Facing a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning, Alcides Escobar took the first pitch he saw from Cincinnati Reds reliever Jose Arredono and drove it out to left center field to give the Royals a 5-3 lead that would eventually become a victory. On the evening, Escobar was 2-for-3 with three RBI and is now batting a healthy .345.
Kansas City received four innings of good pitching from prospect Mike Montgomery who gave up one run on two hits over four innings. He also struck out three while walking one. The only run given up by Montgomery was a third inning Drew Stubbs ground out that scored Edgar Renteria.
Behind the bat of Kila Ka`aihue, the boys in blue took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning when Ka`aihue crushed a home run to right field off Reds starter Bronson Arroyo to score both he and Billy Butler who had singled. Kila now has four home runs this spring.
Jeremy Jeffress took the win for Kansas City though he gave up two runs in the sixth, a RBI double to Brandon Phillips. Then after a wile pitch by Jeffress allowing Phillips to take third, Phillips came down the line to score on a ground out by Joey Votto.
Newly acquired pitcher Robert Fish pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Kansas City, meanwhile it was good to see Danny Duffy pitch a scoreless eighth. Duffy, one of the heralded Royals pitching prospects, has been allowing a lot of base runners this spring and it was nice to see him gain some confidence out there. Greg Holland came in and finished off the Reds for the save, though Cincinnati did on two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. As stated Jeffress was credited with the win, Arredondo took the loss, and Holland worked for the save. Full boxscore can been seen here.
Also of note, Royals left fielder Alex Gordon continued his recent hot streak, going 2-for-3 batting with a run scored. After struggling mightily at the beginning of camp, Gordon has come all the way back to now be batting .394.
With the win, Kansas City's mark now stands at 12-6-1, while the Reds are now 10-8 overall. Today Kansas City will be back in action against the Seattle Mariners in another night game 8:05 CST . Jeff Francis will be on the hill for the Royals as he looks to improve upon a lackluster start last time out.