TUCSON, Ariz. -- Brian Anderson said the only other times he hit for the cycle were in rookie ball and video games.
He accomplished the feat in the first four innings of the Kansas City Royals' 24-9 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.He went 5 for 5 with seven RBIs to raise his average to .407."It doesn't really hit you until you get in and your teammates start mocking you," said Anderson, who is trying to make the team as an extra outfielder."But that's not a normal day," he added. "The Diamondbacks are a good team, and they've got some stellar pitching and that's just not happening. You could just tell it was one of those days."The Tucson native hit a two-run triple in the first inning, a double in the second, a two-run single in the third, and a two-run home run in the fourth. He also singled in the fifth."You can't have a much better day than Brian Anderson," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "I was actually planning on playing him the majority of the game, but I was afraid he would pull something if I left him in there."The Royals finished with 27 hits while the Diamondbacks had 12.The Royals led 21-0 after 4 1/2 innings. The crowd cheered when Arizona scored its first run on Augie Ojeda's single in the fifth, cutting the lead to 21-1. The Diamondbacks scored four runs in the inning to trail 21-4."Sometimes the scoreboard is all you need to read," Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch said. "They scored 15 runs and had over 15 hits before our entire lineup got to hit. So, they completely ambushed us and we couldn't record any outs. We didn't do anything noteworthy in the early parts of the game."Diamondbacks starter Billy Buckner allowed eight runs in two innings. He struck out three, walked one, threw a wild pitch and gave up nine hits. Hinch said Buckner remains in the competition for a spot in the starting rotation."You can't get too high on your good outings or get too low on your bad ones," Buckner said. "This was disappointing. I'll get back on the mound in a few days, got to battle back."Arizona's Chad Qualls allowed six runs in 1/3 of an inning.Royals starter Brian Bannister threw four shutout innings, striking out three and walking one."When you go out to the bullpen to throw an extra inning because you were pitch efficient, that's a good sign at spring training," Bannister said. "Today was all in all a good day -- 45 (pitches) in four innings. You're not going to sustain that during the year, but that's your goal."
The Diamondbacks optioned Jose Marte to Triple-A and Roque Mercedes to Double-A and reassigned Josh Ellis and Barry Enright to minor league camp. Arizona starting pitcher Brandon Webb continues to play catch to build up arm strength. No date is set for his next bullpen. The Diamondbacks are looking to solidify the final three spots of their starting rotation with Webb expected to begin the season on the disabled list. Opening day starter Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson are locks.