By Jeffrey Flanagan and Jesse Sanchez
MLB.com |@FlannyMLB |
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals farmhand Brett Eibner came into the game with a 1.077 slugging percentage and he promptly belted two more homers, his second a two-run shot in the ninth that helped the Royals earn a 4-4 tie with the Dodgers on Wednesday at Surprise Stadium.
"He had a real good spring," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Eibner. "We've just been waiting for him to get healthy at some point and he is now. Now, we got an idea [what he can do]."
Clayton Kershaw pitched three strong innings, not allowing an earned run, in his final tuneup before Opening Day, while infielder Darwin Barney added a double and a triple.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Barney's bat: The Dodgers scored in the third inning on back-to-back doubles by Barney and catcher A.J. Ellis to tie it at 1. Barney advanced to third on a wild pitch and Ellis drove him home with a sharply hit ball down the left-field line. Every at-bat matters to Barney, who is competing against Kiké Hernandez and Miguel Guerrero for a spot on the roster. Barney, who led off the game with a triple, finished 2-for-2, while Hernandez and Guerrero each finished 0-for-2.
A tainted run: Royals right-hander Wade Davis, arguably the best reliever in baseball last season, gave up the Dodgers' third run in the fifth inning on an infield hit that should have been an out, a stolen base that should have been a caught stealing, and a shattered-bat blooper to left.
Kershaw is ready: The lefty ace gave up one hit and one unearned run in three innings as he prepared for Monday's season opener against the Padres. Kershaw threw 47 pitches, 27 for strikes, while walking two and striking out two. He posted a 1.61 ERA in six Cactus League starts.
"There's definitely room for improvement, but physically, I feel good and feel ready to go," Kershaw said. "That's all you can ask for at this point."
Ace is all right: Royals Opening Day starter Yordano Ventura worked four serviceable innings in his final tuneup. He allowed four hits and one earned run.
"But if you do, you do. We gotta do what's best for the team." -- Royals manager Ned Yost on possibly having to lose right-hander Ryan Madson to another team if he doesn't make the 25-man roster.
"We checked a lot of boxes and have done everything we can do to prepare for a long season. I know we are all really excited to get back to L.A. and we're excited to play in big league stadiums. It should be a fun and entertaining Freeway Series." -- Dodgers catcher Ellis.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas' worst spring (.315 average) since 2012, when he hit just .240 in the Cactus League. But in 2012, Moustakas had his best year in the bigs -- .242, 20 home runs and 73 RBIs.
The Royals are off on Thursday and resume play on Friday at Minute Maid Park with right-hander Edinson Volquez taking the mound in a 7:05 p.m. CT start. Listen to the game with Gameday Audio.
The Dodgers kick off the Freeway Series against the Angels in Anaheim on Thursday. The Dodgers will use a series of relievers in the first game against Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker. Watch the game on MLB.TV or listen with Gameday Audio.
Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.