Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez, right, slides in safely to home as Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Aaron Harang, left, waits for the throw from catcher Tim Federowicz after Harang threw a wild pitch during the first inning in an exhibition spring training baseball game Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 8:19 pm
Moustakas, Royals defeat Dodgers 7-2
The Associated Press
Moustakas went 3 for 3 and homered for the second consecutive day to help Kansas City beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-2 on Wednesday.
The Royals lead the Cactus League with an 18-6 record.
"I'm just seeing the ball good right now," Moustakas said. "It's still spring. It still doesn't count too much, but right now we're playing good baseball altogether. That's the important thing we take from this. Right now we're playing as a team and everything is kind of meshing together as one."
Moustakas connected for his team-high fourth home run in the fifth inning off reliever Matt Guerrier.
"Moose is swinging the bat really well right now," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Lorenzo Cain and Johnny Giavotella added solo home runs for Kansas City.
"I just try to hit line drives all over the field and if it goes out, hey, good for me," said Cain, limited to 61 games last season because of injuries. "My only goal is staying healthy and being out on the field and let my game on the field take care of itself."
Royals right-hander Wade Davis, who skipped a spring training start with shoulder inflammation, allowed one run in four-plus innings. He gave up only two hits but walked four and threw just 36 strikes in 64 pitches.
Davis was lifted after a single and two walks in the fifth. Luis Coleman, however, got Skip Schumaker to ground into a double play and struck out Mark Ellis.
"I thought it was OK," Davis said. "I got a little away from the attack mode there towards the end and lost a little bit of a feel for the strike zone. The fatigue actually wasn't bad at all. I just lost a little bit of feel towards the end and the release point got a little bit off, but that will be something we can correct pretty quickly."
Davis said his shoulder "felt great."
Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig, a Cuban defector who went 4 for 4 on Tuesday, was 2 for 2 with a sacrifice fly to raise his batting average to a Cactus League-leading .521.
"Again, we just keep building up expectations," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "If he doesn't hit .500 now, he's terrible. Again, he's facing a good big league pitcher today in Wade Davis and he continues to look good.
"He's still a wild horse out there. He plays fast and he plays hard. He's going to make some mistakes right now. He continues to learn all the time. That's really what you want to see. You don't mind mistakes as long as the guy is continually not making the same ones."
Kansas City took advantage of two Dodgers errors and Aaron Harang's wild pitch to score three runs in the first. Harang gave up four runs, two earned, and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings. He walked none, struck out four and has an 8.10 ERA in four spring starts.
"I thought he was pretty good," Mattingly said.
NOTES: Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke, who had not pitched since March 2 because of a tender elbow, threw 43 pitches in four scoreless innings against a White Sox minor league team. Greinke is scheduled to start Monday against Kansas City. ... The Dodgers will play the Chicago Cubs in a benefit game Thursday in Tucson. ... Dodgers RHP Chad Billingsley, who has been hampered by a bruised index finger, threw a bullpen session and will pitch Saturday, likely in a minor league game. ... Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who has the best ERA in the majors the past two seasons, will start Friday against the Reds in Glendale. ... The Royals are off Thursday, but LHP Bruce Chen will start in a minor league game.