3/7/2013 8:33 P.M. ET
Players ready to bounce back following end of streak
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When the Royals winning streak ended, it ended with a resounding thumping, 12-2, by the Mariners on Thursday.
Since beginning the Cactus League season with a 5-5 tie against the Rangers, the Royals had reeled off 11 straight victories.
"I think we're going to bounce back just fine," second baseman Chris Getz said. "That was a tough one right there. It was a long game. They pitched well. They brought some good guys and those bullpen guys were pretty impressive. They've got some good arms and they came up with some big hits with guys on base."
Three home runs sent the Royals' reeling and the team ERA, a Spring Training best at 2.75 prior to the game, shot up to 3.46, but still ranked first. With seven hits, the team batting average slipped from .342 to .332, but also remained first among all Major League clubs.
But the unbeaten status was just a memory.
"Ah, it's Spring Training, man," third baseman Mike Moustakas told reporters. "That's what you guys are here for is to do that kind of stuff. We're here, we just go out and play. Right now, if we win or we lose, we're just out there trying to get better, trying to work for the season."
Moustakas, who went into Thursday's game leading the Majors with a .520 average, went 0-for-2 and fell to .481.
First base to be revolving door while Hosmer's away
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With first baseman Eric Hosmer off to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, the Royals will be able to give Billy Butler more work at that position and test other guys over there as well.
Manager Ned Yost started Elliot Johnson at first base and also used Xavier Nady there on Thursday, and he said that Anthony Seratelli and Brandon Wood also would see time at first. But not Alex Gordon, who has played some first base in the past; he'll remain in left field, Yost said.
Johnson, a middle infielder, played left field in Wednesday's game. Yost is also going to try second basemen Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella in the outfield.
"We just want to see guys to have an idea," Yost said. "Versatility is important. We had a time or two last year where late in the game we could've used them in those situations. So we thought we'd be better prepared by giving them some playing time out there."
Getz played some outfield in the Minor Leagues with the White Sox.
"It was great," Getz said. "I loved being out in the pasture."
Santana, Joseph impressive on mound in loss
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Although the Royals' winning streak ended, manager Ned Yost found glimpses of pitching light in Thursday's 12-2 loss to the Mariners.
"I thought the two positives for the day were Ervin Santana and Donnie Joseph. I thought both of those guys were extremely sharp. I'm not sure that Donnie hasn't faced a lefty yet that he hasn't struck out," Yost said.
Santana, in his second start, went three innings and gave up one run on three hits. He struck out four with no walks, throwing 42 pitches (30 strikes).
"Ervin's stuff was great. His fastball was between 92 and 94 [mph], he commanded his pitches very well, he had a very nice slider today," Yost said. "He kept his pitch count down and we actually thought about sending him out for another inning, but once he got past the 40-pitch mark, we decided to keep it at three. I thought he threw the ball extremely well."
Joseph, a left-hander, has not permitted a run in four innings and has piled up nine strikeouts with no walks. He's given up just one hit, putting himself in good position in his bid to win a bullpen job.
Eaton says contact with Moustakas unintended
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The D-backs' Adam Eaton said that the baseline contact that left the Royals' Mike Moustakas with a cut lip requiring two stitches in Wednesday's game was unintentional.
"I'm a guy trying to find my limitations on the bases and I saw something I thought I could take advantage of and it didn't work out. That's basically where it ends," Eaton said on Thursday. "It seemed like he was distracted, it was right after a strikeout, I thought [James] Shields was distracted, I mean that's how you find out what you can and can't do basically."
Eaton was trying to catch the Royals off guard and steal third base in the first inning, but Moustakas, the third baseman, alerted Shields and the pitcher threw out Eaton. He collided with Moustakas, whose upper lip was cut by Eaton's forearm as he made the tag. He was treated and stayed in the game. Afterward, other than saying Eaton had "no feel for the game," an obviously angry Moustakas wouldn't comment.
"We just kind of got a little tangled up and I guess he took offense to it. You take it your own way and I guess that's just how it crumbled," Eaton said. "There's not too many baseball games that you go through where there's not going to be some chirping, it's going to happen. ... For sure, any guy that steals bases and tries to get an advantage and max out their effort is going to sometimes rub people the wrong way. I just take it with a grain of salt and learn from it."
Moustakas had nothing more to say about it.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.