Royals Four-Run Eighth Tops Dodgers 11-5

Kansas City banged out 13 hits, including two home runs and were helped along by eight Dodgers walks, a hit batsman and an error in an 11-5 win at Camelback Ranch. Tim Redding, filling in for Ted Lilly who was out with the flu, worked three scoreless innings and veteran Juan Castro banged a three run homer for L.A.

Castro's three-run shot jump-started the Dodgers, who fell to 2-4 with the loss, but it was mostly the young Royals from that point on although Los Angeles managed to tie the game 5-5 in the sixth.

Scott Elbert, who has has a storied history of control problems, faced five batters and walked four of them in the fifth and sixth innings, turning the game around.

James Loney led the guys in the white hats with a pair of hits, boosting his average to a neat, .500. Rookie Justin Sellers had a two-run single in the sixth that temporarily tied the game at five each.

Luis Vasquez was tagged with four runs in the eighth and took the loss.

With Ted Lilly downed by a case of the flu, Tim Redding, who was scheduled pitch anyway, was switched into the starting slot. The starting lineup:

Jamey Carroll, 3b
Dioner Navarro, c
Andre Ethier, rf
Matt Kemp, cf
Gabe Kapler, lf
James Loney, 1b
Jay Gibbons dh
Ivan De Jesus 2b
Juan Castro ss
The Game
Both teams threatened in the first inning, Redding allowed an opening hit but fanned two to get out of the inning. Andre Ethier doubled off the right field bullpen fence with two out in the bottom of the inning and Matt Kemp beat out and infield hit before a diving catch in short in right field by the Royals second baseman ended the threat.

Andre Ethier made a diving catch in front of the Royals bullpen in the second before The Dodgers scored three in the second, thanks to an unusual power source. With James Loney and Ivan De Jesus on with singles and one out, veteran Juan Castro slammed a shot over the left-field wall and over the deck above the bullpen for a 3-0 L.A. lead.

The Royals ran themselves out of the third inning. After a pair of two-out singles, Kapler threw wildly to third base but Redding backed up the play and easily threw out the lead runner attempting to score.

Redding allowed four hits and no runs in his three innings of work. He played in the major leagues 2001-2008 with Houston, San Diego, NY Yankees, Washington and the NY Mets, recording a 37-56 record with a 4.89 earned run average. In 2010 he was 8-5, 2.89 with the Colorado and Yankees AAA teams before being released on August 5. He signed with the Dodgers as a free agent on January 3, 2011.

Ramon Troncoso worked around a double to the center field wall in the fourth without allowing a run in his second appearance of the spring. Jon Link was handed the ball in the fifth inning and with two out, he gave up two walks and a pair of RBI singles, bringing Scott Elbert to the mound in relief.

Elbert, who has been plagued with wildness during his career and has converted from a starter to full-time relief, walked the first two Royals he faced to walk in the tying run but then got a pop to short to end the innings.

Elbert started the sixth inning and again was missing the strike zone badly, throwing nine pitches, eight of them balls, and walking the first two Kansas City batters. Carlos Monestarios took over with none out and allowed two more runs to put the Royals in front 5-3.

The Dodgers tied things at five each in the bottom of the inning. Jamie Hoffman singled, Jerry Sands and Xavier Paul walked and Justin Sellers whacked a two-run single to tie the game.

Monestarios made short work of Kansas City in the seventh, retiring the side in order and Luis Vasquez replaced him to start the eighth and he landed in a mess in no time at all. An infield hit put the first Royal on base and Aaron Miles at third threw a bunt into center field attempting to nail the runner at second. A sacrifice fly to center again gave Kansas City the lead. Moments later Vasquez served up a three-run homer, much to the delight of the Kansas City fans in the stadium.

The Dodgers offense went quietly with a walk the only break in the final 10 batters.

Kershaw Signs for $500,000
Opening Day starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers agreed to a one-year 2011 contract for $500,000, an increase of $60,000 over his 2010 salary.

Kershaw will not be eligible for salary arbitration until after this season, when his contract figures to take a big jump. He had no leverage in negotiations with his current service time of two years and 105 days, . He received $404,000 in 2009.

Kershaw, 22 this month, went 13-10 with a 2.91 ERA last year with 212 strikeouts in 204.1 innings. The Dodgers payroll this year will be approximately $115 million, up from $95 million last year.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Chad Billingsley threw several changes in his first start Tuesday against Cleveland. "Since I've been in pro ball I've wanted to incorporate a changeup as a main pitch in certain situations. I really tried to use it in past years and it came a long way in the second half of last season. So I'm focusing on using it a little bit more this spring." ...The Dodgers came into the game with the Royals hitting .227 but holding their opponents to a .224 average. ...Former Dodgers minor league catcher Lucas May pinch-ran for the Royals in the sixth inning and scored the tie-breaking run. ...

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