video thumbnail

Yost, Davis on Royals' spring pitching

Wade Davis would like to forget his last start. Luckily for him, he won't have to wait as long for his next one as he did for his previous one.

The Royals right-hander lasted only four innings on Friday, as he allowed four runs on nine hits against the Phillies. It was Davis' first start of the regular season since the 2011 campaign after spending '12 in the Rays' bullpen.

"I'm just erasing that one in general," Davis said. "Get the jitters out of the way and now I'm really focused on attacking guys and getting some quicker outs and get a lot deeper into the game."

Davis' pitching line looked nearly identical to that of Twins righty Liam Hendriks, who yielded four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Orioles on Friday. The 24-year-old Australian will take the hill on Wednesday looking to improve upon his 0-1 mark and 7.24 ERA in three career starts against Kansas City.

"We expect him to give us a good opportunity to win the game," general manager Terry Ryan said. "The last outing was sketchy, but I don't think I should put any pressure on him. He's capable of giving us good outings."

The Royals are winners of three straight, and head into the finale of the three-game set bidding for a sweep.

Royals manager Ned Yost didn't use "sketchy" to refer to Davis' previous outing. The skipper did say that Davis appeared to possess better command as he pitched deeper into the contest.

"He would make two really good pitches, then it would kind of get away from him and get up in the zone a little bit," Yost said. "His stuff was good. I think he had trouble getting consistent with his release point. That happens a lot of times when it's cold; it's hard to grip the ball, it's hard to get a feeling on the ball. And his first start of the year for a new team is a little bit different."

Of course, it would ease the burden on Davis if Kansas City's offense can score 13 runs, as they did in his last outing.

"That'd be nice," Davis said. "It put us in a good position."

Twins: Escobar swinging a hot bat
• Manager Ron Gardenhire opted to employ a different double-play combination on Tuesday, and the decision to start Eduardo Escobar at shortstop paid off. Escobar went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs. The 24-year-old now has six hits in 11 at-bats this season, for a .545 average.

"I want to make sure everybody gets involved," Gardehire said. "'We'll mix it up and try to score more runs."

Royals: Errorless streak comes to an end
• Third baseman Mike Moustakas misplayed a ground ball in the fifth frame of Kansas City's win on Tuesday, ending a 64 2/3-inning errorless streak to open the season. For the first time in franchise history, the Royals commenced a season without a defensive miscue.

"It's probably the best defense I've seen on the field, one through nine," Davis said.

The Red Sox and Tigers, who have each played seven games, are the only teams in baseball without an error.

Worth noting
• Eight of the Royals' nine hitters collected at least one hit in Tuesday's 7-4 triumph against the Twins.

• Twins catcher Joe Mauer homered Tuesday for the first time since Sept. 16, 2012.

MLB.com Comments