PEORIA, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer had a two-run double as part of a three-run fifth inning Friday as the Royals topped the Padres, 6-1, at the Peoria Sports Complex.
The Royals' outburst came against Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush, who followed starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who had his best performance of Cactus League play. Kennedy allowed one unearned run over four innings, getting seven ground ball outs for the Padres (8-9).
Lorenzo Cain and Hosmer each had two hits for the Royals (12-6), who got a strong start from pitcher Chris Young, who allowed one run in three innings with three strikeouts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Spring, not that bad after all: Kennedy, who doesn't exactly have an affinity for Spring Training outings, had his best line Friday; No earned runs over four innings. That said, his ERA still stands at 5.91. This is not a new development by any means for Kennedy, who had a 4.67 ERA in Cactus League in 2013 and a 6.33 ERA a year ago, his first spring with the Padres.
He sure Ken(drys) hit:: Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales continued his hot spring with a double to the gap in right center field to pull even with the Padres at 1-1 in the fourth inning. He's tied for the team lead with three home runs and has six RBIs. Overall, Morales is hitting .326.
Balk this way: Not the sexiest way to score a run, but the Padres walked away with a run in the second inning when Young balked in a run from third base. With Yonder Alonso up and Justin Upton on third base (he doubled earlier in the inning), Young was called for a balk but didn't protest with Upton trotting home. Young has only been called for one balk in the last five (regular) seasons.
Fancy glove work: The Padres acquired third baseman Will Middlebrooks from the Red Sox with hopes of a bounce back season offensively after an injury-filled 2014. He's been good with the bat so far, but on Friday was exceptional good with the glove, making a nice play on a Cain ground ball to start the fourth inning and then grabbing a smash from Alex Rios and completing the throw to first base in the fifth inning.
Cool Coleman: Royals reliever Louis Coleman might have had the most impressive line of the night -- two scoreless innings and five strikeouts. And he wasn't going after late-game Minor Leaguers, either. Coleman struck out Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Derek Norris, Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko to cap a wildly successful night. He's again expected to be a valuable member of the Royals bullpen in 2015.
"What the team did last year was pretty special, and that's why you play the game. It's to win. And I think these guys all got a taste of that. I've been there before. I know what playoff baseball is, and I want to get back there. I want to be part of a championship club, and that's what I think this club is. I think everybody's hungry and excited and I'm excited to be part of it." -- Pitcher Chris Young on joining the Royals this spring.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS:
San Diego manager Bud Black and pitching coach Darren Balsley, who wouldn't normally get excited at all about the other team's pitcher, are big fans of Chris Young, who threw five seasons (2006-2010) with the Padres. Young was an All-Star in 2007 when he posted a 1.85 ERA over his first 19 starts. And to think that Young wasn't even the best pitcher on the 2007 Padres; Teammate Jake Peavy won the NL Cy Young that season, winning 19 games.
The Padres remain in Peoria on Saturday for a 1:05 p.m. game against the D-backs. Once again, the two top candidates for the No. 5 starter job (Brandon Morrow and Odrisamer Despaigne) will pitch in hopes of bettering their chance at winning a rotation job. Both have been good so far. Morrow, who will start, has allowed one run in nine innings. Despaigne has allowed two earned runs in 8 2/3 innings. There's a good chance each could work in upwards of three or four innings. The game is available on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio.