Hosmer, Eibner HRs back Volquez's fine start

Hosmer, Eibner HRs back Volquez's fine start

HOUSTON -- A matchup between last season's surprise American League champions and one of the league's young, rising squads held more than a little intrigue -- even as an exhibition contest.

The Royals held up their end of the hype with an 11-1 win on Friday night in the first of two final preseason tuneups this weekend at Minute Maid Park.

Both starters spun magnificent outings in advance of their regular season debuts, as Edinson Volquez survived five hits spread over four innings by striking out seven to wiggle out of a couple early jams.

Volquez's seventh strikeout

"He executed all his pitches, so I was really pleased," manager Ned Yost said. "Had his fastball 94 to 96 [mph] and kept the change and curveball down in the zone all game, so he's ready to go."

Astros righty Scott Feldman nearly matched him, but he couldn't survive the fifth unscathed when an error and Lorenzo Cain's RBI single sandwiched around a run-scoring double play gave the Royals a 2-0 lead.

Cain's RBI single

The lead ballooned late, as Kansas City rocked Houston bullpen addition Pat Neshek for three runs.

Eric Hosmer laced his fourth homer of the spring -- a two-run job -- and Brett Eibner followed with a monster shot to left-center field. Mike Moustakas started the eighth-inning rally with a shift-beating bunt and he scored three runs while going 3-for-4, including an RBI double.

Royals hit back-to-back homers

"He's been working on [his swing] all spring and it's getting more and more natural," Yost said. "Three hits, all the opposite way -- that's pretty impressive."

Omar Infante's two-run double highlighted a six-run ninth inning to blow the game wide open, while Evan Gattis, who was 2-for-4, homered off Greg Holland in the bottom half for the Astros.

Up next: Veteran left-hander Jason Vargas will make his final preseason start when the Royals and Astros meet at 3:05 p.m. CT on Saturday. Watch all of the action with a free MLB.TV exclusive webcast.

Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.