02/24/2013 8:10 PM ET
Perez racking up hits before Classic departure
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez is batting often and well.
Perez went 3-for-3 and scored two runs in Sunday's 7-5 victory over the Rangers at Surprise Stadium. In three Cactus League games, Perez is 5-for-9, all singles, with one walk.
Manager Ned Yost is helping Perez pile up some plate appearances before he leaves next weekend to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. He caught in two games and was the designated hitter in the other.
"I talked to Ned and said I wanted a lot of at-bats. I want to be ready for the WBC," Perez said. "Tomorrow I'll DH again and the next day I'll catch."
Yost is also trying to get at-bats for infielders Miguel Tejada (Dominican Republic) and Irving Falu (Puerto Rico) before they leave for the Classic. Tejada, who went hitless on Sunday, is 1-for-6 so far, and Falu, after two singles Sunday, is 2-for-5.
In addition, Classic pitchers Tim Collins (USA) and Kelvin Herrera (Dominican Republic) got their first work of the Cactus League season on Sunday. Collins was tagged for three runs, giving up two walks and a two-run homer to Leury Garcia in his one inning.
"Collins was all over the place but with electric stuff and the same with Herrera. Herrera was off but his stuff was fantastic, so I was pleased there for first-time outings."
Collins threw 30 pitches with 15 strikes and Herrera tossed 17 pitches, eight strikes. Louis Coleman pitched a perfect inning and was rewarded with the victory. Michael Mariot's scoreless ninth with two strikeouts earned him the save.
Mendoza impressive despite blustery conditions
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Luis Mendoza looked in midseason form on Sunday for the Royals.
Although it was his first outing of Spring Training, Mendoza went four innings and threw 65 pitches. He was prepared for the longer-than-usual outing by pitching in the Caribbean Series, where two strong performances for Mexico won him Most Valuable Player honors.
The sunny 56-degree afternoon was chilled by winds that gusted up to 31 mph, presenting a challenge for pitchers.
"The wind was so bad but I just tried to let the sinker move by itself," Mendoza said.
To a large degree, he kept the ball on the ground and induced two double plays. He struck out two and 45 of his pitches were for strikes. There was a gale blowing toward right field.
"For lefties especially, I tried to work the outside of the plate," Mendoza said.
He gave up one run on four hits. Leonys Martin led off the Rangers' second with a triple and scored on first baseman Eric Hosmer's error.
"Mendy did fine," manager Ned Yost said. "Conditions were awful tough to play a baseball game out there today -- wind blowing and very cold. But he did a good job."
Yost isn't certain if Mendoza will get another outing before leaving next weekend to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.
Lamb eager for more after first Cactus League outing
SURPRISE, Ariz. - For Royals left-hander John Lamb, Saturday must have seemed like Opening Day for the rest of his career.
Lamb, who has been working his way back from Tommy John surgery since 2011, came to the mound in the fifth inning to face Texas in a long-delayed visit to Major League surroundings.
And, yes, he had a case of the nerves.
"Absolutely. For one, I was coming out of the bullpen for only the second time in my career. And I was anxious out there, just standing around," Lamb said. "But just getting back out in front of that baseball atmosphere again was pretty exciting. It was just a fun day for me."
Lamb threw 20 pitches, 16 for strikes, in his one inning of work. He gave up four hits but just one run, on an RBI double by Eli Whiteside. Lamb thought his pitches were effective.
"It looked like it was coming out pretty live," Lamb said. "I felt good out there. Command could always get better. Other than that, I don't like watching runs score when I'm pitching."
No problems with his surgically repaired left elbow. He wanted to pitch another inning.
"Everything's good, I wanted to go back out there," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.