The KC Royals have one roster spot left to make a decision on, and that would be the backup catcher. That competition is between right-handed hitter Brett Hayes and left-handed hitter George Kottaras.
Manager Ned Yost has made all the other decisions.
Following last night’s game, the final bullpen spot was decided. JC Gutierrez, who is out of options, took the final spot. He hasn’t pitched that well this spring, though he looked good last night. Right-handers Dan Wheeler and incumbent Louis Coleman were sent to minor league camp. It will be interesting to see what happens with Wheeler because he had a great spring. He could end up with another team looking for a veteran.
Alex Gordon led off the 3rd inning with a solo homerun (his seventh this spring). With one out, Billy Butler singled and Mike Moustakas walked. Salvador Perez followed with his second homerun this spring. After an Eric Hosmer single, Lorenzo Cain tripled him in.
With runners at second and third base and two outs in the 5th inning, Miguel Tejada drove in a run with an infield single. Pinch-hitter Max Ramirez drove in another with a single and fellow pinch-hitter Paulo Orlando singled in Tejada.
The Royals offense pounded out 16 hits, seven for extra bases. Gordon, Orlando, Butler, Perez, and Cain each collected two hits. Hosmer went 3-for-5.
Ervin Santana allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk over four innings. He struck out three. Bruce Chen followed with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, but struck out two. Then minor league relievers Malcolm Culver and Buddy Baumann each threw a scoreless inning before Wheeler allowed a solo homerun in the ninth.
The Royals finish up their Cactus League schedule on Friday, as they welcome AL Central rival Cleveland to Surprise. Jeremy Guthrie will get the start and Luke Hochevar and Tim Collins will try to finish up the spring strong in relief. They will fly to Chicago after the game. Ubaldo Jimenez is expected to pitch five innings for the Indians.
*Remember when I wrote last night that the Royals were winning their night game? Well, they ended up in a 9-9 tie. Luke Hochevar was lit up for five runs and Aaron Crow allowed two. Hochevar allowed five hits and walked one in just 2/3 of an inning. Crow allowed two hits over 1.1 innings. Minor league reliever Sam Runion pitched a perfect ninth.
That eliminated the great game from Chris Getz, who went 6-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBIs.