The Kansas City Royals headed to Mesa, AZ for their second game of the spring. Fresh off their 8-4 win over the Dodgers, the club was seeking to build off that victory against the A’s. Unfortunately for the boys in blue, they had to settle for a tie Sunday. Your final score: 4-4.
First and foremost, today was a great Royals debut for the newly-acquired Trevor Oaks. Allowing just one hit and a walk in two innings of work, Oaks was efficient and effective.
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Speaking of players who looked good, how about Foster Griffin? The left-hander tossed a scoreless, one-hit 7th inning.
Andres Machado was even more impressive than Griffin. Although the expectations for him aren’t high, he may have turned some heads with his two-inning, four-strikeout performance today.
Heath Fillmyer and Jake Newberry turned what was a 1-0 Royals lead into a 3-1 Athletics lead. Newberry gave up a home run in the bottom of the 4th inning to Jake Smolinski. Two of the three runs scored were charged to Fillmyer, who walked four batters in just 1.1 innings.
The starters for the top of the order (Billy Burns, Ryan Goins, Jorge Bonifacio) combined to go 0-for-6 at the plate. Despite this being one game of many this spring, it’s still not a good thing to see your first three batters go hitless. In addition to that, Goins striking out twice in two plate appearances wasn’t ideal.
A player who’s had a very rough Spring Training is Jorge Soler. Instead of taking a step forward and starting off his spring on a good note, he has yet to collect a hit in two games.
Today started off fairly slow for both teams, however, the three-run jack hit by Smolinski jolted some life back into the contest. Despite the slow start, a total of eight runs scored made for a great game. Because we’re just two games into Spring Training, there’s a fine line we must walk between either buying into performances or giving free passes to players.
Although it’s nice when great performances happen, they may not become trends. The same also applies to rough weekends at the ballpark (see Soler, Jorge). While it may seem as if the season can’t get here fast enough, we’re already two games into Spring Training!
The Royals will square off against the San Francisco Giants tomorrow at 2:05 PM CST at Scottsdale Stadium. You’ll be able to find a preview and recap right here at Kings of Kauffman.