SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 12: Billy Butler#16 of the Kansas City Royals hits a double during the spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Surprise Stadium on March 12, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez proved to be no match for the Kansas City Royals this evening as the the Royals rang up the right-hander for six runs on nine hits over four innings to put Kansas City on the path to an eventual 9-1 victory in which the Royals hitters combined for 15 hits, while holding the Mariners to just one run on three hits.
Jeff Francis went five innings as the Royals starter, giving up only one run on one hit, a first inning home run by Ryan Langerhans. Luis Mendoza pitched three innings of scoreless relief, while Heath Rollins pitched a scoreless ninth to complete the game. Mendoza has been solid all spring, not having yielded a run thus far.
Offensively the Royals got all the runs they needed in the bottom of the second, when a Lorenzo Cain single cleared the bases to give Kansas City a 3-1 lead. Cain, the centerfielder acquired from Milwaukee in the offseason, was 2-for-3 with two walks and 2 RBI on the evening.
Combined the first three hitters for Kansas City were 7-for-12 against the Mariners. In addition to Cain, who was hitting second in the batting order, Jarrod Dyson was 3-for-5 with two runs scores, and Billy Butler was 2-for-4 with a walk and a third inning home run off Hernandez.
Catcher Brayan Pena also did well at the plate for Kansas City, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. Francis took the win, while Hernandez was charged with the loss. Kansas City moves to 13-6-1 this spring, while Seattle fell to 10-6. A full box score is available here.
Kansas City will have an afternoon game tomorrow against American League Central Division counterpart, the Cleveland Indians. Kyle Davies will be starting against the Tribe. This will be a big outing for Davies as he got knocked around last time out.