Hollins finishes what Guillen starts
Slugger smacks first spring RBI, then pinch-hitter tacks on five
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Funny thing. The cleanup spot in the Royals' lineup produced six RBIs and only one belonged to Jose Guillen.
Five RBIs were rung up by Damon Hollins, who replaced Guillen in the fourth inning of Monday's 15-6 bludgeoning of the San Francisco Giants.
The main focus, of course, was on Guillen, the $36 million slugging addition to the Royals' lineup. He'd made his debut on Sunday, going 0-for-3. And in the first inning on Monday he popped out against Barry Zito.
"Second day, guys. I've got nothing to prove to no one," Guillen said afterward.
Even so, it was nice to see Guillen come up with the bases loaded in the third inning and scorch a Zito pitch into left field. The ball was hit so hard that only one runner could score on the single.
"That's what Spring Training is all about," Guillen said. "It doesn't count anything. It doesn't mean anything, not to me. I just want to get my game timing ready and that's pretty much it."
Playing right field, Guillen also made a powerful throw to third base that was wide but very impressive.
"The arm's still there," he said, grinning. "It's still there, that's all I can say."
Guillen was allowed to set his own training pace and did not debut until the Royals' 11th Cactus League game. After Sunday's game, he admittedly was sore.
Hollins, a 33-year-old outfielder who played in Japan last season, pinch-hit for Guillen with the bases loaded in the fourth against right-hander Tyler Walker, who had just relieved Zito.
Hollins shot a three-run double to right-center field. Later, he added two RBI singles for a 3-for-3 day.
"I came in at the perfect time, coming in with the bases loaded," Hollins said. "Guillen had the rest of the day off. Yesterday was his first day so he was a little sore. I'm just trying to help the boys out. We got embarrassed yesterday a little bit and we came out and played the game the way it's supposed to be played."
In Sunday's game, the Royals were clobbered by the Chicago Cubs, 13-1, and had just two hits.
Hollins is a non-roster player, a right-handed hitter who spent 2005-06 with Tampa Bay. His chances of making the Royals' Major League roster are remote.
"If you don't make it, hopefully somebody else will see you or if anything happens, you'd be the guy," he said. "But I've been around long enough to know I can't worry about what's going on. That stuff will just play itself out."
Hollins is hitting .304 (7-for-23) with eight RBIs. He had a two-run homer against the Chicago White Sox.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.