Contenders for roster roles come up big in win

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Two guys battling for Royals jobs, Brett Hayes and Chris Getz, made their mark with home runs in Friday's 3-2 win over the Reds.

Hayes' solo shot in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie. Known primarily as a defensive catcher, Hayes is competing with George Kottaras and Adam Moore for a reserve role behind regular Salvador Perez.

"This is nothing new to me. I've been in this situation a number of times and I just enjoy coming out here and battling and fighting for a spot," Hayes said. "It's baseball, and we all like to compete so it's all fun."

Hayes is 3-for-9, .333, with two RBIs so far in the Cactus League.

"He's surprised me. He's swung the bat very well," manager Ned Yost said. "Like Kottaras has surprised me. He's supposed to be an offensive catcher and he's done really well behind the plate. So give credit to both those guys; they've both had a nice spring to this point."

So has Moore, who's also 3-for-9 but has two home runs. Kottaras is 4-for-9, .444 with a double and an RBI.

Getz crashed a home run to lead off the fifth inning against the Reds.

"We talked about last spring how he came to camp stronger than before and he came to camp this year stronger than he was last spring," Yost said. "It was surprising two years ago, I don't think it's so surprising now."

Getz has made a slight adjustment in his batting stance, widening his feet a bit and, according to Yost, getting "a little bounce in his swing." Getz worked on it with hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David.

"All of us had a little powwow and started talking about stuff," Getz said. "I'm always kind of open-minded and willing to try anything. Sometimes some things feel good. Sometimes they don't. We fooled around with it in the cage and BP. It felt pretty good. I felt I might as well try it in the game and see how it goes. I was able to get a quick result. A positive result."

Getz is sparring with Johnny Giavotella for the second base spot. Getz, considered the defensive guy of the two, is 4-for-12 (.333) with two RBIs. Giavotella, the offensive guy, is right behind at 3-for-11 (.273) with three RBIs.

But, as Yost keeps reminding everyone, it's early. There are still 28 Spring Training games left.