Peoria, Ariz. Chase Headley gave the Padres a much-needed lift, hitting a game-ending three-run homer in the ninth inning and lifting San Diego to a 9-7 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday.
The Padres trailed 4-0 in the sixth and 7-4 in the ninth before rallying to beat an American League club for the first time this spring (1-12-2) and snapping a seven-game Cactus League skid overall.
“It was the kind of inning we’ve been seeking for a while,” San Diego manager Bud Black said. “We had walks, key hits and aggressive base-running, all the things you need to keep a rally going. These are good wins, and it’s a good feeling — we hadn’t won in a while, and we needed one.”
Headley, who had three hits, singled and scored during San Diego’s four-run sixth inning and singled again in the eighth before he homered off Joel Peralta, who came in to face Headley and blew his second save of the spring.
Royals starter Kyle Davies got back on track after his only shaky outing of the spring, allowing two hits over 51⁄3 innings. He also had an RBI single in the fifth after fouling off a suicide-squeeze attempt, helping the Royals build a 4-0 lead.
“(The hit) was fun, but it was more fun to go 51⁄3 and only give up one run,” said Davies, who allowed only one earned run in his first 12 innings this spring before Colorado roughed him up for five in three innings on March 17.
“Any starting pitcher will tell you the key is not having two, three, four bad outings in a row. If you have one bad one, you have to bounce back,” he said.
Mark Teahen, making his bid for the second-base job, had an RBI single in the first and a two-run double in the fifth. Willie Bloomquist, Teahen’s competition, added a two-run double in the eighth.
Note: The Royals and Angels combined for 15 home runs in Surprise on Sunday, part of a blustery day in Arizona that saw 44 home runs hit in the six Cactus League games played in the Valley.