SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Joakim Soria's aching right elbow is the latest injury worry for the Kansas City Royals.
Soria left for the trainer's room in the fifth inning Sunday in the Royals' 6-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians. He retired only one of the five batters and threw only seven strikes in 16 pitches.
``I worry because I've had Tommy John surgery (in 2003),' Soria said. ``I never had that before. I don't feel like it's that bad. When I felt the Tommy John surgery all my strength went away. This time it doesn't. Obviously, I was not finishing my pitches or having command.'
Soria said he had felt fine this spring training prior to Sunday.
``My elbow just felt really bad today,' Soria said. ``When I started the game, I was a little bit tired, but we're all a little bit tired in spring training, which is normal for us. I felt fine to pitch. It started bothering me a little bit.'
He said his elbow felt ``pretty bad' on his final two pitches and that's when he signaled for manager Ned Yost and the trainer to come to the mound.
``I was feeling good, feeling strong before today,' Soria said. ``It just happened today.'
Soria, a two-time American League All-Star who has 160 saves, has an 18.90 ERA in three spring training appearances, allowing seven runs and 10 hits, a walk and a hit batter in 3 1-3 innings.
He will be examined the next two days to learn the extent of the injury.
``That's a concern, no doubt,' Yost said. ``You can't get crazy concern until the doctors evaluate and see where it's at. We didn't see anything until he called me out. He's been feeling good, feeling strong. He had his normal warmup and felt fine. The last two pitches is when he felt it, so that's when he called us out.'
The Royals have already lost catchers Salvador Perez and Manny Pina to knee surgeries. Plus reliever Blake Wood left in the eighth inning Saturday in a loss to San Diego and will be shut down for 10-14 days.
Eric Hosmer went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer as the Royals had 13 hits. Lorenzo Cain went 2 for 2, raising his average to .517, and scored a pair of runs. Alex Gordon also had two hits and drove in two runs.
Indians starter Josh Tomlin took the loss, giving up six runs and 10 hits in four innings. In his past three starts, Tomlin has allowed 24 hits and 17 runs in 10 innings.
``It was a tough matchup for Tomlin,' Indians manager Manny Acta said. ``He's a contact pitcher, the wind was blowing out, but he got his work in. He went four innings and threw 67 pitches. That was enough. The rest of the guys threw the ball very well.'
Relievers Chen Lee, Frank Herrmann and Nick Hagadone held the Royals to three hits while striking out five and walking none in four scoreless innings. Asdrubal Cabrera drove in two Cleveland runs with a fifth-inning single.
NOTES: 1B Casey Kotchman returned to the Indians lineup after missing seven games with tightness in his lower back. ... The Royals have their only spring training day off Monday, but LHPs Jonathan Sanchez and Everett Teaford are scheduled to pitch in minor league games. ... The Indians optioned RHP Corey Kluber, IF Juan Diaz and OF Ezequiel Carrera to Triple-A Columbus. Carrera hit .243 in 68 games last season with Cleveland. In addition, the Indians assigned non-roster invitees C Michael Hernandez and RHP Hector Ambriz to minor league camp.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved