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Royals' Junis dominates over 4 hitless innings

NRIs Saunders, Boyer improve roster chances with strong performances
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals right-hander Jakob Junis was so good Monday, you almost wonder if he thought he was wasting such a performance in Spring Training.

"No," he said, "I like doing this."

View Full Game Coverage

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals right-hander Jakob Junis was so good Monday, you almost wonder if he thought he was wasting such a performance in Spring Training.

"No," he said, "I like doing this."

View Full Game Coverage

Junis, the team's No. 4 or No. 5 starter, tossed four no-hit, scoreless innings in his second spring start. He walked none and struck out seven as the split-squad Royals rolled over the Padres, 4-0, at Surprise Stadium.

Junis had excellent fastball command, and his normally wipeout slider also was spot on. He's also trying to improve his changeup and his curveball, the latter with a new spike grip that makes the break more vertical.

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Video: SD@KC: Yost on being impressed by Junis' start

"It was all good," Junis said. "And I threw quite a bit with the new curveball and got some swings and misses. I wasn't just relying on the slider today.

"I was throwing everything for a strike. Any time you can throw four pitches for strikes and keep the hitter off-balance, you're going to have success."

Schedule for Salvy
Royals manager Ned Yost said the ideal number of games at catcher for Salvador Perez likely would be about 145, perhaps with some time at DH sprinkled in.

Video: SD@KC: Perez slugs a solo homer to left-center field

"Salvy's a lot like [Alcides Escobar]," Yost said. "They want to play every day. They love baseball so much they want to play all the time."

Perez clocked a solo homer, his third long ball of the spring, on Friday vs. San Diego.

Camp battles
• Non-roster outfielder Michael Saunders, trying to wedge his way onto the 25-man roster, helped his chances with a three-run double in the third inning on Monday. He now is hitting .304 with two doubles and six RBIs.

Video: SD@KC: Saunders clears the bases with a double

• Right-hander Blaine Boyer, another non-roster invitee, is trying to make the 25-man out of the bullpen. He came into the sixth inning with two on and two out and induced a pop fly to short right field before working a perfect seventh. He has yet to give up a run this spring.

Injury update
• Infielder Adalberto Mondesi was back in the lineup on Monday at DH. Mondesi will still be on a no-throw program to rest his right shoulder impingement for two to three more days.

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• Outfielder Paulo Orlando remains out with a strained hamstring. Yost said he would not be out for an extended period.

• 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
Left-hander Danny Duffy will make his third spring start for the Royals when they play the A's on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium. Duffy is expected to throw 60-65 pitches. Also expected to throw are right-handers Kelvin Herrera, Brandon Maurer, Wily Peralta, Kevin Lenik and Josh Staumont along with lefty Tim Hill. Listen on Gameday Audio.

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

Kansas City Royals, Jakob Junis