GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez hit home runs off Matt Latos in Kansas City's five-run third inning, and the Royals beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-3 on Thursday.
Gordon's homer was his seventh of the spring, and Perez — who also doubled — hit his second, a three-run shot.
Joey Votto and Royals first baseman Billy Butler collided as Votto rounded first after hitting a ball off Ervin Santana into the left-field corner to drive in a run in the first inning. Votto was awarded second base as both men fell to the ground.
Santana pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the second by getting Votto to bounce to the mound to start a 1-2-3 double play. The right-hander allowed two runs and seven hits with a walk in four innings.
Latos finished the third then left the game, allowing five runs and nine hits with five strikeouts.
JC Gutierrez earns bullpen spot with KC Royals
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — J.C. Gutierrez has earned the final spot in the Kansas City Royals' bullpen.
Kansas City optioned right-hander Louis Coleman to Triple-A Omaha and assigned Dan Wheeler to its minor league camp on Thursday.
Gutierrez had elbow ligament-replacement surgery in September 2011 and pitched only 20 2-3 innings last year in the minors. He had 24 saves for Arizona in 2009-10.
Wheeler, who has spent nine years in the majors with Tampa Bay, the New York Mets, Houston, Boston and Cleveland, and Ramirez will open the season with Omaha in the Pacific Coast League.
Kansas City also assigned first baseman Max Ramirez to minor league camp.
The Royals still must decide whether to keep George Kottaras or Brett Hayes as their backup catcher. Both are out of options and would have to clear waivers to be sent to the minors.