SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer couldn't have hit the ball much harder. "I thought he hit it through the bullpen wall," Royals teammate Mitch Maier said. Hosmer's grand slam in the sixth inning zoomed over the right-field fence and crashed into the back wall of the Cubs' bullpen, giving the Royals a 4-4 tie in what became a 5-4 victory on Friday.
"It was a battle," Hosmer said. "It was a tough lefty that threw pretty hard, had a good cutter. I was just trying to get the ball in play and get those runs in. Fortunately enough, it went over the fence and we got the runs and tied the game up."
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The lefty was John Gaub, a Triple-A pitcher coming off a shoulder injury who loaded the bases with three walks. Hosmer fouled off four pitches, worked the count full and, on Gaub's ninth pitch, he connected on a breaking ball."I was surprised to see it. He walked two guys in front of me and the bases were loaded, but it's the big league level and they can throw anything for strikes and you've just got to be ready for anything," Hosmer said. Hosmer, with his second homer, is batting .625 (5-for-8) with five RBIs. "Guys had great at-bats to get Hos up there with the bases loaded, and Hos had a tremendous at-bat. He laid back on a 3-2 breaking ball and just smoked it," manager Ned Yost said.