PEORIA, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer spent his first 10 professional seasons suiting up for the Royals' organization. On Friday, he suited up against his former club for the first time.Hosmer received a nice ovation -- from Padres and Royals fans alike -- before each of his four at-bats in the
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer spent his first 10 professional seasons suiting up for the Royals' organization. On Friday, he suited up against his former club for the first time.
Hosmer received a nice ovation -- from Padres and Royals fans alike -- before each of his four at-bats in the Padres' 13-5 Cactus League victory over Kansas City. He went hitless in his first three, before smashing a sixth-inning double down the right-field line. He would exit for a pinch-runner, finishing his day 1-for-4 with an RBI groundout.
"I'm not used to seeing that Royal blue on the other side," Hosmer said. "It was weird."
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Hosmer, who helped lead Kansas City to two American League pennants and the 2015 World Series title, inked a franchise-record eight-year deal with San Diego last month. The Royals were the only other team reported to be strongly pursuing Hosmer's services.
Kansas City selected Hosmer with the third overall pick in the 2008 Draft, and he made his big league debut three seasons later. Hosmer batted .284/.342/.439, winning four Gold Glove Awards and a Silver Slugger Award in parts of seven seasons with the Royals.
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Hosmer was particularly chatty at first base on Friday, as former teammate after former teammate came through.
"Those guys, they're family," Hosmer said. "It goes way past baseball. These are the guys we all grew up together with. Really, we went from 18-year-old kids to grown men. We all went through that maturation together."
Hosmer's first at-bat was particularly special. Royals starter Danny Duffy played alongside Hosmer at just about every level. They both debuted in May 2011. Hosmer called Duffy his favorite teammate in an #AskThePadres Twitter Q&A last month.
The two hadn't faced each other since playing instructional ball together a decade ago. Duffy recalled that Hosmer took him deep, "about 500 feet over the center-field batter's eye."
This time Duffy got the better of that matchup. He came after Hosmer with three straight fastballs and got him to pop weakly to shortstop.
"If you know Duffy's personality a little bit, you know he's going to challenge you," Hosmer said. "It was just fun to see these guys."
Hosmer, who batted .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers in 2017, is 3-for-10 this spring. Is he finally starting to feel like a Padre?
"I am," Hosmer said with a grin. "It's been a couple weeks now. I've gotten acclimated with everybody in the building, all my teammates and the coaching staff. Everything has gone as smooth as it could go."
AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.