MLB: Royals pound Giants |

MLB: Royals pound Giants

Associated Press

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) – Madison Burgarner is struggling to regain his World Series form.

The Kansas City Royals, last in the American League Central last season, battered Burgarner for eight runs on 10 hits, six of them for extra-bases, in beating the Giants 15-3 Friday night. Last October in Game 4 of the World Series, Burgarner allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings in beating Texas.

Against the Royals, Burgarner retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced before yielding eight runs in the next two innings.

“The first three innings I was on the corners and down, too,” Burgarner said. “At the end, I don’t know if it was fatigue, but I felt good. I think the biggest difference was I started missing over the middle and up and the ball was flat. Sometimes you can do that and get outs, but they were putting really good swings and hitting the ball hard.”

The 21–year-old left-hander is 1-4 with a 7.17 ERA in seven spring training games. He has allowed 29 hits, including four home runs, in 21 1-3 innings, while striking out 25.

“Obviously, I’d rather have better results, but I felt like I got some good out of tonight,” Burgarner said. “I don’t want to read too much into it yet. If we get into the season and it keeps happening, obviously we’re going to have to do something. Right now, it’s just about getting ready for the season.”

Bumgarner threw 61 strikes in 86 pitches.

“It was good to go out there and throw a few more pitches than I have been,” he said. “I felt good. I just made some bad pitches. There were a few times when we threw some pitches that I might not throw in the regular season game. You’ve got to work on them and you’ve got to throw them. I’m not trying to use that as an excuse. They were definitely seeing the ball good tonight.”

Alex Gordon led the Royals offense with three hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs, raising his RBI total to 20. Kila Ka’aihue had two doubles and three RBIs, while Jeff Francoeur homered, his first since the first exhibition game. Melky Cabrera went 2 for 3 to raise his Cactus League-leading average to .490.

The Giants had nine hits in the first three innings before the Royals had one. Royals right-hander Vin Mazzaro allowed three runs on nine hits in the first three innings, but pitched his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second without allowing a run.

“I definitely made the game a lot harder than it should’ve been,” Mazzaro said. “It was kind of a test for myself. I got in a few jams and got out of it. That’s what you’re looking for – damage control and keep the runs down, keep the team in the ball game.

“Overall I thought my stuff was pretty good. Command was an issue a little bit with the fastball. But the other pitches were working really well and I was getting them to chase.”

Miguel Tejada, Pablo Sandoval and Eli Whiteside each had two hits and an RBI for the Giants.

NOTES: The Royals completed three minor league deals. They acquired 1B-3B John Whittleman from Texas for cash. They sent RHP Gaby Hernandez to the Chicago White Sox for future considerations and RHP Alex Caldera to Washington for cash. Whittleman, 24, was a 2005 second-round pick of the Rangers. He hit .215 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs last season with Double-A Frisco and Class A Bakersfield. … Mike Sweeney, who signed a one-day minor league contract so he could officially retire as a Royal, brought out the Kansas City lineup to the umpires before the game. … The Royals top the majors with 191 runs.