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Kennedy breezes against D-backs

Royals righty strikes out two in three scoreless innings
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals right-handed starter Ian Kennedy threw three scoreless innings on Friday, giving up three hits and one walk while striking out two in the Royals' 7-2 split-squad loss to the D-backs. He threw 47 pitches, 29 for strikes.

"Just trying to work on fastball command," Kennedy said. "When I wasn't happy with it, I came right back to the fastball, regardless of the count. That's what spring training is for."

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals right-handed starter Ian Kennedy threw three scoreless innings on Friday, giving up three hits and one walk while striking out two in the Royals' 7-2 split-squad loss to the D-backs. He threw 47 pitches, 29 for strikes.

"Just trying to work on fastball command," Kennedy said. "When I wasn't happy with it, I came right back to the fastball, regardless of the count. That's what spring training is for."

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Kennedy even got a chuckle out of how he escaped a third-inning jam with a double-play grounder -- as a fly-ball pitcher, Kennedy rarely gets grounders.

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"Got it because I threw a slider," Kennedy said, smiling. "But really, I didn't feel quite as sharp today as my first time out. But it was OK."

In the other split-squad game, Minor League right-hander Scott Barlow started and threw two scoreless innings in Glendale in a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers. Whit Merrifield led off the game with his second homer of the spring, and Drew Butera and Anderson Miller also went deep for Kansas City.

Video: KC@LAD: Merrifield belts a leadoff homer to right

Jay sees first action
Recently acquired outfielder Jon Jay got his first taste of the Cactus League this spring on Friday in the Royals' game vs. the D-backs.

The Royals didn't exactly ease Jay into the mix -- his first two at-bats came against tough left-hander Robbie Ray, who struck out Jay twice.

"I just wanted to get Jon Jay some at-bats," manager Ned Yost said. "Doesn't matter [if he faced Ray]. He hits lefties fine."

Jay got a single to right in his final at-bat, going 1-for-4.

""He's fine," Yost said. "I don't worry about him now. It's all about where he'll be two weeks from now, and he is going to be fine."

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Zimmer debuts
Right-hander Kyle Zimmer saw his first game action of the spring as he pitched in the Royals' split-squad game in Glendale. Zimmer threw 25 pitches in two-thirds of an inning and gave up one hit, one run and two walks.

Yost said Zimmer was pulled because he was on a pitch count.

Camp battles
• Right-hander Wily Peralta, trying to win a bullpen spot, had his good stuff on Friday vs. the D-backs. Peralta gave up a home run to Chris Herrmann, but was otherwise dominant, striking out five.

"He hung a split for the home run," Yost said. "But he really had that split going other than that. Got his five punchouts with it."

• Outfielder Paulo Orlando (.455) continued his torrid spring with his first home run, a solo shot that knocked Ray out of the game in the fourth.

Injury update
Infielder Adalberto Mondesi continues to sit out with what now is being described as a shoulder impingement. He will be on a no-throw program for at least five days.

Center fielder Bubba Starling is expected to be out of action for an extended period, Yost said, because of an oblique injury. Yost also said Starling could be a candidate for the disabled list.

Up next
The Royals travel to Scottsdale on Saturday for a 2:05 p.m. CT game against the D-backs. Right-hander Jason Hammel will get his second start of the spring and will be followed by Kelvin Herrera, Brandon Maurer and Josh Staumont. The matchup will be available live on MLB.TV or via a royals.com exclusive audio webcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Jon Jay, Ian Kennedy