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Late Offensive Power Lifts Royals, Defeat Dodgers 11-5

The Kansas City Royals once again proved they are able to come back from behind and for the second time in as many days provided some late inning key hits that today produced a 11-5 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After a scoreless first inning, Dodgers shortstop Juan Castro was able to torch Royals starter Jeff Francis for a three run home run with one out in the bottom of the second inning. On the day Francis gave up three runs on five hits in his two innings or work.

The score stayed the same until the fifth inning when a culmination of four walks and singles by Melky Cabrera and Billy Butler produced three Royals runs. All of this came after Dodgers pitcher John Link had retired the first two hitters on the inning.

In the next inning, Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Maier had singles that provided the Royals with two more runs to take a brief 5-3 lead. Again, as has been the story all post season, the Royals benefited from players being patient at the plate and showing the ability to draw walks.

In the bottom of the sixth, Royals pitcher Blake Wood allowed the Dodgers to tie the score when single allowed two runs to score. Wood has a shaky appearance for Kansas City allowing two runs on two hits, along with two walks in his two innings of work. Wood also had a strikeout of Xavier Paul.

From there it was all Royals as for the second day in a row the offense came through in the late innings. With one out and two runners on base, Kila Ka`aihue was able to take a 3-2 pitch off Luis Vasquez to left center for a home run. After a solid inning of pitching by Greg Holland in which he gave up just a walk and struck out two, Jeff Bianchi drew a walk and then Joaquin Arias went deep off pitcher Javier Solano to extend the margin to 11-5. Kevin Pucetas then pitched a perfect ninth to give the Royals the victory as they move to 3-1 in spring training.

Notables performances at the plate included Lorenzo Cain going 2 for 2 with a walk and a stolen base. Cabrera, Maier, and Arias were all 2-2 at the plate as well. On the pitching side of things Sean O'Sullivan, John Lamb, Brandon Sisk, Holland, and Pucetas all pitched scoreless innings of relief. Lamb was dominant in the fifth inning giving up just one hit while striking out the side.

The Dodgers fell to 2-4 and are on the road visiting the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow, while the Royals will face the Los Angeles Angels tomorrow in Tempe. The Angels enter at 3-2, having fallen to the Texas Rangers 10-6 today.

The full boxscore from today can be found here.

Video of the game can be found at Royals.com