The Royals put on a Cactus League power display with five home runs against the Mariners on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium. They won 14-9 and remained unbeaten so far this spring.
An ugly first inning did not cause the Royals to shy from the Mariners, who sent a split squad here.
The Royals sent nine men to the plate in back-to-back innings. Jorge Soler, Ryan O’Hearn and Salvador Perez all clubbed at least one homer during that span.
Soler, who didn’t even log a hit in his first two starts, crushed two bombs to left field. One of them traveled about 488 feet, according to the tracking system.
“I just hadn’t seen live pitching in a long time,” Soler said in Spanish. “So you kind of don’t have that timing. But once you start seeing more pitches you start warming up.”
Through the first three innings, the Royals recorded 14 base hits and scored 12 times. Center fielder Paulo Orlando contributed two of the hits, improving his spring hitting line to 5 for 7.
Perez went 3 for 3.
Wily Peralta’s debut for the Royals was rough. He balked, allowed four earned runs and gave up a first-pitch home run. In 41 pitches, he issued a walk and allowed four hits.
“Just a little flat,” manager Ned Yost said. “There weren’t a lot of swings and misses. Chalk that up as a first outing.”
In one instance, a line drive to left field banged into the padding above the fence, a spot left fielder Soler ran past as he tracked the hit. Soler doubled back and fired a throw to Adalberto Mondesi. Two runs scored on the play.
Peralta also fell victim to errors. Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert dropped a ground ball and couldn’t throw to first base quickly enough to beat the runner, and shortstop Mondesi did not properly field a chopper up the middle. Both mistakes resulted in unearned runs.
But the Royals bats’ promptly took Peralta, who signed with the Royals in December and is on the 40-man roster, off the hook.
“They’re down six after the first inning and just keeping in the game, staying after it, continuing to grind it out and getting back in the lead there with some great at-bats,” Yost said. “A lot of slug in there today.”
A look in the bullpen
In his first outing of the spring, Kelvin Herrera issued two walks, one of them to start the second inning. But when a line drive deflected off Herrera’s glove, second baseman Whit Merrifield was in the right place to catch it and flip the ball with his glove to Mondesi, who bare-handed it to turn an inning-ending double play.
Right-hander Kevin McCarthy, who pitched 45 innings in relief for the Royals in 2017, strung together a pair of scoreless innings in his second Cactus League appearance. McCarthy allowed a leadoff single but got two ground balls and a strikeout to end the threat in the third.
Eric Stout, a left-hander who spent 2017 at Class AAA Omaha, breezed through the fifth thanks to an inning-ending double play that erased a leadoff single. He struck out two in his two-inning appearance. But not before he lost an 0-2 count to Gordon Beckham, who waited out two balls, then yanked a pitch onto the concourse in left field for a solo homer.
Gone for extras
The Royals registered 10 extra-base hits in the first six innings.
Merrifield doubled and tripled in consecutive innings. Over three games, he’s 5 for 8 with two doubles, a triple and a home run.
All the starters but Cuthbert knocked out a base hit.
The Royals (3-0-1) host the Cincinnati Reds at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Surprise.
The Royals’ Jorge Soler received congratulations after hitting a two-run home run in the second inning of Tuesday’s game against the Mariners in Surprise, Ariz. John Sleezer email@example.com