GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Royals right-hander Jason Hammel's primary mission this spring was to command his two-seam fastball and get more ground balls.After Thursday's start against the Dodgers, a 14-8 win by the Royals, Hammel believes he's getting really close.The results don't tell the true story of Hammel's day. He went
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Royals right-hander Jason Hammel's primary mission this spring was to command his two-seam fastball and get more ground balls.
After Thursday's start against the Dodgers, a 14-8 win by the Royals, Hammel believes he's getting really close.
The results don't tell the true story of Hammel's day. He went four innings and gave up five hits, including two home runs, and four earned runs in dry and windy conditions. Winds gusted up to 23 mph.
"That was an Arizona day for sure," Hammel said. "But I felt really good today. A lot of ground balls, good sinkers. Good execution there. Good sliders. Left a couple balls up into the jet stream, but I'm going to walk away from this feeling pretty good.
"I don't know how many ground balls I got, but it was a lot."
Moustakas hits in Minor League game
Third baseman Mike Moustakas, who signed a one-year deal last weekend, went 0-for-4 with a walk in a Minor League intrasquad game Thursday. He may DH in the Royals' game against the Padres on Friday.
Big day for O'Hearn
First baseman Ryan O'Hearn, likely headed for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, gave the coaching staff something to think about as he registered three hits, including two home runs, and drove in five runs. Frank Schwindel, another first baseman, also hit two home runs and had four RBIs.
Who will play center field?
Royals manager Ned Yost said a week ago that he thought Jonathan Jay's best outfield positions were at the corners. But Yost hasn't ruled out Jay playing center field, and the veteran started in center on Thursday. He went 2-for-3, with both hits coming in the first inning, while walking and scoring a run.
Alex Gordon and Paulo Orlando are the other candidates to play center.
"We're still evaluating," Yost said. "I haven't made any final decisions on the alignment in the outfield. We'll see how it goes."
• Infielder Ryan Goins, in a battle for the utility role with Ramon Torres, had another good game Thursday, with two hits and an RBI. He also made multiple fine plays at shortstop.
• Left-hander Brian Flynn, who is out of options but still not a lock to make the bullpen, strengthened his case with two scoreless innings against the Dodgers.
• Orlando remains out because of a Grade 1 hamstring strain that occurred while lunging for a line drive on Saturday. He could return in a day or two.
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• Infielder Raul Mondesi remains on a non-throwing program because of a shoulder impingement. He may start throwing Friday.
• Outfielder Bubba Starling is battling an oblique injury to his left side. Starling said Thursday he will be shut down for close to a month and likely will remain in Arizona for extended spring training after camp breaks. He's a candidate for the 60-day disabled list.
Up next: Right-hander Nate Karns, the team's projected No. 4 starter, will make his third spring start as the Royals travel to Peoria to take on the Padres. Game time is 3:10 p.m. CT, and the game can be viewed on MLB.TV.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.