The Kansas City Royals could only muster five hits yesterday as they fell to the Colorado Rockies 4-3 in extra innings at the new spring home of the Rockies in Talking Stick. Each team now stands at 9-5 this spring (technically the Royals are 9-5-1). Mike Aviles and Alex Gordon each homered for the Royals, while Rockies right-fielder Seth Smith hit one out for Colorado.
On the mound the pitching match-up was Luke Hochevar on the hill for the Royals facing off against Jason Hammel of Colorado. Hochevar, likely to be the Royals Opening Day starter on March 31st, gave up two runs on four hits, while striking out three and walking one in three and two-thirds innings. As we get closer to the beginning of the season you will start to see the starting pitchers stretch out their starts longer.
After giving up a two out first inning home run to Aviles in the top of the first, Hammel really settled in not allowing another hit through four innings. The Rockies then tied it in the bottom of the first on Smith's long ball and took the lead 2-1 in the second when Todd Helton singled to right field scoring second baseman Jonathan Herrera. Helton was 2-for-2 on the day with a walk for Colorado.
Kansas City scored via a wild pitch in the fifth, and then took the lead in the seventh on Alex Gordon's second home run of the spring. However the Rockies were able to tie the game with two out in the ninth on a Ben Paulsen RBI double, and then in the tenth things started to unravel and the youth of Kansas City was exposed as two Mike Moustaskas errors and a wild pitch from Blake Johnson allowed Thomas Field to score on a ground ball by Chris Nelson. Johnson took the loss, while Bruce Billings got the win. You can find the boxscore here.
Sean O'Sullivan will be pitching for Kansas City tomorrow who will be taking on the Dodgers in Surprise. O'Sullivan is currently in the mix for the final starting pitching spot with the Royals, and Bob Dutton wrote in the Kansas City Star late last night about Sullivan's path he has taken in the offseason, including losing 25 pounds.