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Moustakas' go-ahead hit in eighth seals win

Moustakas' go-ahead hit in eighth seals win

Moustakas' go-ahead hit in eighth seals win
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Moustakas drilled a run-scoring single in the eighth inning on Tuesday to give the Kansas City Royals a 4-3 Cactus League victory over the San Diego Padres.

Lorenzo Cain, who pounded a two-out double off the left-field wall against right-hander Jeremy Hefner, scored on Moustakas' hit into center field. Moustakas had a three-run homer in Monday's game.

Cain also ended the game, making a spectacular diving catch off Jesus Guzman's liner into the right-center field gap. He then doubled Luis Durango off second base.

"It was just incredible that he'd get to that ball," Moustakas said. "I didn't think anybody would get to that ball."

Padres starter Mat Latos had a rocky spring debut, issuing four walks in the first inning while throwing 30 pitches. Strangely enough, though, the Royals failed to score. With two on, Billy Butler had a hit taken away by right fielder Aaron Cunningham's diving catch. Mike Aviles was caught stealing and, with the bases loaded, Mitch Maier popped out.

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Latos, who was 14-10 with a 2.92 ERA last season, retired the only batter he faced in the second inning and was pulled after 34 pitches (15 strikes).

"I felt fine, as bad as I looked," Latos said. "I was missing by a lot. I threw it everywhere but the strike zone."

Latos was relieved by George Kontos, who gave up a third-inning run on Aviles' single and Clint Robinson's triple into the right-field corner. Robinson and Maier each had run-scoring doubles in the Royals' two-run fifth against Simon Castro.

Royals starter Luke Hochevar gave up one run and four singles in two innings. The first three Padres hitters -- Cameron Maybin, Jarrett Hoffpauir and Chase Headley -- each singled to score the run.

"I was focusing on my fastball command, just getting the ball down, and in the first inning my ball was up in the zone. That's what happens when you get the ball up, you give up hits," Hochevar said. "But I made the adjustment, got the ball down and started getting ground balls."

He ended the inning by getting Brad Hawpe to roll into a double play and Nick Hundley to ground out.

Aaron Crow followed Hochevar and also gave up one run in two innings. A walk and three straight singles, including Headley's second hit, produced the run.

Royals Up Next: Sorting through possible leadoff hitters, manager Ned Yost is expected to try outfielder Cain in that spot on Wednesday in a 2:05 p.m. CT game against the Dodgers at Glendale Stadium. Mike Aviles led off in the first two games and Jarrod Dyson hit there in the third game. Starting candidates Jeff Francis and Sean O'Sullivan are scheduled to throw two innings each for the Royals; Ted Lilly is the Dodgers' scheduled starter.

Padres Up Next: Two of the newest Padres, pitchers Aaron Harang and Casey Kelly, will make their first appearances of the spring on Wednesday, when the Padres face the Rockies at 12:05 PT at the Peoria Sports Complex. Harang, a San Diego native, signed with his hometown team in December. Kelly, 21, was the key component in the December trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox. Kelly is regarded as the Padres' top Minor League prospect.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }