Notes: 'One of those games' for Tomko
Royals, Guillen struggle to find hits; club cuts 10 from roster
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Brett Tomko, projected as the Royals' No. 4 starter, had a rough outing on Sunday. But so did almost every other Royals pitcher in a 13-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Tomko gave up six runs (five earned) in 2 1/3 innings on nine hits. Five runs came in the third inning, when left fielder Mark Teahen lost a ball in the sun and second baseman Mark Grudzielanek made a throwing error.
"I think I could have easily gotten out of that third inning without giving up anything, but that's the way it goes. It's a tough sun, and things happen in a game," Tomko said.
He blamed himself for not putting hitters away.
"I got to a lot of two-strike counts, and when I tried to make that two-strike pitch, I kind of elevated the ball," he said. "That seemed to be the big problem. I got to two strikes great, and everything seemed to be up after that. Just chalk it up -- one of those games."
Guillen goes hitless: The Royals had just two hits, so no surprise that right fielder Jose Guillen, in his spring debut, was 0-for-3.
The starting lineup, in fact, could have been one that fans might see when the regular season begins.
"It is [disappointing]," manager Trey Hillman said. "Honestly, when they're swinging the bats that well against your pitching, sometimes that takes a little air out of your tires offensively. I think there was a little bit of that today, but the bottom line was they pitched a lot better than we did. I still like the chances of that lineup having better run production than it did, but we'll have to wait and see if it does."
Guillen will start again Monday against the San Francisco Giants.
Ten players cut: The camp population was reduced to 50 on Sunday, when 10 players were re-assigned to the Minor League side of the complex.
They were first baseman Mike Stodolka, outfielder Chris Lubanski, catchers Adam Donachie and Damaso Espino and pitchers Julio Pimentel, Roberto Giron, Matt Peterson, Matt Wright, Ben Hendrickson and John Foster.
Stodolka was 3-for-9 (.333) and Lubanski was 2-for-11 (.182) each in six games. The others, except for Foster who had a sore back, were lightly used in Cactus League games.
Pimentel, the only one of the 10 on the 40-man roster, was optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He gave up a two-run homer against the Cubs on Sunday in his third outing.
An edgy nature: Left-hander Mike Maroth did his first competitive pitching on Sunday in the Royals' 7-0 "B" game victory over the Texas Rangers. He worked 1 1/3 innings and allowed one hit and two walks.
"One of his biggest assets, other than he's left-handed and can change speeds, is that he's one of those guys who hates to lose. He's got a competitive streak in him that stands out," Hillman said.
The first batter against Maroth tripled.
"He didn't like that at all," Hillman said.
Maroth, bothered by a stiff left shoulder, was impatient to get his spring going and didn't mind telling pitching coach Bob McClure about that.
"I like him -- he's got a little edge to him. That's probably why he's pitched so long the big leagues," McClure said. "I told him I don't mind that at all, to have a little edge."
Sinking feeling: Right-hander Brian Lawrence, former Padres starter, reeled off three scoreless innings in the "B" game. He gave up two hits and a walk.
"There was only one ball hit in the air off Brian Lawrence in three innings of work," Hillman said. "He did a good job of sinking the ball for ground balls."
Thorny problem solved: Pitcher Jimmy Gobble had a cactus thorn removed from a big toe on Sunday morning.
"They didn't get it the first time," McClure said. "They said it was almost an inch, three-quarters of an inch long. How he was pitching with that, I'll never know."
Gobble picked up the thorn early in camp when he accidentally kicked a cactus while playing golf. At the time, he took it easy for a couple of days but had fulfilled every assignment since.
"What happened was he didn't really have any pain after a while," McClure said.
In other medical news, outfielder Shane Costa suffered a minor injury to his left knee area in a simulated game on Saturday and was held out of action Sunday. ... Shortstop Angel Sanchez, slowed by a groin injury, got into the "B" game and went hitless but scored two runs. ... Just when the flu bug was thought to be out of the clubhouse, hitting coach Mike Barnett was fighting it on Sunday.
Up next: Hideo Nomo, who hasn't allowed an earned run in five innings, will make his first start for the Royals against the San Francisco Giants at 3:05 p.m. CT on Monday at Surprise Stadium. Barry Zito will start for the Giants. Also scheduled to pitch for the Royals are Joakim Soria, Chin-Hui Tsao, Jimmy Gobble and Carlos Rosa.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.