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Royals to take 34 to Milwaukee

Royals to take 34 to Milwaukee

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Mike Maroth and outfielder Damon Hollins were assigned by the Royals to Triple-A Omaha on Thursday.

Both were non-roster players invited to the Major League camp.

Hollins, 33, had a fine spring with a .340 (17-for-50) average and a team-high 17 RBIs. However, the Royals' outfield was virtually set before camp began with Joey Gathright backing up the three regulars.

Maroth started Thursday's 8-5 loss to the Texas Rangers and gave up five runs in three innings. He surrendered back-to-back homers to Hank Blalock and Milton Bradley. His chances were hurt by a stiff shoulder early in camp.

Manager Trey Hillman said the Royals will take 34 players for a two-game exhibition series in Milwaukee. They will meet the Brewers on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

"We're going to take a 16-18 split to Milwaukee with us, a total of 34," Hillman said.

That's 16 pitchers and 18 position players. Included is an extra pitcher, Minor Leaguer Roberto Giron.

"We're going to leave John Bale back [in Surprise, Ariz.] He's going to pitch again here, but he'll join us in time for Opening Day in Detroit," Hillman said.

Bale, who won the fourth rotation spot, will make his first start on April 4 at Minnesota.

The starting Royals-Tigers matchups for the opening three-game series in Detroit: Gil Meche vs. Justin Verlander, Brian Bannister vs. Kenny Rogers, and Zack Greinke vs. Jeremy Bonderman.

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

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