SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Not much of a day-night, split-squad doubleheader for the Royals on Friday. But at least manager Ned Yost saw a silver lining in the rain.
"It could've been a lot worse," Yost said. "It was going to be 100 percent rain from the minute we got up but we got some innings in. We would've had a big backload [of pitchers]. If we didn't get these innings in today, [Saturday] would've been a mess. We're going to be OK."
The afternoon game against the Indians was called during the top of the third inning with the Royals ahead, 3-2, at Surprise Stadium. The night game against the Rockies was called after four complete innings with the Royals trailing, 3-1, at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
"Our priority was [Jeremy] Guthrie and [Aaron] Crow tonight," Yost said after the second rainout. "We wanted to get those guys in and, luckily, we did. Both of those guys got their work in. We wanted to get Crow two innings but he got his work in. The only other guys who were a priority were [Greg] Holland and [J.C.] Gutierrez and they can throw [Saturday]."
Guthrie started against the Rockies and threw three innings, giving up all three runs. Two runs came in the third after the Rockies loaded the bases with no outs. Guthrie threw 52 pitches, 28 for strikes.
"It was all right. It needs to be better. The walk and the hit by pitch weren't good but it was pretty much the two hitters -- the same guy [Eric Young Jr.] -- I fell behind," Guthrie said.
It was the second spring start for Guthrie, who was working in a 48-degree temperature on a wet field.
"I look at the pitches and today they felt much crisper than last time," Guthrie said.
"He's refining his command, he's tweaking his mechanics, he's doing what you want him to do in Spring Training -- polish it," Yost said. "He's more about getting his work in and working on things than he is looking for results right now."
Crow worked a perfect fourth inning with one strikeout, and he ignored the unseasonably cold and damp weather.
"It happens during the season. You have to pitch in weather worse than that maybe, so it's good to get used to it now," Crow said.
Since giving up a home run on the first pitch he threw this spring, Crow has been untouched.
"Even that first pitch I threw for a home run, I threw it where I wanted to and tried to get ahead but I realized you can't take anything for granted, even in Spring Training," Crow said. "So I've been working on stuff, locating my fastball pretty well and I'm happy with everything so far."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less