Originally written on Fox Sports Kansas City  |  Last updated 10/30/14
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Ervin Santana's first appearance with the Kansas City Royals couldn't have gone much better. That could have been deduced from the smile on his face. After arriving from the Los Angeles Angels in a November trade, Santana finally got on the mound Friday with his new team. He wound up pitching two scoreless innings, wiggling out of a jam in the second, as the Royals beat the Cincinnati Reds 3-2 to remain unbeaten this spring. "Every time you go 1-2-3 in the first inning and then in the second inning you work a little bit, it's good," Santana said. "Everything was very good." Brett Hayes, trying to win a job as a backup catcher, broke a 2-all tie when he homered in the eighth inning off the Reds' Jeff Stevens. Salvador Perez drove in a run and threw out two on base, and light-hitting Chris Getz also went deep in the fifth inning for Kansas City. The Royals improved to 7-0-1 in their first eight spring games. Mat Latos went two scoreless innings for Cincinnati in his first spring start. Backup catcher Devin Mesoraco and reserve outfielder Kristopher Negron hit solo homers. "Latos threw well," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "In his first time out he was over-throwing early. But he did a good job. Everybody did a good job, really." Santana has said that he feels like a rookie again with the Royals after spending his entire career with the Angels. In fact, the right-hander's been a fixture in their rotation since 2005, going 96-80 with a 4.33 ERA while starting at least 28 games in eight consecutive seasons. He was only 9-13 last season, though, when he dealt with a series of nagging injuries. That wasn't enough to scare off the Royals, who were desperate to upgrade their pitching. And now Santana is being counted upon along with James Shields and Wade Davis, who were acquired in a blockbuster trade from Tampa Bay, and Jeremy Guthrie, who was re-signed this offseason, to make up a rotation that looks nothing like what manager Ned Yost trotted out most of last season. "It's a different experience," said Santana, who threw 31 pitches in his Royals debut. "I like it here. Everybody is cool, and we're like a family. They have all the talent and they can do good things, especially this year. Everybody is excited." Mesoraco, who hit just .212 over 54 games for the Reds last season, showed what made him a former first-round pick in the fifth inning. He hit a 3-0 pitch from closer Greg Holland over the left-field wall to give Cincinnati a 1-0 lead. The Royals got an answer from the most unlikely of places. Getz, who's competing with Johnny Giavotella for the starting job at second base, only has two career homers -- both of them in 2009 -- in 371 big league games. But he said he's made a couple of minor tweaks to his stance recently, and the result has been a little more pop. Enough that he could muscle a pitch from right-hander Sam LeCure over the wall in right. "I was just fooling around with some stuff, and I don't know. Tried something new today and connected," Getz said. "Was able to get a quick result, I guess. A positive result." Kristopher Negron gave the Reds the lead back with a first-pitch homer off Aaron Crow, Perez answered in the bottom half of the sixth with an RBI single, and that allowed Hayes to become the hero. He turned on a 0-1 pitch from Stevens and sent it soaring onto the berm beyond the left-field wall, allowing the Royals to remain the only team without a loss in spring training. "Blind squirrel finds a nut, right?" said Hayes, who is known more for his defense than his offense. "I've worked really hard the last six months or so. We all have. It's nice to see it paying off a little bit." NOTES: Reds CF Shin-Soo Choo (right quadriceps) and C Ryan Hanigan (left oblique) were scratched from the lineup with what Baker called typical spring training soreness. ... OF Billy Hamilton, who last year broke the minor league record with 155 steals, swiped his first two bases of spring in the eighth. ... Guthrie makes his first appearance of spring Saturday against San Francisco. ... Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo is expected to start Saturday against the White Sox.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Texas A&M Aggies bench Kenny Hill for freshman Kyle Allen

Josh Smith's reaction to Faried's criticism: 'He's a clown'

Magic, Mia Hamm among owners of new MLS franchise

Michael Vick broke teammate’s finger with bullet pass

Wes Welker: 'I feel like the weak link' in Broncos' loaded offense

Greg Hardy will not play this season after trial postponement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Chip Kelly on not weighing in on injuries: ‘I’m not Dr. Miyagi’

Saints vs Panthers: preview and prediction

Kevin Youkilis retires after 10 seasons in MLB

Ricky Williams says he retired due to poor quarterback play

Judge rejects request to move Aaron Hernandez murder trial

Jason Garrett optimistic that Tony Romo can play Sunday

WATCH: Jameis Winston forces fumble after throwing INT

Bruce Pearl dressed up as fellow Auburn coach Gus Mazhahn

WATCH: Jimmy Graham head-butts bench

Seahawks host football team from H.S. shocked by shooting

WATCH: Cavs intro in LeBron James’ first game back was wild

Did latest World Series win establish Giants as a dynasty?

Cavaliers give fans instructions on how to do 'Chalk Toss'

Explaining the Penguins loyalty to Marc-Andre Fleury

WATCH: Man obliterates house after Cowboys MNF loss

WATCH: Entire history of Nike in just under three minutes

Eric Decker asked fans why they love Jets, got what he deserved

WATCH: Daniel Bryan celebrates Giants' win predictably

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!

Welker feels like 'weak link' in offense

Cavs intro for LeBron was wild

Greg Hardy won't play this season

Michael Jordan rips Obama's golf game

Torii Hunter in radio ad opposing gay marriage

Curt Schilling praises Bumgarner

GALLERY: Best of sports pumpkins

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.