03/03/2013 7:29 PM ET
Gordon still striving despite lofty batting average
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Alex Gordon might be hitting .500 (7-for-14) in Cactus League play, but that doesn't mean he's satisfied.
The homer he belted for the first run of the Royals' 8-1 victory over the Reds on Sunday was his first extra-base hit.
"The results do matter, but every Spring Training's stats are always a little bit higher than they should be," Gordon said, "so it's about feeling good and feeling comfortable and that's what I'm trying to get. I'm not there yet, but we still have a month left so we'll keep going at it."
Gordon's blast to right-center field off Tony Cingrani came after the Royals had struck out seven times in the first three innings. Five of the strikeouts were by Reds starter Homer Bailey -- the first was against Gordon to start the game.
"From what I saw, it was fastballs and cutters and he came right after us," Gordon said. "He did a pretty good job. Some guys said it was hard to see, but I think he just had good stuff."
Gordon admitted to a mistake when he missed Devin Mesoraco's double to left field in the third inning.
"I just read it wrong. I thought I was going to have to come get it and it kept sailing over my head," he said. "That's Arizona, and I should've known better. My first step was in, it should usually be back so I'm glad I made that mistake here."
Although Gordon is still not happy with his Arizona batting stroke, the home run looked great to manager Ned Yost.
"He really smoked that ball," Yost said. "Gordy is a guy who has a lot of expectations in his ability but I'm pretty happy with his swing."
Davis has yet to give up a run in spring
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Pitcher Wade Davis now has two starts in the book, both at Goodyear Ballpark, and he hasn't given up a run in five innings.
Davis went three innings in Sunday's 8-1 win over the Reds after going two against the Indians. He liked this one better.
"A little more efficient as far as being in the strike zone. Not falling behind as much. A cleaner line to the plate and I'm just kind of getting everything going in one direction," Davis said.
Like most pitchers, Davis has a Spring Training project going.
"I'm throwing my changeup a lot more," Davis said. "I probably threw 10 today and had a couple ground balls and they put some bad swings on 'em. So that's a good thing."
The Royals' six pitchers gave up a total of six hits and the staff ERA went down to an even 3.00, best in the Majors.
"I thought (Davis) threw the ball extremely well today," manager Ned Yost said. "(Yordano) Ventura was phenomenal, J.C. Gutierrez was very good, (Blaine) Boyer's stuff is great but sitting out most of last year, it's going to take him a while to get his release point down to a consistent spot. He's not missing by much; he's not crazy wild so I'm pleased all the way around."
Yost not worked up about perfect spring record
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Make no mistake. Royals manager Ned Yost is not going to get very worked up about a undefeated team in Arizona.
"It's just Spring Training. Nothing matters until April 1," he said before Sunday's game. "Your whole focus is to try to ramp things up, bit by bit, so that April 1 everything comes together. Is being 8-0 at this time really important? No. Is it nice? Absolutely. But it doesn't mean anything. What means something is that we're taking our steps and we're healthy doing it."
So it wasn't any more important, but a little nicer, when the Royals improved to 9-0-1 with Sunday's 8-1 victory over the Reds.
"A whole lot to like, nothing to dislike," Yost said. "We had some really good pitching, some really good hitting, some good defense. We're just playing really, really well right now."
No doubt. The Royals not only are Spring Training's only unbeaten team, they have the Major Leagues' highest team batting average at .338 and the lowest team ERA at 3.00.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.