SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A year after they led the AL in errors, the Kansas City Royals have been making defense a focus in spring training.
On Sunday, they took a step backward with four errors and a passed ball in their 11-11 tie with the Colorado Rockies."There was good and there was bad," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "I'm disappointed in the defense."The bumbling led to five unearned runs, including three in the last two innings.Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt committed two errors -- fielding and throwing -- on one play in the first inning, which led to two runs.Third baseman Alberto Callaspo's fielding miscue and Cody Clark's passed ball gave the Rockies two unearned runs in a three-run ninth."Overall I have liked the defense," manager Trey Hillman said. "I liked the way Yuniesky is moving better, but careless errors. Callaspo with careless error. Wilson with a careless error and Yuniesky with two on one play. We didn't focus and concentrate as good as I would like to see us."Seth Smith had three hits, including a triple, drove in two runs and stole a base. Michael Paulk hit a two-run triple in the ninth.Josh Fields, Brian Anderson, Betemit and Callaspo each drove in two runs for Kansas City, while Vance Wilson had three hits.
Colorado's Aaron Cook allowed two hits in five scoreless innings with one walk and three strikeouts in a minor-league start. He threw 57 pitches and the sinkerballer got eight outs with ground balls. He also picked up his tempo and was pleased with the results. "I got too methodical, too slow, and just wasn't letting myself be an athlete out on the mound," Cook said. ... Royals RHP Zack Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner, pitched in a minor league game. He gave up two runs on six hits, including a home run, and three walks in five innings against the San Diego Padres' Triple-A club.