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Early outburst spurs Royals to 10th straight victory

Early outburst spurs Royals to 10th straight victory

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Striking early, the undefeated Royals knocked off an Athletics split-squad, 8-2, for their 10th consecutive victory on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium. The only blemish on their record is a tie that opened their Cactus League season.

The Royals worked over A's starter Bartolo Colon with five earned runs on seven hits in his two-inning outing. Colon, who will start the season with a five-game suspension to complete a drug penalty, had given up three runs (one earned) on five hits in his first start against the Cubs.

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The four-run first inning included RBI singles by Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas' run-scoring double. Brett Hayes led off the second inning with a home run to left field, his second.

Royals starter Bruce Chen gave up one run in three innings; the A's scored on Hiroyuki Nakajima's double and John Jaso's single. His rival for the fifth-rotation job, Luke Hochevar, notched three scoreless innings. Hochevar struck out the last three batters he faced.

"I kind of got in a groove as the game went on and started getting the ball down better," Hochevar said. "I felt a lot better with my fastball execution today, but overall my arm feels good and I'm ready to step it up."

The A's scored a run against reliever Louis Coleman in the seventh on singles by David Freitas and Shane Peterson and Miles Head's sacrifice fly. However, Coleman worked out of a bases-loaded jam to end the inning.

Non-roster third baseman Brandon Wood belted a two-run homer in the Royals' eighth against James Simmons after Anthony Seratelli doubled and stole third base. It was Wood's second homer.

David Lough followed with a single and scored on Jarrod Dyson's triple.

Up next: James Shields will make his second start at 2:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday against the D-backs at Salt River Fields. The game will available exclusively as a free audio webcast on royals.com. Although he went just one inning in his first start, Shields might go three innings depending on his pitch count. Will Smith, coming off three sharp innings against the Padres in his last outing, will also throw. The D-backs will start Trevor Cahill.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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