Volquez tunes up with 5 strong innings, Royals beat Padres
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Edinson Volquez tuned up for his start on opening day and a Kansas City Royals split squad beat the San Diego Padres 11-3 Monday.
Volquez gave up two runs and five hits, striking out four and walking two. His next start will be Sunday night when the champion Royals host the New York Mets in a World Series rematch.
“I think I get better in spring training,” Volquez said. “Better than last year, the year before, the year before that. My ERA is better than last year. I haven’t pitched good in spring training for a long time. It doesn’t matter what happens here in spring training. I just try to move forward for the first game.”
Volquez finished with a 3.95 ERA this spring after a 6.33 in 2015 and a 9.64 in 2014.
“He threw the ball really well, good life, good command, good breaking ball,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “He’s ready to go.”
Lorenzo Cain and Whit Merrifield each homered and drove in three runs. Cain connected with Mike Moustakas aboard in the first and delivered an RBI single in the fourth. Merrifield led off the first with a homer off Drew Pomeranz and contributed a two-run double in the second. Dusty Coleman added a two-run homer in the sixth.
Derek Norris homered on Wade Davis’ first pitch in the sixth. Davis had not given up a run in his first seven outings, covering seven innings.
Pomeranz is competing for the final Padres rotation slot.
“Obviously, I’d like to have another start, not have that be my last one,” Pomeranz said.
Padres: Pomeranz surrendered two homers sandwiched around a single to the first three batters.
“I don’t think it (the wind) had much to do with it,” Pomeranz said. “The home runs they hit, they hit pretty hard. It’s a bad pitch selection I guess early on for me. After the first three guys, I kind of settled in and started making some pitches, started pitching.
“I was out there throwing to the first couple of guys. I wasn’t out there pitching yet. It’s a trap you fall into in spring training, trying to work on something, but you have to get guys out.”
Royals: Volquez, who threw 90 pitches, said he would like to take the same stuff, “maybe just a little bit better that that” into his first start.
“I would like to be more ahead in the count,” Volquez said. “So I just want to stay aggressive and attacking those hitters, get more first-pitch strikes so I don’t have to go 3-2 count all the time, like I did today to a few hitters.”
Padres: RHP Jon Edwards (minor elbow stiffness) has not pitched since March 18. ... 1B Brett Wallace (right foot injury) is running the bases but has not played in a Cactus League game since March 13.
PADRES TRIM FOUR
RHP Phillip Humber, who threw an April 12, 2012 no-hitter for the White Sox against the Mariners, was among four players assigned to minor league camp. Humber pitched last season in Korea. The Padres also assigned C Rocky Gale and RHPs Jose Dominguez and Daniel McCutchen to the minors.
The Royals released veteran pitchers Brian Duensing and Peter Moylan and infielder Clint Barmes from minor league contracts.
Duensing, a 33-year-old left-hander who had a 41-37 record with a 3.61 ERA over seven seasons with Minnesota, had a 2.61 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings in 10 spring games.
Moylan, 37, a right-handed sidearmer, has a 22-9 record with a 2.83 ERA in 331 relief appearances in the majors.
Barmes, 37, has a .245 career batting average in 1,186 big league games with Colorado, Pittsburgh, Houston and San Diego, where he started 51 games at shortstop last season.
Padres: RHP Collin Rea will start against the Dodgers.
Royals: RHP Yordano Ventura will face the Giants.