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Royals Lose Late; Positives Still Seen On Field

The Kansas City Royals lost the first half of their split squad day, going down in defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks by a final of 8-6. Kansas City was right there to pick up their seventh win on the campaign, however Kevin Pucetas gave up three hits and four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to allow Arizona to come out on top. Arizona took the game on two home runs hit off Pucetas, a solo shot by Ryan Wheeler and a three-run home run by A.J. Pollock. I imagine this outing certainly has to dampen any momentum Pucetas had previously gained, trying to make the 25-man roster out of camp.

Jeff Francis got his second chance to trot out to the mound for Kansas City and looked very good in his three innings, scattering three hits and a walk while allowing no runs. The Royals scored a run in the first inning in an unorthodox way as Kansas City attempted a double steal and Mike Aviles came around to score when Arizona catcher Konrad Schmidt made a bad throw trying to catch Kila Ka`aihue on the backend of the double steal.

A second inning Melky Cabrera home run extended the lead to 2-0 in the second and then in the third the Royals pushed across three runs on a line drive three-run blast from Ka`aihue. On the day the big Hawaiian slugger was 1-for-2 at the plate with 3 RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. He now has three home runs this spring.

Schmidt was able to atone for his earlier mistake when he touched Joakim Soria for a two-run home run in what was a three-run top of the fourth inning for the Diamondbacks. The score remained 5-3 Kansas City until the sixth inning when Juan Miranda hit a home run off Robinson Tejeda to close the cap. Clint Robinson countered for the Royals, hitting a home run in the eighth inning in his only at bat on the day. Robinson is now hitting .455 in spring training.

After Luis Mendoza pitched a scoreless eighth, the Diamondbacks then picked up the four winning runs to erase the 6-4 deficit at the time. With the loss, Kansas City falls to 6-3, while Arizona improved to 4-9. The Royals are back at it tonight facing the Padres. Sean O'Sullivan will be on the mound in a lineup that features many Kansas City players mixed in with some of the prospects. 

Another note from the game this afternoon was that Christian Colon and Wil Myers, two highly rated Kansas City prospects, got their first taste in a game mixed with some of the big league players. However it didn't go so well at the plate as Colon was 0-for-3 and Myers was 0-for-1 pinch-hitting for Billy Butler.

Full boxscore can be found here.