Surprise, Ariz. All the Kansas City Royals’ offensive damage was done after Los Angeles Angels starter Ervin Santana had left Saturday.
Chris Getz and Mitch Maier hit two-run homers in the fourth inning off reliever Rafael Rodriguez, and the Royals defeated the Angels, 12-3.
The Royals collected 15 hits, including six for extra bases, but the only hit Santana permitted was a Willie Bloomquist leadoff infield single in three innings. Santana struck out five, including four out of five in one stretch.
“Everything was working perfectly,” Santana said. “I’d like to keep pitching like today. That’s what I’d like to see every time I go to the mound. I know it’s not going to happen.”
Santana did not pitch in spring training last year because of a strained right elbow and began the season on the disabled list. He went 8-8 with a 5.03 earned-run average in 23 starts, but was 7-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 16 starts after the All-Star break.
“It reminds me of ’08 when I strike most everybody out,” Santana said of his five strikeouts. “I want to do better than ’08.”
In 2008, a healthy Santana was 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA and second in the American League with 214 strikeouts.
Getz, acquired in an offseason trade, was hitless in 12 at-bats before homering to right on a 1-2 pitch. Getz said he has been working on changing his swing to be more consistent.
“Not only are you trying to get back in a baseball mode, but if you’re to apply the changes you made, you can’t all give up on them because all of a sudden you’re 0-for-10 in spring training,” he said. “You’ve got to get the first one on the board, not necessarily a home run.”
Kyle Farnsworth, who is a candidate for a rotation slot after pitching exclusively as a reliever since five starts in 2000, worked three scoreless innings and yielded one hit to pick up the victory.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Farnsworth said. “Today I was trying to be nice and easy, be aggressive, get first pitch strikes, not get behind in the count and let them put the ball in play.”
Maier’s home run was his second this spring and came on an 0-2 pitch from Rodriguez. He allowed eight runs on 10 hits in three innings to take the loss.