SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -Edwin Jackson pitched effectively into the sixth inning in his final spring tuneup and an Arizona Diamondbacks split-squad beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 Thursday.
Jackson was acquired in a three-team trade this offseason after going 13-9 with a 3.62 ERA for Detroit. He pitched the past three-plus years in the American League.
``New league, new team, a new start and hopefully new success,' Jackson said. ``It's definitely exciting right now.'
Jackson, who pitched six scoreless innings in his previous start to beat the Chicago White Sox, threw 96 pitches, 52 for strikes.
``Today is the best I've felt all spring as far as mechanics and throwing pitches in different situations,' Jackson said. ``I was throwing off-speed in different counts and getting command of all four pitches. It went well.
``I got a little tired, but I guess that's normal, but 96 pitches, we've come along ways as far as pitching counts,' he added. ``From here on, everything counts. It's time to go. Spring training, everything you've been working on with all the hard work is about to be put into play with the regular season right around the corner.'
Mike Aviles doubled and scored on Yuniesky Betancourts triple with two outs in the fourth for Kansas City's first run.
Gerardo Parra homered with Taylor Harbin aboard in the seventh to lift the Diamondbacks to the victory. Parra's two-out homer came on the first pitch off Anthony Lerew, who is competing for one of the final slots in the Kansas City bullpen.
``I still like the pitch ability and versatility,' Royals manager Trey Hillman said of Lerew. ``I like the changeup against left-handers. He started throwing the changeup more against right-handers and it is effective. He?s got the breaking ball, but it doesn?t change planes drastically. Those are some of the things we continue to evaluate.'
Jeff Bailey, a non-roster utility player in the Diamondbacks camp, went 3 for 3 and walked to raise his spring average to .471.
The Royals, who lead the majors with a .308 batting average, managed just one single off four Diamondback relievers after Jackson exited.
Mike Aviles, who is hitting .469, doubled in the fourth and scored on Yuniesky Betancourt's triple. Brayan Pena contributed a run-producing single in the two-run fifth. Rick Ankiel's groundout scored Chris Getz with the other Kansas City run.
NOTES: Royals RHP Gil Meche, who has been set back by shoulder tightness, threw 69 pitches in 3 2-3 innings in a minor league game against the Seattle Mariners Triple-A club. Meche gave up a run on four hits, walked three and struck out three. He said he felt no tightness after the outing. ... Royals OF Brian Anderson has been sent to the minors, but Hillman said he has opted to try to become a pitcher. Anderson hit .227 in 355 games in the majors with the Boston Red Sox and White Sox. Hillman said Anderson will start in the low minors. ``I?m not sure how that process is going to go, but its got to start at the very bottom.' Hillman said. ``We're milling through that right now. He's committed to making a go of it. So that's what we're going to do.' ... The Royals reassigned RHPs Josh Rupe and Jorge Campillo to minor league camp after the game. ... Royals C Vance Wilson, 37, announced retirement. ... INF-OF Scott Thorman, C Edwin Bellorin, IF Irving Falu, LHP Bruce Chen, RHP Josh Rupe and RHP Jorge Campillo assigned to the Royals' minor league camp.
The Associated Press News Service
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