PHOENIX -- Right-hander Nathan Karns, the Royals' No. 4 starter, pronounced himself ready to go for the regular season after his final Spring Training start on Thursday.Karns gave up one run and seven hits over five innings and struck out seven in the club's 1-0 loss to the Brewers. He
PHOENIX -- Right-hander Nathan Karns, the Royals' No. 4 starter, pronounced himself ready to go for the regular season after his final Spring Training start on Thursday.
Karns gave up one run and seven hits over five innings and struck out seven in the club's 1-0 loss to the Brewers. He threw 75 pitches.
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"I was able to battle, extend my workload," Karns said. "I played a little more with my two-seam cutter. But we still had success, and when I needed to get out of a situation, I was able to do that."
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Karns finished the Cactus League season with a 1.98 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
"My stuff is playing," Karns said. "I think we're filling the zone. I think we're being able to stay ahead. From first pitch of each at-bat, we were able to get ahead. I think with that it's going to allow me to create that type of swing and miss stuff."
Right-hander Justin Grimm, who signed on Sunday, made his first appearance in a Cactus League game for the Royals in the eighth inning. Grimm gave up two hits and a walk, but he escaped without allowing a run by striking out Weston Wilson and retiring Corey Ray on a flyout to right to end the frame.
"He was a little rusty, you could tell," manager Ned Yost said. "But he got his way through it."
O'Hearn to outfield
With Hunter Dozier, Ryan O'Hearn and Frank Schwindel all expected to play at Triple-A Omaha this season, there could be a logjam at first base/designated hitter.
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Yost said Dozier will play first quite a bit there, as well as outfield and third base. Yost also said O'Hearn will play some outfield, too.
Right-hander Burch Smith, a Rule 5 Draft pick who is perhaps on the border of making the 25-man roster, helped his cause with two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and struck out two. "He looked good," Yost said.
Outfielder Michael Saunders, who likely only makes the 25-man roster if the Royals opt to carry five outfielders, went 1-for-3 with an opposite-field single.
Outfielder Paulo Orlando, recovering from a hamstring strain, was back in the lineup on Wednesday night and said he felt fine on Thursday morning.
Infielder Raul Mondesi, battling right shoulder impingement, continues to throw long toss (90 feet). He was the DH on Thursday and had two hits.
Outfielder Bubba Starling is still out with a strained oblique. He is likely a 60-day disabled list candidate.
Watch live on MLB.TV as right-hander Jakob Junis, likely the No. 5 starter in the rotation, starts at 3:05 p.m. CT on Friday in a split-squad game against the Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Left-hander Brian Flynn, and right-handers Michael Maness and Mike Broadway also are expected to throw.
In the other split-squad game on Friday at Surprise Stadium, right-hander Ricky Nolasco, a non-roster invite, will start against the Dodgers at 3:05 p.m. CT. Left-handers Eric Skoglund and Tim Hill, and right-hander Wily Peralta also are expected to throw for K.C.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.