Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas continued his torrid first week in the Cactus League. He swatted homers in his first two-at bats in a 5-3 victory over the Cubs.
In the second inning, Moustakas turned on a slider from Cubs starter Edwin Jackson and lined it over the fence in right. His second homer, a two-run shot off Carlos Villanueva, just cleared the same fence.
“I’ve been seeing the ball pretty good as of late,” Moustakas said. “Just trying to continue to do that. Just trying to work the pitches, work the at-bats, and fight with two strikes.”
Eric Hosmer notched three hits in his first three at-bats, including a pair of doubles. He scored twice.
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Both Wade Davis and Yordano Ventura pitched well. They tag-teamed for four scoreless innings. Davis struck out three. Ventura’s fastball touched 100 mph.
In the fifth, former top prospect John Lamb yielded a run on an RBI double by Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney. Reliever Jon Rauch gave up two more in the sixth. Rauch, a former closer in Toronto, is ticketed for Class AAA Omaha.
Yordano Ventura is considered one of the favorite to claim the fifth starter’s spot, but he was the second pitcher on the mound for the Royals on Sunday. Wade Davis pitched two scoreless frames, working around a walk and a hit batsman in the first, then a double in the second. He struck out three.
Ventura needed only 21 pitches to complete his two innings. He schooled Cubs prospect Javier Baez with a curveball for a strikeout in the third. After giving up a single in the fourth, he immediately induced a double-play ball.
Backup catcher Brett Hayes got hit in the thumb with a pitch in the second inning. He stayed in the game. Afterward, he reported no discomfort with the digit.
Held out of action to rest a bruised right middle finger, reliever Louis Coleman is listed on the pitching schedule for Monday against the White Sox.
Guillermo Mota, the 40-year-old reliever with 14 seasons of big-league experience, has retired. He left camp on Friday. The team had signed him to a minor-league deal in January, and hoped he could provide bullpen depth.
The Royals face the other team from Chicago, bussing to Glendale to play the White Sox. Jeremy Guthrie will start, and Luke Hochevar will back him up.
“Results are nice. Again.” — Mike Moustakas, downplaying his solid start to the spring.