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Perez's three-run shot backs Santana's last start

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Royals scored five runs in the third inning, including home runs by Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez, on their way to an 8-3 win over the Reds on Thursday afternoon.

Cincinnati had a 2-0 lead heading into the third when Gordon led off with his team-high seventh homer of the season, a shot to right field on a full count against Mat Latos. After a Billy Butler single and Mike Moustakas walk, Perez crushed Latos' first pitch to the grass berm in left-center field for a three-run homer.

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Following an Eric Hosmer single, the rally continued when Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI triple to right field for a 5-1 Kansas City lead.

In his final spring start, Latos allowed five earned runs and nine hits over three innings with one walk and five strikeouts.

The Royals added three more runs in the fifth inning during a two-out rally against reliever Manny Parra. Miguel Tejada reached on an infield single to second base as Hosmer scored. Max Ramirez lined a single that scored Cain and Tejada came home on a Paulo Orlando single to left field.

Royals starter Ervin Santana gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts. The first three batters he faced reached on hits, including Joey Votto's hit to score Shin-Soo Choo. Votto and Butler collided near first base, and Votto was awarded second base for a double.

In the second inning, Ryan Hanigan hit a one-out double and scored on a Latos single to right field. Bryson Smith homered with two outs in the ninth to complete the scoring for the Reds.

Up next: Already Cactus League champions with the most Spring Training victories in their history, the Royals wrap up their spring schedule at 2:05 p.m. CT on Friday against the Indians at Surprise Stadium. Starter Jeremy Guthrie will tune up for his start against the White Sox in the season's third game next Thursday at Chicago. Luke Hochevar will try to rebound from his rocky relief outing on Wednesday night and Tim Collins will try to smooth out his recent mechanical issues. Immediately after the game, the Royals will fly to Chicago.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.

Kansas City Royals, Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez, Ervin Santana