What would you expect the score to be in a Spring Training game featuring the Kansas City Royals blazing bats and the arms of Luke Hochevar and Bruce Chen? How about 17-11 offensive gem, with the Los Angeles Angels? Doesn’t seem surprising does it? The Royals improved their spring record to 13-1-1 with the victory.
The Royals blitzed the Angels for 17 runs on 18 hits, including three extra base hits from Jeff Francoeur, who has started slow this spring. Frenchy came up a single short on his bid for a March cycle. Maybe this glimpse of power will get Francoeur going in the right direction these last three weeks of Spring Training.
Other offensive stand-outs on the day were Alcides Escobar (2-4, 1 RBI, 2 runs), Billy Butler (3-4, 4 RBI, 3 runs), and Chris Getz (3-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs). That is 11 hits just out of 4 regulars who didn’t even play the full game. Most of the damage came against Angel starter Tommy Hanson, who allowed 5 runs on 7 hits over 3 innings, and reliever (and closer candidate) Ernesto Frieri, who only recorded 1 out while giving up 5 runs on 5 hits.
The Royals’ pitching wasn’t much better. Starter Luke Hochevar got dinged for 4 runs on 5 hits in 3 1/3 innings. Bruce Chen followed him with a nearly identical performance, getting banged around for 5 runs on 5 hits in 3 2/3 innings. Both gave up 2 home runs. It is nice to see competition bring out the best in these two pitchers. Francisley Bueno and Aaron Crow each allowed a run in their one inning of work.
In a in a slow pitch, beer league, softball game situation, the Royals agreed to allow the Angels to use a courtesy runner for Albert Pujols whenever he got a hit. The situation occurred twice. Being that it is just Spring Training, it was a nice sign of good sportsmanship on the part of the Royals, and an amusing little side note to the game.
The Royals are off today but will start James Shields tomorrow against the Oakland A’s.
AL Central Notes
Detroit Tigers: Not so fast Drew Smyly! Rick Porcello isn’t quite ready to turn over the 5th spot in the rotation quite yet. Porcello pitched beautifully on Sunday, maintaining a shutout over his 5 innings. He allowed only 3 hits, no walks, and he struck out 4 against the Nationals.
Chicago White Sox: Brent Morel is trying to earn a spot on the Sox Opening Day roster. He has had a slow spring but was 2-4 with 2 runs and a RBI on Sunday. Dayan Viciedo went 3-3 with a home run against the Mariners.
Minnesota Twins: A couple of interesting names were reassigned to the Twins’ minor league camp yesterday – veteran Nick Blackburn and hot prospect Alex Meyer, who came to the Twins this off season in the Denard Span deal. Meyer has pitched well this spring, including allowing just 2 hits in 3 innings on Saturday.