SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer couldn't have hit the ball much harder."I thought he hit it through the bullpen wall," Royals teammate Mitch Maier said. Hosmer's grand slam in the sixth inning zoomed over the right-field fence and crashed into the back wall of the Cubs' bullpen, giving the Royals a 4-4 tie in what became a 5-4 victory on Friday. "It was a battle," Hosmer said. "It was a tough lefty that threw pretty hard, had a good cutter. I was just trying to get the ball in play and get those runs in. Fortunately enough, it went over the fence and we got the runs and tied the game up."
2010 Spring Training - Kansas City Royals
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The lefty was John Gaub, a Triple-A pitcher coming off a shoulder injury who loaded the bases with three walks. Hosmer fouled off four pitches, worked the count full and, on Gaub's ninth pitch, he connected on a breaking ball."I was surprised to see it. He walked two guys in front of me and the bases were loaded, but it's the big league level and they can throw anything for strikes and you've just got to be ready for anything," Hosmer said. Hosmer, with his second homer, is batting .625 (5-for-8) with five RBIs. "Guys had great at-bats to get Hos up there with the bases loaded, and Hos had a tremendous at-bat. He laid back on a 3-2 breaking ball and just smoked it," manager Ned Yost said.
Maier continues to pad spring resume
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Friday was just another big day for Mitch Maier. After going 4-for-4 with a walk in the Royals' victory over the Angels on Thursday, Maier walked and stroked the game-winning single in a 5-4 win over the Cubs.That gave Maier eight consecutive hits, with the two walks intertwined, after he started the spring 0-for-4. "I don't know. I guess it's just one of those things," Maier said. "I'm getting good pitches to hit and they're falling." Joaquin Arias opened the seventh with a single and Lance Zawadzki bunted him to second. After Lorenzo Cain bounced out, Arias holding second, Maier singled to center to snap a 4-4 tie. "The team's playing well," Maier said. "Playing good defense, pitching well and then getting some big hits which, obviously, is something you need to do to win. You've got to get hits with guys in scoring position." He did that on a day the Royals' offense, except for Eric Hosmer's grand slam, sputtered along. The Royals got their five runs on just five hits. "What about Hosmer's homer? Holy cow!" Maier said.
Yost looking for more than wins
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals have jumped off to a 5-1 start in Cactus League play, but manager Ned Yost hasn't changed his stance on relative unimportance of a record in Arizona."Wins and losses in Spring Training isn't my final gauge," Yost said. "I break the game down and what did we do? Because you might lose five in a row, but you may be losing games with guys that aren't going to be on your team. So wins and losses in Spring Training really don't matter to me. I'm looking at: Are we accomplishing what we set out to accomplish? What do we need to continue to polish? What areas do we need to grow and get better in? And continuing to focus on those things daily."
Duffy's control is off again vs. Cubs
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Danny Duffy again ran into control problems in his second outing for the Royals on Friday.The prize prospect pitched two innings but gave up a run, a hit and walked two. It might have been worse, but first baseman Billy Butler made a diving catch of Starlin Castro's hot liner in the third inning. "I'm still a little shaky," Duffy said. "I know I have good enough stuff to get these guys out. It's just frustrating when you can't get the fastball down. I just need to make that one adjustment. I'll get there." Duffy, in his previous outing, gave up two walks and a run in one inning against Texas.
Minor League camp begins Monday
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals' Minor League training camp will have its first full workout on Monday.About 150 players, most of them headed for full-season teams at Omaha, Northwest Arkansas in Springdale, Ark., Wilmington, Del., and Kane County, Ill., will be in uniform. When the Minor League camp gets under way, Royals manager Ned Yost expects to have the first cuts off his 65-man Major League roster in short order.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.