Dodgers’ Coffey hits single in loss to Royals
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Eric Hosmer delivered a key hit during Kansas City’s rally and Lorenzo Cain launched a drive that finished Los Angeles starter Chad Billingsley.
Dodgers relief pitcher Todd Coffey, however, got the hit that drew the most attention.
Hosmer drove in four runs and Cain homered Thursday as the Royals topped the Dodgers 8-5. Hosmer had a two-run single during a four-run comeback in the seventh inning against Mike MacDougal.
Billingsley pitched shutout ball until Cain homered with two outs in the fourth. Coffey relieved at that point, and later delivered an RBI single that he said was his first hit in a long time.
“I haven’t got a hit since high school,” said the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Coffey, who lumbered down the first-base line after dropping a single into shallow right in the fourth. “I only had one then. In high school, I was 1 for 3. I don’t remember what it was. Way too long ago.”
Since getting that long-forgotten hit at Chase High in Forest City, N.C., Coffey has gone 0 for 7 in his rare trips to the plate for the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals and now the Dodgers. In 2010 while with the Brewers, Coffey sustained a fracture to between the thumb and forefinger of his left hand.
“That put me on the DL for a month,” said Coffey, who spent more time talking about his hit than he did about the three hits and one run he yielded in 1 1-3 innings. “After that, I definitely decided I’d at least learn how to swing a bat.”
Coffey, the first Dodgers pitcher with a hit this spring, came charging onto the mound after Cain sent a pitch from Billingsley rocketing over the left-field fence.
“A mistake pitch,” Billingsley said after giving up four hits. “But it was a solid day. I was working on my fastball. You’re always working on the command of your fastball. My changeup was there. They were all groundballs off my changeup.”
NOTES: Royals C Salvador Perez is scheduled for knee surgery Friday. He tore his right knee Tuesday in warmups. … Dodgers Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw left camp Thursday after a morning workout for Los Angeles, where he was to be honored Thursday night at a dinner at Club Nokia. The Los Angeles Sports Council selected Kershaw as its 2011 Sportsman of the Year. The Dodgers left-hander planned to be back at Camelback Ranch on Friday morning.