Originally posted on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 4/3/12
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Judging by spring training, the Kansas City Royals will score lot of runs this season. However, they may also allow plenty of them, too. The Royals left Arizona on Monday with a Cactus League-leading .303 batting average, scoring 155 runs. The first four hitters in the lineup hit at least .385 - Eric Hosmer .416, Lorenzo Cain .394, Billy Butler .388 and Alex Gordon .385. All had an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of higher than 1.000. Hosmer left Arizona with a 13-game hitting streak and a major league-leading 29 RBIs. "I feel like every time he comes up and there's a runner on he's going to drive them in," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I think he's going to be a special player for us for years to come." Hosmer sports a Mohawk that Kansas City actor Rob Riggle labeled "The Warrior" when he took batting practice with the team in March. "We're confident that we can be a real good team," Hosmer said. "We just want to get going and see what this season has for us." After exhibition games Tuesday and Wednesday against the San Diego Padres in California, the Royals will open the season Friday at the Los Angeles Angels. The Royals will need their pitching to improve for them to make the playoffs for the first time since winning the 1985 World Series. Despite the lofty offensive numbers, the Royals entered Monday 15-15 in the spring, because the pitching staff allowed 160 runs. Only the Cleveland Indians gave up more runs. Opponents hit .301 against Kansas City pitching. Left-hander Bruce Chen, who has led the Royals with 12 victories in each of the past two seasons, draws his first opening day assignment. Chen has a career 60-58 record, with the Royals his 10th club. No other Kansas City starter has a winning record in the majors. Luke Hochevar, who threw 62 pitches in a four-inning simulated game Monday, will start the second game. There was a strong 22 mph crosswind as Hochevar faced minor league hitters, not Albert Pujols. "It's a 9:30 simulated game on a backfield," Hochevar said. "You have to find a way to focus just as you would in a stadium full of 40,000. " Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who was acquired from the San Francisco Giants in a trade last November, will be the No. 3 starter. Sanchez helped the Giants win the 2010 World Series, going 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA, but last year was limited to 19 starts because of injuries and was 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA. "Jonathan Sanchez is even better than I dreamed he would be," Yost said. Luis Mendoza enters his 12th season, but the 28-year-old right-hander has appeared in only 38 big league games. He was the Pacific Coast League pitcher of the year in 2011 and will be the No. 4 starter. Mendoza went 4-0 with a 0.54 ERA in five Cactus League starts. Danny Duffy, a 23-year-old left-hander who can touch 97-98 mph with his fastball, has been erratic in spring training, going 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA. "We knew all along there will be days when Danny Duffy is unhittable," Yost said. "And there are going to be days where he's going to struggle. That's just what it is. We've got to get through those days, so we can get to the point where he can step on the mound and consistently compete at the major league level. "His stuff is above average in all categories. Command is below average for major league standards. We have to work through that and keep developing him, so that we can get to that spot." The Royals' rotation had a 45-65 record with a 4.82 ERA last year with only two complete games, both eight innings, and no starter threw 200 innings.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker