SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Luis Mendoza continues to make his case for a rotation spot.
Mendoza allowed one run and two hits and struck out seven in 4 2-3 innings Friday and Chris Getz drove in three runs and the Kansas City Royals defeated a Milwaukee Brewers split squad 9-4 Friday.
Mendoza did not allow a hit until Aramis Ramirez led off the fifth with a single.
``He pitched extremely well, on the attack, good action on his pitches, had a tremendous changeup,' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ``He's been dynamite every time out. Good for him. That's what he needs to do and he's doing it.'
Mendoza, a 28-year-old right-hander, posted sub-2.00 ERAs in the final three months of the regular season with Triple-A Omaha. He was the Pacific Coast League 2011 pitcher of the year, going 12-5 with a league-best 2.18 ERA. He went 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in two big leagues starts after a September promotion.
``It's a big opportunity for me,' Mendoza said. ``I just try to show them I can help the team. I'm just trying to do my job. That's the only thing in my mind right now.'
He is 3-0 in three exhibition starts, allowing one run and five hits in 10 2-3 innings, while walking one and striking out 11.
``That's a lot for me,' Mendoza said of his seven strikeouts on Friday. ``I'm a ground ball pitcher. But I think the pitches were pretty good in the zone, so I just attacked the hitters. Every start my arm feels better, I can say that it's stronger. I just keep learning things, learning how to mix up more of my pitches. I threw more breaking pitches this time.'
Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who had not allowed a run in 5 1-3 innings in his first two starts, allowed four runs and five hits. He walked two and a hit batter in three innings.
``I think his command was up in the zone a lot,' Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. ``He looked better his third inning. He was a little quick and everything kept being up. We still don't expect balls to get hit hard like that. These guys didn't miss a pitch the whole game. They squared up every ball. Command was an issue for all our pitchers today.
``Except for the last inning we didn't do much offensively. Their first pitcher (Mendoza) was impressive, a big guy, down in the zone, nice velocity.'
The Royals had 13 hits. Getz singled in the first and scored on a Billy Butler double. Getz's two-out single in the second scored Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon.
Gordon, who doubled to lead off the fourth and advanced to third on a wild pitch, scored on Getz's sacrifice fly. Gordon also had two hits and drove in a pair of runs.
Corey Patterson went 2 for 2 for the Brewers and homered in a two-run ninth off Jeremy Jeffress.
NOTES: Brewers CF Carlos Gomez was a late scratch with a stomach virus. ... Royals C Salvador Perez will be out 12-14 weeks after undergoing left knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus Friday in Los Angeles. ... Royals 3B Mike Moustakas played for the first time since being hit by a pitch Monday and then coming down with a stomach virus. ... OF Jarrod Dyson left the Royals camp to attend his sister's funeral. ... Royals LHP Tommy Hottovy entered in the eighth with the bases loaded and one out and struck out Mike Walker and Cesar Izturis.
The Associated Press News Service
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