Tomko strong as Royals roll

Tomko strong as Royals roll

At Surprise, Ariz.
March 20, 2008

Brewers at the plate: Tony Gwynn's infield hit and back-to-back doubles by Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun produced two runs in the third. Alcides Escobar had a RBI double in the fourth. Gwynn had a perfect night, with two singles and a walk, raising his average to .389.

Royals at the plate: Jose Guillen, back after a week's absence because of flu, drilled an RBI single in a four-run first inning. Ryan Shealy looped a two-run single and John Buck had a sacrifice fly. Damon Hollins had a double and a single. David DeJesus and Alex Gordon each had two singles.

Brewers on the mound: Starter Manny Parra, who stymied the Royals in his previous outing, this time gave up eight runs on 10 hits. It was the first time he'd allowed an earned run since Jack Cust, the first batter he faced this spring, hit a home run.

Royals on the mound: Rotation candidate Brett Tomko worked four innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He threw 85 pitches. Hideo Nomo, bidding for a bullpen spot, retired all six batters he faced and struck out three of them.

Cactus League records: Royals 11-10, Brewers 14-8-1.

Up next for Brewers: Four Brewers starters will be in action on Friday, though only two -- Dave Bush and Carlos Villanueva -- will pitch in the big league "A" game at Maryvale Baseball Park against the Padres. Two others were on the list to work a Minor League "camp day" intrasquad game: Yovani Gallardo (two innings or 35 pitches) and Ben Sheets (six innings or 90 pitches). It's a milestone for Gallardo, who underwent left knee surgery on Feb. 19 and has not pitched in a Spring Training game this year.

The Brewers might still be missing their double-play combo on Friday. Shortstop J.J. Hardy briefly visited camp on Thursday but continues to suffer from the flu and was sent back to the doctor. He might miss a few more days. So might second baseman Rickie Weeks, who is nursing a swollen right hand and probably will remain sidelined until Sunday, manager Ned Yost said. Weeks did participate in fielding drills Thursday but was wearing a splint earlier in the day.

Up next for Royals: Gil Meche, the Opening Day starter, gets his next-to-last tuneup against the Seattle Mariners at 3:05 p.m. CT Friday at Peoria Stadium. Erik Bedard is the Mariners' starter.

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