While there is no exact way to correlate a spring training record to how a team will do during the regular season, you have to admit the Kansas City Royals are feeling pretty good about themselves at the moment. With today's 3-2 defeat of the Chicago White Sox, the Royals wrapped up spring training with their sixth straight win, to finish the spring with a 20-10-1 record. That record was the top mark amongst all major league baseball teams, as the Royals were half a game better than Colorado in the Cactus League, and a game and half better than Minnesota, which had the best Grapefruit League record.
Bruce Chen took the mound for the final time in Arizona this afternoon, pitching five innings and allowing just one run on four hits to improve his mark to 3-1. The lone run was a first inning sole home run by new White Sox slugger Adam Dunn.
After falling behind 1-0, the Royals put together three runs in the bottom of the second, keyed by a two-run shot from catcher Brayan Pena, which happened to be his first longball of the spring.
Jeremy Jeffress gave up one run in the sixth, and then relievers Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, and Kanekoa Texeira gave up just one hit combined over the final three innings as the Royals prevailed. Texeira record the save and finished his spring with a 0.84 ERA. White Sox pitcher Brandon Hynick took the loss for Chicago, which finished the spring with a 11-20 record.
The Kansas City team is already back in town and will be practicing tomorrow afternoon at Kauffman Stadium in anticipation of Thursday's first game of the major league season versus the Los Angeles Angels. Luke Hochevar will be starting his first Opening Day for the Royals as they look to continue to build upon their efforts in Arizona.