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Josh Vernier


Shields Struggles, Royals Top Angels

-Royals (19-6-1) took care of the Angels 13-9 in Tempe.

-James Shields made start just hours after Ned Yost officially named him the starter for Opening Day in Chicago. Normally starting pitchers don't talk to the media before a start, but Shields did because as he joked "it probably wouldn't be a good idea if I did it later, and I give up a nine-spot and then I'm announcing I'm the opening day starter."

-In the game, Shields did just that. He threw 91 pitches in just five innings, allowing nine runs, eight of them earned, 11 hits, three walks and two strikeouts. "My body felt great. My direction to the plate was terrible. My rhythm wasn't there in the first couple innings, little erratic."

-Ned Yost also confirmed that Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie and Wade Davis will follow Shields in the rotation. Yost mentioned "we'll figure out the fifth when we figure out the fifth."

-Friday afternoon also saw Luke Hochevar's third appearance as a reliever. He was solid once again. Hochevar threw a perfect sixth inning, striking out one hitter. 

-The victory was also the return of Kelvin Hererra from the World Baseball Classic. The right-hander allowed one walk, but threw an otherwise clean seventh inning, striking out one as well. "Hoch and Herrera were electric, both of them. Very encouraged with both of those guys."

-Offensively, it was a show for the Royals. Billy Butler mentioned to a teammate that even though it was just a spring training game, that was a special outing. 

-Eric Hosmer went 2-for-4 with his second home run of the spring and four RBI. Jeff Francoeur connected on his second dinger of the spring also. It was a mammoth shot to centerfield that cleared the batter's-eye fence, and went more than 450 feet. Billy Butler went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Salvador Perez went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
-The defense for the Royals was tremendous on Friday afternoon. Alex Gordon threw Mark Trumbo out at home, and Mike Moustakas made three Gold Glove-caliber plays at third. Ned Yost said, "Moose is really starting to get his defensive game in mid-season form."

-Before the game, the team released outfielder Endy Chavez from his minor league contract, leaving 38 active players in camp.

03/22/2013 6:54PM
Shields Struggles, Royals Top Angels
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