the outing.”
Matt Strahm was sharp, striking out the side, while Kelvin Herrera allowed a hit among his three strikeouts in the fourth. Royals minor leaguers Jake Junis and Miguel Almonte each struggled mightily, combining to give up nine runs in two innings of work. The Royals mounted a comeback in the late innings with solo home runs from Peter O’Brien and Ramon Torres. Raúl Mondesí had to leave the game with a concussion after colliding with Jaff Decker while covering first base.
Saturday, March 11
Indians 7 Royals 6 - Box Score
The Royals got their first look at the defending league champions, taking a 4-0 lead into the seventh, only to have the Indians come back late with six runs off non-roster invitee Bobby Parnell to win the game. Jason Vargas started and tossed three shutout innings with three walks and three strikeouts. Brandon Moss hit his first home run of the spring, a three run-blast in the seventh off Bryan Shaw. Cheslor Cuthbert and Christian Colón each had a pair of hits, with Cuthbert playing second base. Hunter Dozier struck out in both of his at-bats and committed a throwing error in right field.
Sunday, March 12
Dodgers 5 Royals 4 - Box Score
Nate Karns had a rough second inning in which he gave up four hits - including a single to pitcher Clayton Kershaw - and four runs in the loss to the Dodgers. Mike Moustakas got the Royals on the board with a home run off Kershaw in the first. Karns said he was trying to work on his changeup, and rely less on his curveball.
“I think I threw very few curveballs. I think I threw a lot of heaters. Just kind of look back at pitch selection, maybe falling behind (in the count) had something to play into that as well. Not as crisp as I’d liked to have been, but definitely there are some positives in there.”
Jorge Soler singled and drew a walk, although he also struck out. Mike Moustakas committed a pair of errors at third base. Mike Minor had two shutout innings in relief and Scott Alexander continued his perfect spring with a scoreless inning.
Monday, March 13
Royals 4 Rockies 2 - Box Score
Jorge Bonifacio and Hunter Dozier each homered late, to give the Royals a 4-2 win over the Rockies. It was the second home run of the spring for each hitter. Ramon Torres added a two-run single and had a nice relay throw home to get Tony Wolters at the plate. Travis Wood struggled a bit, giving up six hits in 3 2⁄3 innings, including a home run to D.J. LeMahieu. Chris Young tossed 3 2⁄3 innings of shutout ball, striking out one and giving up four hits. Raúl Mondesí went 1-for-3 in his first game back after suffering a concussion.
Tuesday, March 14
Royals 8 Angels 4 - Box Score
Jorge Soler got his bat going with two hits and Lorenzo Cain add two more in a 14-hit Royals attack. Ian Kennedy looked sharp with five strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Raúl Mondesí continued to excel with a double that would have been a triple had Brayan Peña not been thrown out at the plate, as well as a nifty defensive play to snag a line drive. Peter O’Brien launched his fifth home run of the spring. Chris Withrow struck out the side in a perfect ninth. Mike Moustakas committed his third error in two days.
Wednesday, March 15
White Sox 7 Royals 3 - Box Score
Raúl Mondesí got the game started right with a solo home run off Reynaldo Lopez, his second of the spring. Jason Hammel struck out five in 4 2⁄3 innings of work, giving up two runs, including a home run to Yoan Moncada. Malcom Culver gave up three runs in less than two innings of work, and Kelvin Herrera gave up a home run to Moncada and allowed another run on some sloppy play behind him. Cheslor Cuthbert doubled and Jorge Bonifacio continued a great spring with his third home run. Bubba Starling went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Thursday, March 16
Mariners 9 Royals 2 - Box Score
Jason Vargas gave up four runs in just two innings of work without a strikeout in the blowout loss to the Mariners. Vargas was hurt by a pair of errors from Ramon Torres and Raúl Mondesí that led to two unearned runs. Joakim Soria allowed a walk and a double to allow a run, and Chris Withrow gave up three runs in his inning of work to push his spring ERA to 8.31. The Royals managed just five hits in the split squad game, including a home run by Drew Butera.
Royals 13 Padres 3 - Box Score
The Royals fared much better against a sloppy Padres squad that committed three errors. Whit Merrifield was 3-for-4 with a triple, and Alex Gordon had a pair of hits including a two-run home run. Billy Burns and Peter O’Brien each had a two-hit day and Paulo Orlando had a two-run double. Josh Staumont was called up from minor league camp to start and was impressive with five strikeouts and no walks in three shutout innings. Al Alburquerque gave up a single, but struck out everyone else in the ninth.
Other notes: Christian Colón left Wednesday’s game with a sprained middle finger and is “day-to-day.” The Royals assigned pitchers Miguel Almonte, Jake Junis, and Kevin McCarthy, and first baseman Samir Duenez to minor league camp. Both Saturday’s game against the Brewers and Sunday’s game against the Cubs will be broadcast on MLB Network.