03/12/2013 8:54 PM ET
Mendoza returns to Royals following stint in Classic
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Luis Mendoza joined catcher Salvador Perez in rejoining the Royals on Tuesday after their respective teams were eliminated in the World Baseball Classic.
While Perez was playing in Puerto Rico, Mendoza didn't have far to go -- just down the road to Scottsdale for one game, and then to Chase Field in Phoenix for two games.
"I was there for the experience and the excitement of the tournament," Mendoza said.
It got very exciting at Chase Field, where Mexico fans raised the roof.
"It was almost like all of Mexico was there," Mendoza said. "Every game you saw a lot of people cheering for Mexico, and I had a lot of friends and family there. It was good."
In the game against Team USA, Mendoza faced teammate Eric Hosmer.
"I saw him in the clubhouse when we came to the stadium, we said 'Hi' and we talked about how exciting this was. But I told him, 'Changeups.'" Mendoza said.
Mendoza wasn't kidding. That's what he threw, and Hosmer rapped a ground ball right back to the mound, ending the inning.
He and his wife Monica each had their parents in town for the excitement, which also included an on-field brawl with the Canada team. Mendoza was careful.
"I just tried to stay out of trouble. I just tried to calm everybody down," he said.
Mendoza, who pitched two innings in one game, doesn't think his absence will hurt his chances to win a spot in the rotation or the bullpen.
"Not really. I missed like one week. We got eliminated early, and I can keep pitching and keep showing KC what I can do," he said.
Prospect Lamb among three spring cuts by Royals
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Three left-handed pitchers were assigned to Minor League clubs on Tuesday by the Royals.
John Lamb, ranked fifth among Royals prospects by MLB.com, was sent to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Chris Dwyer, ranked 16th, and Justin Marks went to Triple-A Omaha.
"They're all making great strides forward," manager Ned Yost said. "They've shown enough. We like the progress these kids have made, but it's time to get them built up for their season."
Lamb, 22, missed most of the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He pitched six games last year at the rookie level. In the Cactus League this year, he worked two innings and gave up five hits and one run.
"He's right on schedule," Yost said. "Generally, at the end of this year, he's going to be as strong or stronger than he was before he hurt his arm -- right back on track."
Dwyer, 24, was 3-4 with a 6.97 ERA in nine starts last year for Omaha after starting the year in Double-A. He pitched in just one Cactus League game, giving up two runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Marks, 25, spent most of last season with Northwest Arkansas, going 3-5 with a 3.80 ERA in 17 starts. In three Cactus League games, he pitched four innings and had a 2.25 ERA.
Moustakas, Escobar scratched on Tuesday
PHOENIX -- The left side of the Royals' infield was scratched from Tuesday's lineup against the Athletics.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas had a sore foot after being hit by his own foul ball in Sunday's game against the Angels. Shortstop Alcides Escobar had a slightly stiff back.
Manager Ned Yost said that during the regular season, Moustakas probably would be in the lineup.
"But we're going to give him a day to get treatment on it," Yost said. "Nothing needs to be nagging this time of year."
Likewise, Escobar is also expected to miss just one day.
Elliot Johnson replaced Escobar at shortstop, and Anthony Seratelli took over for Moustakas at third.
Royals' pitchers show well in 'B' game
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Four Royals pitchers combined for a mini-perfect game -- well, almost -- on Tuesday.
In a 4 1/2-inning "B" game, which the Royals won, 3-1, over the Rangers, Blaine Boyer, Francisley Bueno, Michael Mariot and Brian Sanches each retired three straight batters. But wait, each team was permitted an extra batter in the third inning, and the Rangers' Julio Borbon used the opportunity to belt a homer against Mariot.
The Royals scored two runs on four hits against Rangers starter Matt Harrison. Non-roster outfielders Willy Taveras and Endy Chavez each had a double for the Royals.
Shields fine after experiencing stinger in fifth
PHOENIX -- There was only momentary concern after Royals starting pitcher James Shields felt a twinge in his neck while lunging for a bouncing single by the Athletics' Derek Norris in the fifth inning on Tuesday.
"I had one of those stingers -- I guess it's a football thing. That's what they were saying in the dugout," Shields said. "I kind of jumped this way [to his right] a little bit and it gave me a little stinger, but it went away right away."
He stayed in the game for one more hitter -- Eric Sogard doubled for the sixth hit against Shields -- driving in the fourth run. He went 4 2/3 innings in his third start.
"The first three innings felt really good, the direction to the plate was really good. I was putting the ball where I wanted to, and then in the fourth inning, I got a little bit tired there at the end and tried to do too much," Shields said. "I overthrew a couple of pitches and left the ball up. Those are things that obviously can't happen during the season but, for the most part, I felt good health-wise and I got my pitches in."
Shields came out before the fifth inning ended when his pitch count reached 59, one shy of his allotment for the afternoon.
"I had 50 pitches after four and they wanted me to go about 10 more," Shields said. "I felt really good. It was nice to ramp it up a little bit, get a little tired at the end, get the pitch count and get into shape."
Shields was tagged with the loss as the A's went on to a 6-3 victory.
"The first three innings he was really sharp," manager Ned Yost said. "He started laboring and started getting pitches up in the fourth -- the same thing in the fifth -- but the positive is he got to 59 pitches and got his work in. That develops arm strength so he can continue in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh innings like he did today."
Dyson, Royals defense continue stellar play
PHOENIX -- Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson made the defensive play of the game on Tuesday when he banged into the wall to take extra bases away from the Athletics' John Jaso in the eighth inning.
"Dice made a great play. That's what he does," manager Ned Yost said. "He can roam the outfield with a lot of range, and can get to balls that most center fielders can't get to."
The Royals also pulled off a fine relay play -- right fielder Jeff Francoeur, to second baseman Johnny Giavotella, to third baseman Anthony Seratelli, to catch Eric Sogard trying for a triple in the fifth inning.
"Defensively, we continue to play very well," Yost said. "Our relays have been spectacular. That's always something you try to iron out in Spring Training but, man, we can run a relay with the best of 'em."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.