After a two game hiatus from the win column, the Kansas City Royals bashed out 18 hits to put a beat down on divisional rival Chicago White Sox, 10-0, on Sunday. The Royals now sit at 17-4-1 in the spring Cactus League.
On the Mound
Luis Mendoza, back from his stint with Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, had a terrific day. He threw five scoreless frames, allowing 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 4. Mendoza is trying to beat out Bruce Chen for the teams fifth rotation spot. Veteran Dan Wheeler maintained his perfect ERA with another scoreless inning and closer Greg Holland pitched a perfect 9th, striking out 2. All in all, it was a good day for the Royals staff.
At the Plate
The Royals knocked out 18 hits on the day but 16 were singles. Only Johnny Giavotella and Brandon Wood broke through with the extra base hits, both doubles. Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, and Lorenzo Cain all had 2 hits on the day. Gordon and Butler added two RBI each, as did catcher George Kottaras.
This and That
James Shields, Salvador Perez, and Alcides Escobar played in a Class A game for Wilmington. The Royals didn’t want Shields to pitch against the White Sox (like they haven’t seen him before), who the Royals open the season against in two weeks. Perez joined him to gain extra experience working with the new ace. Escobar was being eased into action after suffering from back spasms. In an interesting little quirk, Wilmington’s opponent was given 4 outs in some innings, based on pitched counts, so Shields recorded 23 outs in 6 scoreless innings (first time in baseball history?). As well he should, Shields dominated the minor leaguers, only allowing 3 base runners, and striking out 8.
AL Central Notes
Chicago White Sox: Newly signed Chris Sale was named the Opening Day starter for the White Sox when they face the Royals on April 1st. The new contract, plus this assignment, declare that Chicago thinks Sale is their staff ace.
Minnesota Twins: The Twins haven’t named an Opening Day starter yet but Vance Worley is certainly a candidate. He didn’t helped himself much Sunday. Worley went 4 innings, 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk over 4 frames.