The KC Royals played American League Central foe Chicago for the first time this spring and pounded them, 10-0. The offense collected 18 hits, but just two for extra bases (both doubles).
The Royals jumped on White Sox starter Zach Stewart in the very first inning for four runs. In that inning, they picked up five hits and a walk, as they welcomed back first baseman Eric Hosmer to the lineup. He drove in a run with a single (and went 2-for-4 in the game).
It was all about the Royals starters on Sunday afternoon. Alex Gordon went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Billy Butler went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. I guess he’s fine after going face first into the dugout on Friday for a foul ball. Lorenzo Cain continues to hit, as he went 2-for-4. However, the bench also did well, as Johnny Giavotella drove in a run with a double. Max Ramirez went 1-for-1 with an RBI and Brett Hayes went 1-for-1 with a run scored.
The Royals scored their final two runs off White Sox reliever Jeff Gray in the 7th inning (on four hits). That came after he struck out all three batters he faced in the sixth.
The Royals pitching on Sunday was just as good as its offense (if only they could put it altogether during the regular season). Luis Mendoza may have given himself a bigger edge to the fifth starter’s spot. He allowed four hits and a walk over five shutout innings. Mendoza retired the final nine batters he faced, as he threw 42 of his 63 pitches for strikes.
Nate Adcock, Juan Gutierrez, Dan Wheeler, and Greg Holland each threw a scoreless inning of relief. Holland rebounded from a shaky outing on Friday with two strikeouts on Sunday.
Tim Collins and Eric Hosmer returned to Surprise on Sunday from their stint with Team USA, who was upset by Puerto Rico in the second round of the World Baseball Classic. From reading Collins’ comments, it didn’t seem like he was too happy about sitting in the bullpen instead of pitching.
*On Saturday, the Royals made this big point to mention that Bruce Chen was going to be the first starter to step to the plate this spring. Well, he went 0-for-1 but his pitching was awful. He allowed five homeruns, three of which came in the very first inning (I’m glad I had already left Arizona). Somehow, Chen lasted five innings and allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and a walk.
The Royals offense pounded out 11 hits, but only scored three runs. It looks like the offense hasn’t changed too much from last year. David Lough and Christian Colon both collected two hits in the 9-3 loss.
**For those who were wondering, I made it safely home to New Jersey. The flight was smooth and sunny, until we arrived in Philly, where it was cold and rainy. I think it is going to take awhile for me to get used to the cold again. I’m also having some trouble re-adjusting to the timezone difference (that and I didn’t really sleep Friday night with the early Saturday morning flight).