PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Sean O'Sullivan pitched efficiently and benefited from two laser throws by catching phenom Salvador Perez as a Kansas City Royals split squad beat the San Diego Padres 11-3 on Monday night.
It was a matchup of teams that will have two of the lowest payrolls in baseball. The Padres committed three errors and the Royals had two.
O'Sullivan, who went to high school in the San Diego area, gave up a long opposite-field home run to Brad Hawpe on a windy night, one of the two hits he allowed in three innings. O'Sullivan, one of six pitchers vying for five spots, struck out two and walked two.
``The biggest thing for me has been keeping the ball down in the zone,' O'Sullivan said. ``We've changed a few things in my delivery that makes it easier to repeat. We've shortened up some things, we took some pauses out of my delivery, made it much more fluid. This way when something breaks down and I do leave the ball up, I know where it happened. I can make the adjustment. That's been real big for me.'
Hawpe, who replaces Adrian Gonzalez at first base for the Padres, hit a leadoff homer onto the berm beyond the left field fence in the second inning.
``I thought it was a good pitch,' O'Sullivan said. ``He got it up in the air.'
Perez, a 20-year-old non-roster catcher who's never played above Class A, twice threw out Padres leadoff batter Will Venable trying to steal second.
``Oh man, he's outstanding,' O'Sullivan said of the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Perez. ``He gives a great target. He's so big, it's hard to miss him back there. I don't have to point out that he picked a sinker out of the dirt and threw Venable out at second base. That's not easy to do.'
Padres starter Dustin Moseley allowed two hits in three scoreless innings, with one strikeout.
Louis Coleman (1-0) got the win and Mike Adams (0-1) the loss.
Nick Francis hit a solo homer for the Royals.
The Associated Press News Service
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