The Royals biggest move of the offseason was the trade of Melky Cabrera to the Giants for Jonathan Sanchez. On Wednesday, the Royals got their first look at Sanchez in Royal blue. It could have gone better for both.
Sanchez threw one inning in his first spring start, using 31 pitches to get through an inning plagued by three errors. Sanchez surrendered four runs on four hits (though just three were earned). Problems started when a Mike Moustakas error allowed Starlin Castro to reach first. The key play was a single by Jae-Hoon Ha to right. Jeff Francoeur‘s errant throw to third was meant to stop Bryan LaHair, but allowed him to head home. A Mike Moustakas error – his second of the inning – followed on the throw home. Amidst all the chaos, Ha advanced to third on the play and scored on Darwin Barney‘s double to right-center.
The Cubs added a run in the each of the sixth and eighth innings and held off a Royals rally late.
While the errors can partially take Sanchez off the hook, he wasn’t dominant at all. His fastball was hanging around 88-89 mph (according to MLB.com’s Gamecast), and while he threw strikes (21 out of 31 pitches were strikes), the Cubs swung and missed on only two of his 21 strikes.
Everett Teaford and Nate Adcock followed him, both throwing two good innings apiece. Kelvin Herrera, Tim Collins and Blake Wood finished the game off. Altogether, the Royals pitching struck out seven batters and only walked one, but they also gave up 15 hits.
Jeff Samardzija worked three efficient innings against the Royals, allowing just a Chris Getz single in the first (and Getz was caught stealing). Getz later reached on an error in the fourth and scored the first run for the Royals on a gap line drive by Eric Hosmer went for a double (which is the first ball he’s put into play that wasn’t hit to the right side of second base so far in spring).
The Royals staged a late rally, scoring in the eighth and ninth, but with runners on first and third and only one out, Wil Myers flew out to deep center and Yuniesky Betancourt struck out to end the game.
3/7/12 – Cubs vs. Royals Scorecard: