Royals Report: Peter O’Brien Blast Lifts KC To 7-5 Win
The Royals opened their spring schedule on Saturday with a 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers when 1B/0F Peter O’Brien slammed a two-run home run in the eighth inning.
Kansas City Royals baseball is back!
Spring arrived on Saturday afternoon in Surprise, Arizona with the KC Royals playing their first spring game against the Rangers. Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez doubled in a pair of runs in the first inning to stake KC 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, top prospect Josh Staumont held Texas scoreless in the first inning. Staumont, however, struggled with his control and walked two batters. After throwing 23 pitches in the first, he was finished for the day.
The Kansas City Royals added three runs in third inning off second Texas pitcher A.J. Griffin highlighted by Perez’s two-run bomb to give Kansas City a 5-0 bulge. The Rangers struck back against rising prospect Jake Junis in the bottom of the inning for five runs to tie the game.
Both teams failed to score until the eighth inning when KC Royals winter acquisition Peter O’Brien blasted a two-run shot against Anthony Bass. O’Brien’s home run proved to be the winning margin.
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The offense made a nice first impression on Kansas City manager Ned Yost, who told Kansas City Star beat writer Rustin Dodd after the game:
"“I liked our offense,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “I liked the way we swung the bat. Sal had a good day. O’Brien with the big home run…”"
Though it’s difficult to draw any type of meaningful analysis from the first spring game, Josh Staumont’s control problems weren’t a good sign. The team hopes Staumont can hold down a bullpen job with his fastball that touches 100 mph. The 23-year-old possesses the best raw stuff in the organization, but struggles with his command. He showed vast improvement late in the season at AA NW Arkansas after making an adjustment in his delivery.
Yost used seven pitchers in the game, Staumont, Junis, Luke Farrell, Jonathan Sanchez, Andrew Edwards, Eric Stout, Al Alburquerque, and Yender Caramo. Farrell pitched the longest stint with a 1.2 inning turn. Junis was the only pitcher to give up runs with his tough frame in the third. None of these players threw a pitch for the KC Royals in the 2016 season. I guess Yost wanted to get a quick look at the new guys.
Next: Now Or Never For Infielder Christian Colon
The bad news is the games don’t count. But the good news is that real baseball is only a little more than a month away!