SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Edinson Volquez had a shaky start, but Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer to offset a two-run double by former teammate Billy Butler and the Kansas City Royals beat an Oakland Athletics split squad 8-4 Friday.
Perez homered to left in the four-run first with Eric Hosmer and Kendrys Morales aboard. Lorenzo Cain doubled and scored on Hosmer’s single.
“He’s really scorching the ball,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Perez.
Butler, who played his first eight seasons with the Royals before signing with the A’s as a free agent in November, drove in Billy Burns and Ben Zobrist in the first with his hit off Royals newcomer Volquez.
He visited the Royals’ clubhouse before the game.
“I think they would have been mad if I didn’t,” Butler said. “It was just good to go over there and see all those guys, a lot of guys I have a personal relationship with. Just because I play on the other side doesn’t mean we don’t have relationships still. Just a lot of good memories.”
Butler said “it wasn’t that strange” facing the Royals.
“It was strange when I had to face Louis Coleman, who I’ve known six or seven years,” Butler said. “It was weird having Salvy catching. He probably knows my weaknesses, playing with me for so long.”
Volquez yielded two runs and five hits, three in the first inning, before exiting after 52 pitches in 2 1/3 innings.“I can’t complain about it,” Volquez said. “I made a couple of mistakes.
I’m just trying to find my rhythm. I threw some good changeups and some bad ones.”
Chris Bassitt, who is competing for a job in the A’s rotation, allowed five runs and seven hits in three innings.
The Royals improved to a Cactus League-best 10-1.
Athletics: Bassitt said Perez hit a changeup out in the first. “Which I never ever throw to righties,” Bassitt said. “I’ve been working on it and that’s what happens.
In spring training, you have to work on things. Sometimes you’ve got to take bad results to have good results in the future.”
Royals: RHP Chris Young, who signed March 7, made his debut, throwing a scoreless seventh. After two singles to lead off the inning, Young retired the next three batters, striking out two.
Athletics: INF Rangel Ravelo had right wrist surgery Friday. He doubled in his only spring at-bat.
Royals: 2B Omar Infante, who has been limited to DH duties because of a right elbow bone spur, indicated he may have postseason surgery. ... RHP Jeremy Guthrie has a stomach virus and will be pushed back from a Sunday start.
ZOBRIST BACK IN RIGHT
Ben Zobrist, who was acquired to play second base, started in right field for the second time. With A’s RF Josh Reddick likely to begin the season on the DL with an oblique injury, Zobrist could open in right. He played 331 games at right while with Tampa Bay.
FIRST ROYALS CUTS
RHP Christian Binford, who tossed three scoreless innings Thursday against Cleveland, was among eight players reassigned by the Royals. LHP John Lamb was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, while LHPs Scott Alexander, Sean Manaea and Chris Dwyer, RHPs Miguel Almonte and Binford and Cs Cameron Gallagher and Zane Evans were reassigned to minor league camp.
Athletics: have a split-squad with RHP Jesse Chavez starting against the Giants at Mesa, and RHP Jesse Hahn will start against the Cubs in Las Vegas.
Royals: Closer Greg Holland will make his third relief appearance Saturday against the Angels.