Split-squad Royals get solid pitching, rally past Reds

Blanton allows one run over three; Bonifacio's double gives KC lead

Split-squad Royals get solid pitching, rally past Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A two-run double by Jorge Bonifacio helped give a split-squad Royals team a 5-2 victory over the Reds on Wednesday at Goodyear Ballpark.

Kansas City was trailing by a 2-1 score in the eighth inning when Bonifacio's drive off the left-field wall came against veteran Reds reliever Sam LeCure.

Batting in the seventh against Royals reliever Yohan Pino, Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez sent a 1-2 pitch over the fence in left field to break a 1-1 tie.

The Reds featured a pair of pitchers vying for spots in their rotation in Paul Maholm and Tony Cingrani. Maholm got the start and allowed one hit and one walk over three scoreless innings. Maholm was consistent with his reputation as a ground-ball pitcher as eight of his outs, including a double play in the third, came on the ground.

"I was pretty much just mixing up speeds, keeping the ball down, getting ground balls and letting the guys make plays," Maholm said. "I threw a good curveball. I threw a good slider, but it was a ball. Overall, I was just trying to get ground balls."

Cingrani followed with three innings and gave up one run and three hits, including Erik Kratz's homer to left field in the fifth that made it 1-1. Cingrani also had two pickoffs.

Royals starter Joe Blanton, a non-roster invite, allowed one earned run and four hits over three innings. Two batters after a Tucker Barnhart leadoff double in the bottom of the third, Joey Votto drove him in from third base with a sacrifice fly.

Kansas City left-handers John Lamb (two innings) and Brian Flynn (one inning) worked scoreless from the fourth through sixth innings.

It was the first game of spring for Royals second baseman Omar Infante, who was coming back from a right elbow injury. Infante was 1-for-4 with a double and three groundouts.

Up next: The Royals will send out left-hander Danny Duffy for his second outing of the spring against division-rival Cleveland on Thursday in a 3:05 p.m. CT start in Goodyear, Ariz. The last time Duffy faced the Tribe was in a key late-season game in Cleveland in which he threw six shutout innings. The game can be heard on an exclusive webcast on royals.com and on MLB.TV.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.