3/2/2014 6:15 P.M. ET
Davis, Ventura deliver scoreless innings vs. Cubs
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
MESA, Ariz. -- Two of the Royals' aspirants for the fifth job in the starting rotation, right-handers Wade Davis and Yordano Ventura, got off to good starts in the Cactus League.
Each threw two scoreless, one-hit innings in a 5-3 win over the Cubs on Sunday with a record Cactus League crowd of 14,680 at new Cubs Park.
"I was impressed by Wade Davis. I thought his stuff was really crisp. His breaking ball had great depth to it, really good changeup with a lot of life," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Ventura looked great, so I'm pleased with the pitching end of it, too."
Davis, who struck out three, was especially happy with his second inning despite a looping double by Welington Castillo.
"I just got behind the ball better, I threw a couple of better changeups, and even the hit was a changeup to the righty. It was a good pitch and broke his bat," Davis said. "I'm happy about all that."
John Lamb gave up one run and Jon Rauch two runs, but the next three pitchers, Francisley Bueno, P.J. Walters and Michael Mariot, each threw a scoreless inning to sew up the victory.
Royals eager to see patient approach from Dyson
MESA, Ariz. -- Last season the Royals drew the third-fewest walks in the American League -- 422, or 167 fewer than the Rays' leading 589. That's one reason why manager Ned Yost liked seeing leadoff batter Jarrod Dyson work two walks against the Padres on Saturday.
"We want to see more walks out of guys, we think that's important. Especially for Dice ... the two walks just created so much havoc," Yost said. "Once he got on base, it opened up innings for us, because now the pitcher is so concerned with him at first base, they go to throwing six, seven, eight consecutive balls because their focus is turned elsewhere, and that's what Dyson does."
The swift Dyson didn't steal any bases, but he did score both times in a 7-3 win over the Padres.
Dyson pulled off 34 of the Royals' Major League-leading 153 stolen bases last season, and his speed is considered a formidable weapon for the Royals, even in a part-time role.
"He's evolving as a player that's starting to understand his skill set. He's got a skill set that very few people have," Yost said.
Moustakas' second homer impresses Yost
MESA, Ariz. -- Mike Moustakas belted two home runs to right-center field in Sunday's 5-3 win over the Cubs, but it was his second blast that really impressed manager Ned Yost.
"That second home run was as good an at-bat as you could have. I mean, you could not have a better at-bat," Yost said. "Spitting on a two-ball changeup that was just outside the zone to make it three balls and then another changeup to make it 3-2. And to finally get a fastball and to drive it out of the park. Those were at-bats where last year he probably swung at the two-ball changeup and got himself out. So it was a phenomenal at-bat there for him."
That two-run homer came off Carlos Villanueva. His solo smash was off starter Edwin Jackson. Both are right-handers. Moustakas is now 5-for-9, .556, with six RBIs in four games.
Eric Hosmer went 3-for-3 and is 5-for-11 so far. All three of the left-handed Hosmer's hits, two doubles and a single, were to left field.
"You're not worried about results now, obviously, but it's good to get a couple of hits. For me, good contact is all we're looking for right now," Hosmer said.
Yost shuffles around position players
MESA, Ariz. -- Spring Training is a time for finding answers, and that's what Royals manager Ned Yost had in mind on Sunday when he played right fielder Norichika Aoki in center and third baseman Danny Valencia at second.
"We're trying to just see what Aoki looks like out there, just like we want to see Valencia at second. We'll move those guys around," Yost said.
Lorenzo Cain, the usual center fielder, moved over to right field, and Yost indicated that backups Jarrod Dyson and Justin Maxwell will be used at the various outfield spots later.
Valencia was playing in place of sore-shouldered Omar Infante and Pedro Ciriaco was at shortstop for Alcides Escobar, who is on paternity leave.
As it turned out, Aoki handled two flyouts in center and Valencia took care of all three chances he had, including being the middle man in a double play.
There's the possibility that the Royals might break camp without a true middle infielder as a backup, although guys like Ciriaco, Christian Colon, Johnny Giavotella and Jason Donald are hoping that's not the case.
Regular third baseman Mike Moustakas has been taking ground balls at second base.
"Moose can do a lot of things. He can catch -- he was a high school catcher -- he can play third and he's OK at second. He turns two all right," Yost said.
"Just in case something happens, you're always sitting back and thinking, 'OK, what can we do?' Infante can play short, Moose can go to second, Valencia can go to third or Valencia can play second and we can leave Moose at third. This is where you do all of your experimenting, down here now."
There's also the possibility of playing first baseman Eric Hosmer in right field, where he's appeared previously in Interleague games.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.