Surprise, Ariz. Jason Vargas pitched two scoreless innings in his Kansas City debut, and Alex Gordon doubled home two runs as the Royals beat the San Diego Padres, 7-3, in a game that was called after seven innings Saturday because of rain.
Vargas, who signed a four-year $32 million contract in the offseason, allowed one hit and struck out one, throwing 13 strikes in 19 pitches.
“It went all right, I guess,” Vargas said. “I was able to throw all my pitches and get acclimated to Salvy (catcher Salvador Perez) back there.”
The Royals signed Vargas to replace Ervin Santana, who remains unsigned on the free-agent market, in the rotation.
Gordon’s double in the four-run third scored Christian Colon and Jarrod Dyson, who walked twice and scored a pair of runs.
Cameron Maybin, who was limited to 14 Padres games last year because of injuries, hit a long two-run homer in the third.
Penny’s mixed bag
Brad Penny, a National League All-Star in 2006-07 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, returned to the mound after sitting out last year. Penny, a 35-year-old right-hander who the Royals signed to a minor-league contract, allowed three runs on five hits, including Maybin’s long homer, in two innings. Despite the rough outing, Penny picked up the win.
The Royals signed left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy ($526,000), infielder Johnny Giavotella ($508,575) and outfielder Carlos Peguero ($504,250) to one-year contracts.