Mendoza hurls five shutout innings as Royals cruise
Right-hander allows four hits, walks one and fans four; seven hitters drive in runs
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If this was a preview of the regular season's first series, the Royals should be feeling pretty good.
The Royals knocked off the White Sox, 10-0, on Sunday in the first Cactus League prelude to the two teams' opening series starting April 1 at Chicago.
The Royals snapped a two-game skid and raised their record to 17-4-1. The White Sox are 10-8-1.
Right-hander Luis Mendoza, resuming his pursuit of the Royals' No. 5 rotation spot, worked five shutout innings and gave up four singles. He struck out four and walked one.
White Sox right fielder Jordan Danks went 2-for-2 off Mendoza and later drew a walk, raising his average to .333 (10-for-30). Paul Konerko and Blake Tekotte had the other hits off Mendoza.
Mendoza was making his first start since his work with Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Mendoza lowered his ERA to 0.82 in three games. His primary competitor is left-hander Bruce Chen, who has a 7.90 ERA in four Cactus League outings.
"It feels pretty good. Even if I didn't pitch in eight days, my arm rested and that helped me to keep in shape," Mendoza said. "I think I'm 100 percent ready and I'm just trying to keep the same rhythm and keep working hard."
In the first inning, the Royals batted around against right-hander Zach Stewart and scored four runs on a walk and five hits, all singles. Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Jeff Francoeur each drove in one run.
Butler added an RBI single off Stewart in the second inning and Alex Gordon drilled a two-run single off reliever David Purcey in the third. All seven runs in the first three innings were charged to Stewart, who surrendered eight hits and three walks and saw his ERA jumped from 1.13 to 6.75.
Up next: The Royals meet their complex co-tenants, the Texas Rangers, for the final time this Cactus League season at 8:05 p.m. CT on Monday (broadcast live on MLB.TV and a free royals.com audio webcast) at Surprise Stadium. The teams met in the first three games this spring and after a tie, the Royals took the next two games and won 11 straight. This time the Rangers are trotting out their Japanese star, Yu Darvish, as the starting pitcher. The Royals' Ervin Santana will make his fourth start after giving up just two runs on six hits in his first nine innings. He's rung up 13 strikeouts against only one walk. Luke Hochevar will make his second appearance since being assigned to the bullpen. In his first relief outing, he threw two perfect innings. Left-hander Tim Collins is due for his first game since returning from the World Baseball Classic.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.