SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After their game against the Rockies on Friday night was rained out, the Royals delayed piling on the bus and gathered around a clubhouse TV.
Drama was building in the USA-Mexico game in the World Baseball Classic not far away at Chase Field in Phoenix. In the fourth inning, the USA had two on with one out when Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza was summoned to replace Mexico starter Yovani Gallardo.
Mendoza caught Joe Mauer looking at strike three but then gave up an RBI single to David Wright, reducing Mexico's lead to 4-1.
Now came the moment the Royals were anticipating. Their first baseman, Eric Hosmer, came to the plate for Team USA against his teammate, Mendoza. And Mendoza came out on top as Hosmer drilled a grounder back to the pitcher and was thrown out to end the inning.
Mendoza pitched two scoreless innings, giving up three hits in Mexico's eventual 5-2 victory. Hosmer finished 1-for-4, delivering an RBI single in the eighth. Royals left-hander Tim Collins also made an appearance for Team USA, allowing a hit and a walk with a strikeout in his one-third of an inning.
Yost pleased at least some pitchers able to work
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Not much of a day-night, split-squad doubleheader for the Royals on Friday. But at least manager Ned Yost saw a silver lining in the rain.
"It could've been a lot worse," Yost said. "It was going to be 100 percent rain from the minute we got up but we got some innings in. We would've had a big backload [of pitchers]. If we didn't get these innings in today, [Saturday] would've been a mess. We're going to be OK."
The afternoon game against the Indians was called during the top of the third inning with the Royals ahead, 3-2, at Surprise Stadium. The night game against the Rockies was called after four complete innings with the Royals trailing, 3-1, at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
"Our priority was [Jeremy] Guthrie and [Aaron] Crow tonight," Yost said after the second rainout. "We wanted to get those guys in and, luckily, we did. Both of those guys got their work in. We wanted to get Crow two innings but he got his work in. The only other guys who were a priority were [Greg] Holland and [J.C.] Gutierrez and they can throw [Saturday]."
Guthrie started against the Rockies and threw three innings, giving up all three runs. Two runs came in the third after the Rockies loaded the bases with no outs. Guthrie threw 52 pitches, 28 for strikes.
"It was all right. It needs to be better. The walk and the hit by pitch weren't good but it was pretty much the two hitters -- the same guy [Eric Young Jr.] -- I fell behind," Guthrie said.
It was the second spring start for Guthrie, who was working in a 48-degree temperature on a wet field.
"I look at the pitches and today they felt much crisper than last time," Guthrie said.
"He's refining his command, he's tweaking his mechanics, he's doing what you want him to do in Spring Training -- polish it," Yost said. "He's more about getting his work in and working on things than he is looking for results right now."
Crow worked a perfect fourth inning with one strikeout, and he ignored the unseasonably cold and damp weather.
"It happens during the season. You have to pitch in weather worse than that maybe, so it's good to get used to it now," Crow said.
Since giving up a home run on the first pitch he threw this spring, Crow has been untouched.
"Even that first pitch I threw for a home run, I threw it where I wanted to and tried to get ahead but I realized you can't take anything for granted, even in Spring Training," Crow said. "So I've been working on stuff, locating my fastball pretty well and I'm happy with everything so far."
Davis scratched with shoulder soreness
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The first glitch in the Royals' rosy pitching plans surfaced Friday when right-hander Wade Davis was scratched from a start because of a sore shoulder.
Davis was pulled from his scheduled start against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday afternoon in Scottsdale.
"He's been experiencing a little shoulder soreness. ... It's slight right now, and we want to keep it that way," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Yost revealed Davis' problem after the Royals' game against the Indians was called off Friday in the third inning because of rain.
Davis almost certainly will make his next start on schedule in the next five or six days, Yost said.
"He still has a little inflammation," Yost said. "It started out with some tightness and inflammation in his shoulder and it progressively got better and better. We threw him on the side two days ago to gauge whether he could still make his start and he still felt it a little bit. And it didn't make any sense to go ahead and push through that."
In his previous two outings, Davis had not given up a run in five innings and was credited with victories in both games. He had surrendered three hits with three strikeouts and no walks (he hit one batter).
Davis came to the Royals along with James Shields in the major trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that cost the Royals four top prospects, including prized outfielder Wil Myers and pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
His sore shoulder marks the first setback for the Royals' rotation, which is to include Davis, Shields, Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie and probably either Bruce Chen or Luke Hochevar.
Falu contributes to Puerto Rico's victory at Classic
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Royals second baseman Irving Falu played a role in Puerto Rico's 3-0 victory over Spain on Friday in the World Baseball Classic at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Falu's sacrifice bunt in a three-run first inning set up ex-Royal Carlos Beltran's RBI double. Another ex-Royal, Mike Aviles, hit a sacrifice fly in the inning. Later in the game, Falu banged a double and was 1-for-3.
Two of the Royals' pitchers had some difficulty pitching for the Dominican Republic on Thursday night but it turned out all right because their team beat Venezuela, 9-3.
Right-hander Kelvin Herrera relieved in the third inning and retired Miguel Cabrera on a fly ball but gave up an RBI double to Pablo Sandoval and a single to Carlos Gonzalez. That brought Royals teammate Atahualpa Severino, a left-hander, out of the bullpen and he retired Miguel Montero to end the inning.
In the fourth, however, Severino gave up a double to Martin Prado, got another out but a wild pitch allowed Prado to cross the plate. When Marco Scutaro doubled, Severino was taken out. He gave up two hits and a run in two-thirds of an inning; Herrera gave up two hits, no runs in one-third of an inning.
Royals infielder Miguel Tejada did not play for the Dominican. Catcher Salvador Perez is on the Venezuela roster but did not play.
Outfielder Paulo Orlando, a Royals Minor Leaguer, played for Brazil, which was eliminated in three games in Japan. Orlando was 2-for-12 (.167) with a stolen base.
Arguelles among four players cut from Royals camp
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Royals made their first four cuts of training camp after Friday afternoon's rainout.
Pitcher Noel Arguelles, who started the game against the Indians, was optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Arguelles gave up a solo home run in his two-inning stint before the game ended in the third. Previously he appeared in two games and gave up three runs on six hits in three innings.
Three players were sent to the Minor League camp -- pitchers Sugar Ray Marimon and Ryan Verdugo and catcher Julio Rodriguez.
Marimon pitched three innings in three games and gave up one run. Verdugo, in two games and 1 2/3 innings, was tagged for three runs on four hits. He also gave up a run just before Friday's game was rained out. Rodriguez was hitless in two at-bats.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.