The Royals offense continues its strong spring showing by banging out 14 hits and 14 runs to defeat the Seattle Mariners 14-3 Monday afternoon.
The Kansas City Royals have scored 7, 4, and 14 runs in their first three games this spring. While the stats don’t count, it’s a hopeful sign from a team that ranked 13th in the American League in runs scored last year.
The KC Royals scored four in the first, one in the second, and six in the third inning to jump out to a quick 11-3 lead. Kansas City hitters bashed seven extra base hits on the day. Paulo Orlando, Salvador Perez, and Peter O’Brien slammed home runs, while Alcides Escobar tripled, and Eric Hosmer, Perez, and Jorge Bonifacio chipped in with doubles. Career minor leaguer O’Brien has hit two home runs in the last three games in his quest to finally win a major league roster spot.
You’re pretty much going to win when you score 14 runs. The victory improved Kansas City’s spring record to 2-1.
Both teams agreed to move up the start time to 11:00 PM local time to avoid rain that was forecast later in the day. The game only went seven innings due to weather.
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On the mound, Jason Vargas recorded the win despite allowing three earned runs in 2.0 innings pitched. Joakim Soria, Mike Minor, Jonathan Dzeidzic, and Al Alburquerque followed Vargas to the mound and combined for five innings of shutout baseball. Mike Minor pitched two scoreless innings and averaged 93.17 mph on his fastball in a particularly strong showing.
Minor is a candidate for the bullpen this season after he tried (and failed) to return to action as a starter in 2016. Unfortunately, he suffered multiple setbacks in his recovery from shoulder surgery last season.
Al Alburquerque is also drawing notice for his second strong performance in a row.
Spring training results are an unreliable guide to the upcoming season. However, you can perhaps draw some useful information from looking at individual skill sets. For example, if a pitcher shows a significant velocity increase during the spring, it’s likely to carry over to the regular season. Another useful indicator is the defensive performance of players changing positions, like the Royals Cheslor Cuthbert who is attempting to show he can handle second base after coming up as a third sacker.