Gordon hits leadoff homer for Royals
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—Kansas City pitcher Jonathan Sanchez gave his new team a glimpse of what he is capable of.
Sanchez had his best and longest outing of the spring in the Royals' 6-5 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks Saturday night.
Sanchez, acquired from San Francisco along with prospect Ryan Verdugo for outfielder Melky Cabrera, struggled in his two previous outings, allowing seven earned runs in three innings. Against Ariziona, the left-hander threw 5 1-3 innings and gave up three runs -- two earned -- and five hits and struck out six.
"He was very sharp and threw the ball very well," Royals Manager Ned Yost said. "He had great action on his breaking stuff, a lot of bite on his slider and curveball, a really good changeup and command of his fastball. It was a very nice outing for him."
Alex Gordon led off the game with his third home run of the spring and also singled, and Jeff Francoeur added two hits and two RBIs for Kansas City. Lorenzo Cain, who leads the majors with a .488 batting average, and Brayan Pena also had two hits for the Royals.
Jeremy Jeffries got two outs for victory.
Two of the three candidates for the closer spot, vacated by the injured Joakim Soria, saw action. Greg Holland threw a scoreless ninth for his third save, and Aaron Crow gave up two runs and three hits in an inning of work.
"I thought Crow was out of sync a little bit," Yost said. "I thought Holland was sharp."
After a rough start where he gave up two runs in the first inning, Arizona's Trevor Cahill settled down and went 4 2-3 innings. He the two runs on five hits, walked a batter and struck out six.
"After the first I felt a lot more comfortable, Cahill said. "I felt like I could throw all four pitches for strikes which is a first this spring. It definitely was a confidence builder."
Tyler Skaggs, one of the Diamondbacks' top prospects, took the loss. He allowed four runs and seven hits in three innings.
Paul Goldschmidt and Geraldo Parra each had two hits and a RBI for Arizona.
NOTES: Soria will undergo Tommy John surgery on April 3. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles. Soria also had the same procedure in 2003. He was hurt Thursday against Cleveland. ... Arizona outfielder Jason Kubel expects to return to action Sunday. Kubel has been sidelined since Wednesday because of a sore right quadriceps muscle.