at Tucson, Ariz.
Friday, March 23 Royals at the plate: The first six Kansas City batters reached base to open the game as the Royals wound up scoring four times. Emil Brown drove in a run with a single, as did Billy Butler. Alex Gordon drove in a run the painful way as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. D-backs at the plate: The D-backs got on the board in the fourth when Conor Jackson led off with a single and Scott Hairston followed with an RBI double. That's when the skies opened up, and after a brief rain delay, the game was called.
Royals on the mound: The Royals had initially planned to throw Gil Meche, but when rain was forecast for Tucson, they decided to keep him in Surprise to throw in a Minor League game. Jason Cromer started in his place and threw three shutout innings.D-backs on the mound: It was a rough beginning for starter Livan Hernandez, who gave up four hits and hit two batters in the first inning. After the first six hitters reached, Hernandez was able to get John Buck to ground into a double play before getting Alex Gonzalez to ground to short to end the frame. Cactus League records: Royals 9-12; D-backs 14-8. Up next: The Royals will play host to the Mariners on Saturday, with Odalis Perez getting the start. Meanwhile, the D-backs will host the White Sox in Tucson and also take on the Padres in Yuma. Doug Davis will start the Tucson game, while Micah Owings will get the nod in Yuma.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.