Lough, Coleman stand out in intrasquad tilt
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There was a bit more Spring Training tradition in the second intrasquad game played by the Royals on a damp Wednesday afternoon. The pitchers were ahead of the hitters.
"I think maybe the cold had something to do with it," outfielder David Lough said.
The game ended in a breezy 45 degrees at George Brett Field with Lough's home run giving Team USA a five-inning, 1-0 victory over the World team. The teams combined for 10 runs in a 6 1/2-inning 5-5 tie on Tuesday.
Lough, a left-handed hitter, put a high drive over the right-field fence to lead off the fifth inning against left-hander Ryan Verdugo.
"It was a 1-1 count and he threw me something offspeed the pitch before and I was just gearing up for the fastball. I thought he was going to bring it right inside and I got a good swing on it and I ended up putting it out," Lough said.
There were a total of eight hits in the game, including doubles by Alex Gordon and Minor Leaguer Sharlon Schoop. Gordon's double came off Luke Hochevar; he was then caught off base and Hochevar retired Johnny Giavotella and Billy Butler.
"It was a good day. The pitching was pretty good and Hoch looked really good," said manager Ned Yost, back at the helm after undergoing gall bladder surgery less than 24 hours earlier.
Ten pitchers worked one inning each, with Aaron Crow and Louis Coleman each pitching perfectly. Coleman got three ground-ball outs.
"Coleman looked really good. He made short work of three hitters. Louis has looked sharp from the minute he got here," Yost said.
The Royals will open Cactus League play on Friday against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Two left-handers are set to be the starting pitchers -- the Royals' Will Smith and the Rangers' Derek Holland.
Yost didn't use any of his front four starters in the intraquad games because they're not going to pitch in any of the first four games. Wade Davis is likely to be the first of the four to start, next Tuesday against Cleveland. James Shields, Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie will start in later games.
"They're not pitching until the fifth or sixth game of Spring Training, so we didn't want them to have 'em throw an inning and have 'em sit for five or six days," Yost said. "They'll do a live BP before they go out, which is just about the same thing."