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Moustakas makes return to KC lineup

Moose drives in two in first game since re-signing; Karns pitches four scoreless innings; Perez homers twice
Special to MLB.com

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mike Moustakas was back in the Kansas City Royals' lineup for the first time since re-signing with the club last Saturday.

Moustakas went 1-for-4 with a two-run, two-out single in the fifth inning of a 12-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday.

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mike Moustakas was back in the Kansas City Royals' lineup for the first time since re-signing with the club last Saturday.

Moustakas went 1-for-4 with a two-run, two-out single in the fifth inning of a 12-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday.

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"It felt good," Moustakas said. "Obviously, I'm trying to get my timing back." He said he needs 25 to 30 at-bats before the season starts and it is more about getting his legs ready.

"Spring Training is definitely long," Moustakas said.

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Moustakas chatted with former teammate Eric Hosmer at first base after his single and the two hugged before the game.

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"He's one of my best friends," Moustakas said. "I love him to death. It's just weird seeing him in that uniform."

Moustakas is scheduled to play a few innings at third base on Saturday.

"I just need for him to get his at-bats," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The more at-bats he gets, the more pitches he sees, his timing comes together and that's all you are looking to do -- get his rhythm and timing at the plate on fastballs, on secondary pitches, just seeing the ball."

Karns' solid outing

Royals starter Nathan Karns pitched four scoreless innings, allowing two hits, walking two and striking out four.

"I threw a little more [pitches] than I would have liked in four innings," Karns said. "But to go out there and compete and walk away with zeroes is pretty good."

Karns worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the second by striking out Austin Hedges and retiring A.J. Ellis on a grounder.

"It was fun," Karns said. "It was more of a Major League lineup out there. What I'm real happy about is to have that long inning. I think I threw 30 pitches that inning, but was able to go out there and grind and compete and not let any runs score. That's what I take away the most."

Offense shines

Salvador Perez homered twice, bringing his Cactus League total to five. Perez and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back homers in the sixth, Duda's being his first as a Royal. Ryan O'Hearn homered again after hitting two on Thursday. Billy Burns swiped three bases.

Injury update

Center fielder Tyler Collins was a late scratch with a stiff neck. Burns replaced him in the lineup.

Camp battle

Rule 5 pick Burch Smith worked a hitless sixth inning. He hit a batter, walked one and struck out two. He had yielded seven earned runs and walked five over four innings in his previous two outings. Brad Keller, another Rule 5 pick, worked a spotless ninth and struck out two.

Up next

The Royals will play a split-squad day-night doubleheader Saturday against the Rangers, their Surprise complex partner. Left-hander Eric Skoglund will start the afternoon game at 2:05 p.m. CT, while Jakob Junis will pitch the nightcap at 8:05 p.m. CT. Both games are available on MLB.TV.

Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com.

Kansas City Royals, Mike Moustakas