Archive for Friday, March 7, 2008

Shealy hits walkoff bomb

March 7, 2008

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Kansas City shortstop Tony Pena Jr. mishandles a grounder hit by Arizona's Eric Byrnes. The Royals edged the Diamondbacks, 4-3, Thursday in Surprise, Ariz.

Kansas City shortstop Tony Pena Jr. mishandles a grounder hit by Arizona's Eric Byrnes. The Royals edged the Diamondbacks, 4-3, Thursday in Surprise, Ariz.

— Ryan Shealy is making a case to break camp as Kansas City's starting first baseman - with his bat.

Shealy led off the bottom of the ninth with a home run Thursday to give the Royals a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Shealy began last season as the starter, but lost the job after a slow start and hamstring injuries. He is competing with Ross Gload and Billy Butler for the spot.

Shealy, who missed a week due to the flu, homered into the left-field bullpen on the first pitch from right-hander Jailen Peguero.

"It's good just to be healthy and be able to play," Shealy said. "I didn't get to play at the end of last year. Then, soon as we started games this year, I was sick. I'm just glad to be out there."

Shealy, who is 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, has homered in back-to-back games.

"It was good to see," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "Shealy's got some pop. He's got a big frame with long levers. His swing right now is pretty good."

Shealy, who has won two minor-league home run titles, hit only three in 172 at-bats last year for the Royals.

After the victory, Hillman huddled his team around home plate to address base-running. Gload was thrown out trying to steal third, and Butler was thrown out at second trying to tag up on fly out by Justin Huber.

"I was just talking about running the bases," Hillman said. "We had a couple of mistakes today. I'm not displeased. We won the game, but we've got to run the bases the right way all the time. We had a couple of mistakes, but I'm not going to go into them."

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