SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Long-time shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt demonstrated his range as a second baseman on Thursday by going far to his right to grab a sharp grounder by the Rockies' Jonathan Herrera in the fourth inning, then wheeled and threw him out.
"That was an awesome play. I didn't think he had any chance to get it and he just covered a lot of ground real quick," pitcher Aaron Crow said.
Betancourt, signed to be an infield backup, also participated in three of the Royals' four double plays. But he had a moment of costly indecision when a pop fly dropped between him and right fielder Mitch Maier for a hit in the second inning.
"That comes from playing a new position," manager Ned Yost said. "Mitch played it right. That's a communication thing. The second baseman goes out until the outfielder calls him off. Mitch thought he was going to have to slide, so Yuni just kind of gave up on it a little too quick. But it's a different angle over there. That will work itself out, too."
Ramirez delivers another powerful effort
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Max Ramirez's home run assault continued on Thursday as he smacked his third of the Cactus League season in the Royals' 5-0 victory over the Rockies.
Ramirez, who entered the game in the sixth inning at first base, got the Royals' last run in the eighth inning as he cleared the left-field wall against right-hander Dustin Molleken. The bases were empty.
A catcher by trade, Ramirez hit two homers as the designated hitter in Tuesday's 7-4 win over the Padres. On Wednesday, he drilled a two-run single in a 6-4 loss to the Cubs.
A right-handed batter, Ramirez is 4-for-6 with a team-leading seven RBIs. He has 47 games of Major League experience with the Rangers and was signed as a Minor League free agent, but he could give Brayan Pena competition for the job as catcher Salvador Perez's backup.
"I knew Max could hit. He's done a real nice job. I hope he continues it," manager Ned Yost said. "We've played him everywhere, but I've been impressed with his play behind the plate. We'll give him a good look back there. He's done a nice job. He's a little bit better than I thought he would be back there. That's a pleasant surprise."
Crow, Paulino look strong in spring debuts
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It was a group effort as seven Royals pitchers shared in Thursday's 5-0 victory over the Rockies. There were two scoreless innings each by starting candidates Felipe Paulino and Aaron Crow, the first outing for both.
"It's a good feeling," Crow said. "It gives you confidence that you can do it. I threw all four of my pitches for strikes, so that was awesome to do that for a two-inning stint and get that under my belt," Crow said.
Crow is beginning to work a changeup into his assortment.
"It's a lot better than it was last year -- I hardly ever used it at all. I threw two of 'em today. One was bad and one he [Dexter Fowler] swung and missed at so it was 50-50 today, but it still needs to get better ... if I'm going to be a starter," Crow said.
Jose Mijares, Louis Coleman, Brandon Sisk, Tommy Hottovy and Jeremy Jeffress each threw one shutout inning.
Teaford trucking after fine first outing
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A year ago in Spring Training, Royals left-hander Everett Teaford had his pickup truck stolen and he didn't pitch very well either. At least the truck was recovered in the Arizona desert and was put back in running condition.
This year Teaford left the Ford pickup back home in Georgia -- he's driving a rented Chevy Malibu -- and his first pitching appearance went well. On Wednesday, he worked two scoreless innings of a 6-4 loss to the Cubs.
"I felt good out there and I'll take two scoreless any time," he said.
Teaford was part of the Royals' rookie-laden bullpen for much of last season and also made three starts, finishing with a 2-1 record, one save and a 3.27 ERA in 26 games.
His first outing this year was a plus for manager Ned Yost.
"He threw strikes, he was on the attack, he had a good tempo, kept the ball down, changed his arm angles and did a nice job," Yost said. "He's a resilient guy. He can do a lot of things for you. He's real versatile, he can go long, he can set up, he can start. His arm bounces back real good."
Or as Teaford put it: "You've got the utility infielder, maybe I'm the utility pitcher. Hey, I can be whatever you want me to be."
Oh, his pickup truck is still a little jinxed. While he was working out back home about three weeks before Spring Training, it was broken into. Teaford's wallet was stolen.
Broxton slated for live action vs. Rangers
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals' only scheduled 'B' game will be played against the Texas Rangers at 10 a.m. MT on Sunday at the George Brett Field.
Jonathan Broxton, the reliever signed as a free agent from the Los Angeles Dodgers, will make his first competitive appearance of camp. The starting pitcher has not yet been determined.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.