Kansas City Royals: Bats strike late, defeat Mariners 4-3
By Jordan Foote
About 24 hours removed from their 3-2 walk-off victory against the Reds, the Kansas City Royals took the field looking to remain undefeated on the spring. Despite being down two runs heading into the 8th inning, they managed to pull out a win and rise to 5-0.
Burch Smith is beginning to make a name for himself in Spring Training. He got the nod today and in his two innings of work, he allowed just one hit and struck out four batters. Although he’s not expected to start any games this season, it was still nice to see how he handled it.
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Every member of the starting lineup besides Adalberto Mondesi registered at least one hit in this ballgame. For what it’s worth, Mondesi did manage to drive in a run.
Aside from his two strikeouts, Jorge Soler had a great game. His two-run jack in the 8th inning tied the game at 3 all, which is a testament to Soler’s immense potential to impact a game any time he steps up to the plate.
Blaine Boyer, Josh Staumont, Brad Keller and Heath Fillmyer combined for five scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing just three hits and striking out six batters.
Despite the offense’s positives, there are always negatives to go with them. Shortstop Nicky Lopez went 0-for-1 at the plate today, causing his batting average to drop to .143 in Spring Training. In addition to Lopez struggling, Bubba Starling‘s average dropped to .125 after he struck out in the game. It’s unfortunate to see these two young players struggle to find their footing this week, although fewer than 10 at-bats is a minuscule sample size.
Jesse Hahn‘s Spring Training hasn’t gone according to plan, especially after looking at his numbers today. Hahn pitched the third and fourth innings, surrendering three hits and three runs in the process.
Both Burch Smith and Drew Butera committed errors in the game. Not too big of a deal, but errors are negatives nonetheless.
In all, this was another solid game for everyone involved. Per the usual, I have to reiterate that Spring Training games aren’t direct indicators of how players will perform once but the season begins, but it’s never a bad thing to watch success unfold. For now, let’s ride this wave of positive momentum and keep hoping for Royals wins! As long as the bats come through at crucial points in the game and the bullpen continues to perform at a high level, who knows how long this can last.
Next: It’s always about ‘The Process’
The Royals will return to the Peoria Sports Complex tomorrow to square off against their old friend Eric Hosmer and the San Diego Padres. First pitch will commence at 2:10 PM CST. You’ll be able to find both a preview and a recap right here at Kings of Kauffman.