03/06/2013 8:23 PM ET
Shields throws three scoreless vs. D-backs
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- James Shields cranked it up to three innings for the Royals, and it was three shutout innings in an 8-1 victory over the Diamondbacks.
Shields gave up three hits as he upped his workout from one inning in his first start. He threw 38 pitches, including 24 strikes.
"Obviously, the results are good, but I felt I was a little inconsistent at times. But I guess that's what Spring Training is all about," Shields said. "But it's nice to ramp a little bit in the pitch count. It felt real good, though."
Shields got credit for the victory, the unbeaten Royals' 11th straight.
"It's important to a certain extent. Winning is contagious and it makes you feel good as a player and it makes you feel good as a team to know you're playing some good baseball," Shields said. "But we're here to get ready and the thing of it is, we're playing all our Spring Training guys, it's not just our main lineup, so it seems like we've got a pretty good group of guys so far this spring and it's been fun."
During his days with Tampa Bay, Shields saw no direct correlation between Spring Training records and the real season.
"There's been some Spring Trainings when we were dead last and ended up making the playoffs and I think there's been Spring Trainings where we led the Grapefruit League in record and we ended up going to playoffs as well," he said. "We really don't put that much emphasis on Spring Training [records]. Obviously it's great to win, winning is contagious, but right now our main focus is to get ready for the season. That's when the wins really count."
Left-hander Will Smith, who followed Shields, had another good outing -- two scoreless innings with no hits, one walk and two strikeouts.
"Well, today my fastball command wasn't the best and I let my defense work for me today. We got a double play and it worked out," Smith said.
Smith is trying to win a job as the fifth starter or a long reliever.
"You always want to pitch well, whether you have a spot or don't have a spot, so my attitude is just to come in here every day and work hard and whatever happens, happens," Smith said.
His ERA is 1.29 in three games with eight strikeouts in seven innings.
"So far," he conceded with a smile, "it's been in my favor."
Gordon remains hot with slam vs. D-backs
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Even after hitting a grand slam, a double and a single in four at-bats against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Royals left fielder Alex Gordon still isn't satisfied.
"It's still early and just because you get results, it doesn't mean it's where you want it to be," Gordon said. "I mean, the results are great and that's good and it gets your confidence going, but I still have stuff to work on."
Gordon is hitting .524 (11-for-21) in the Cactus League.
"I feel healthy and that's the most important thing. I'm getting at-bats so that's good and it's in game-like situations, game-like atmosphere so that's good," Gordon said.
The home run came off left-hander Patrick Corbin in an 8-1 victory.
"It was 3-and-1, and I knew he was going to throw the fastball, he wasn't going to walk me with the bases loaded, so I just tried to stay simple, tried to stay up the middle the other way," Gordon said. "I got out in front a little bit and drove it."
The ball soared over the center-field wall, carrying at least 420 feet.
Heads-up play leaves Moustakas with cut lip
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was not happy about a baseline collision that gave him a cut upper lip.
The incident came in the first inning on Wednesday. D-backs rookie Adam Eaton led off with a bunt and got to second on pitcher James Shields' wild throw past first base.
With one out and Mark Teahen at the plate, Eaton took off from second base.
"It was one of those things where he didn't think I was paying attention," Shields said. "Moustakas was right on top of it, he yelled, 'Step off,' and we made the play."
Shields threw to Moustakas, who tagged Eaton as they banged into each other. Moustakas went to the dugout to get his cut lip treated by trainer Nick Kenney but stayed in the game.
"Just a guy not knowing the game, that's all it is," Moustakas said later. "Just doesn't have a feel for the game, that's it. That's all I've got to say."
For a moment, it looked as if sparks might fly before Eaton trotted off the field.
"He tried to catch everybody with their head down but, of course, we didn't have our head down," manager Ned Yost said. "Shields threw it to Moose and [Eaton] just kind of forearmed him in the lip and cut his lip a little bit."
"He got a little bloody out there, but that's baseball," Shields said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.