Royals 7, Giants 4
The defending champion San Francisco Giants head back to the Bay
Area with some uncertainty in their roster.
Jonathan Sanchez and a Giants’ team made of mostly minor
leaguers lost to the Kansas City Royals 7-4 Sunday.
Manager Bruce Bochy, though, was thinking about opening day.
”We’ve not finalized the team, yet,” Bochy said. ”We’ll go to
San Francisco and play a couple of games there. That’s how close it
With injuries to closer Brian Wilson and outfielder Cody Ross
leaves two big holes in the lineup.
Ross’ injury – a torn calf that will keep him out three weeks –
could open up a spot for first baseman Brandon Belt, who hit .352
with 23 home runs and 112 RBIs last year in three minor league
stops in his first professional season. He is hitting .292 with
three home runs, five doubles and 13 RBIs in 26 spring training
games, but played only 13 games above Double-A last year.
”I like what I see from him on both sides of the ball,” Bochy
said. ”He’s done a great job at first. He’s gives you quality
at-bats, good balance up there, good discipline at the plate. You
can see why this kid had a good year last year.
He said the injury to Ross ”does make it easier maybe a little
bit” more to keep Belt.
”We lost a pretty good bat in Cody Ross,” Bochy said. ”That
will come into play when we do make our decisions. It gives us
another left-handed bat in the lineup if he’s on the club. We do
have some other options.”
Wilson, out with a strained side muscle, played catch for the
second straight day. Bochy said Wilson would remain in Arizona,
where the weather is better and the Giants can control how they use
him on the mound better in extended spring minor league games.
”Depending on Wilson, we’re still looking at the last spot,
maybe two in the bullpen,” Bochy said.
Sanchez, who will be the Giants No. 2 starter behind Tim
Lincecum, gave up five runs – four earned – on six hits and a walk,
while striking out four. One hit was a three-run homer to Wilson
Betemit in the fourth.
”I made one bad pitch, the home run, that was it,” Sanchez
said. ”Everything else was good. I was down in the zone. My
breaking pitch was good. The split was working.”
Royals left-hander Jeff Francis yielded one run on six hits in
five innings, while striking out six and walking none.
”Francis threw the ball really, really good,” Royals manager
Ned Yost said. ”He kept the ball down, changed speeds, commanded
the baseball. He’s ready to go.”
Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer off Giants reliever Ramon
Ramirez in the eighth. Gordon is hitting .365 with five home runs
and 22 RBIs.
”He’s been as good as we hoped he could be this spring,” Yost
said. ”He’s been very impressive, very encouraging and (I’m)
excited to see what he can do during the year”
NOTES: Royals CF Melky Cabrera had two doubles and raised his
Catcus League-leading average to .474. The Royals made two roster
moves, optioning OF Lorenzo Cain to Triple-A Omaha and returning
Rule 5 draft pick LHP Robert Fish to the Los Angeles Angels.