Rotation hopeful Tropeano delivers effective outing

Righty doesn't allow earned run as split-squad Angels edge Royals in 10

Rotation hopeful Tropeano delivers effective outing

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Daniel Robertson hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning as the split-squad Angels edged the Royals, 7-6, Saturday afternoon in a Cactus League game at Surprise Stadium.

Royals farmhand Matt Fields hit a towering three-run homer in the seventh to tie it. Kendrys Morales also homered for Kansas City.

Royals left-hander Jason Vargas, who could be either the team's No. 2 or No. 4 starter, had a rough day. Vargas gave up five runs in the second inning, three of them earned.

Vargas wound up going three innings, walking one and striking out three.

"The first inning was good," Vargas said. "I got some pitches up in the second inning and couldn't put guys away. They put good swings on the ball."

Vargas gave up eight hits -- most were hard hit.

"I was locating," he said. "The balls they hit were hard and in the gap."

But Vargas shrugged off the outing as nothing more than spring hiccups.

"You never want to go out and have a five-run inning," he said, "but I don't think it will weigh on my mind much."

Angels starter Nick Tropeano, who is fighting for the team's fifth rotation spot, likely made a good impression. Tropeano gave up four hits through 3 1/3 innings but didn't allow an earned run. He walked one and struck out one.

"I felt more comfortable out there than my last outing," Tropeano said. "My last outing was my first outing to see an opposing batter in the batter's box and you kind of get amped up.

"[Today] I kind of fell back into my old routine, getting to start instead of coming out of the 'pen and I felt way better today than my previous outing."

One of Tropeano's highlights was striking out Morales on three changeups with a runner on second and no outs in the second inning.

"We just tripled up on the changeup," Tropeano said. "We knew the scouting report coming in and kind of needed a strikeout in that situation."

"That's the first time I've seen him pitch," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Tropeano. "He looked pretty good. Good stuff."

Up next: After their sole split-squad day Saturday, the Angels will hit the road on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. PT to face the White Sox for the second straight day. Left-hander Hector Santiago will get the nod for the Halos against Chicago and lefty John Danks. The game will be broadcast on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.