The bad part of the Royals split squad appearing at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Thursday was Mike Moustakas was absent. The good side was that both Eric Hosmer and catching phenom Wil Myers were in attendance, and Myers played the entire game as DH.
The young catcher did have his work cut out for him, facing Oakland ace Brett Anderson, who toyed with the prospect for after fouling the first pitch, the lefties’ next three were all around the plate, and balls. To his credit Myers too all three, but then a called strike and an off-speed pitch sucker a swing and Myers was gone.
Oakland actually got to KC pitcher Will Smith hard and fast in the first with Coco Crisp leading off with a walk, and Kurt Suzuki followed with a line shot homer to left. Two quick outs ensued, but Kevin Kouzmanoff drew a two-out pass, Andy LaRoche--who had two hits and a walk and has been red hot this spring--doubled, and Matt Carson finished the damage with another two-bagger to deep center. Oakland 4-0, Kansas City zip.
In the fourth, Myers again faced Anderson, and grounded slowly to third, but Kouzmanoff, playing in with runners on second and third, muffed the play and Myers collected an RBI. That was it, though offensively for Myers, who whiffed looking--once to Andrew Bailey who struck out two in a three up/three down sixth--and again in the eighth.
The Royals did pull a pair of runs that innings, Wilson Betemit scoring on a wild pitch, and Mitch Maier on Kouzmanoff's miscue, bringing the tally to 4-2. In the fifth, Chris Getz got his second hit of the day, a triple down the line, scoring then on Billy Butler's ground out, moving the Royals closer at 4-3.
Joey Devine, pitching in the seventh for Oakland started wild, hitting catcher Salvador Perez, then walking shortstop Jeff Bianchi. Gregor Blanco then sacrificed, and Jeff Mertens, pinch hitting for Getz, sent a sacrifice fly to center tying the game. And, that is where the score ended.
Eric Hosmer did come in to spell Butler, drawing a walk from Devine, but that proved his only plate appearance.
For the Athletics, Jemille Weeks spelled LaRoche the final two innings, and earned a leadoff single in the ninth, moved to second on a failed hit-and-run from Michael Taylor, advanced to third on a passed ball by Luis Mendoza, but died there as Grant Green bounced back to the pitcher to end the game.