Jeremy Guthrie gives up 1 run, strikes out 5 in 6 strong innings; Royals knock off Padres 4-1



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PEORIA, Arizona — Jeremy Guthrie pitched six strong innings in his final tuneup before sliding into the No. 5 spot in Kansas City's rotation, and the Royals beat the San Diego Padres 4-1 Tuesday night.

Guthrie, who turns 36 next week, allowed one run and six hits while striking out five. The 13-game winner from a year ago threw 93 pitches and declared himself ready for the regular season.

"Stayed out of the limelight. Got to hide out on the back fields. It's been a good spring," Guthrie said. "Healthy and strong."

Brandon Morrow, front-runner for the Padres' final rotation spot, gave up three runs and seven hits before leaving with one out in the fifth.

In his first start since March 21 due to a blister on his pitching hand, Morrow settled down after a two-run first inning that included a leadoff walk, a balk and his own fielding error.

San Diego outfielder Matt Kemp went 0 for 3 and badly misjudged Mike Moustakas' fly to right that fell for a single.

STARTING TIME

Royals: Guthrie struck out Justin Upton twice and got Kemp swinging on a slider with two on to end the third.

"Second and third and a guy like Matt who swung the bat so well last year for the Dodgers, big at-bat against a quality hitter," Guthrie said.

Padres: The other candidate for the rotation, right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne, pitched into the fifth inning of an afternoon Class-A game and "threw the ball fine," according to manager Bud Black.

"We'll probably make that decision as we get closer to the weekend," Black said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: Manager Ned Yost said right-hander Luke Hochevar will start the season on the disabled list. He's not expected to be ready for bullpen work until May in his recovery from elbow surgery.

Padres: CF Wil Myers was sent home with an illness that's hit several players.

NORRIS RECOVERS

The Royals ran wild on catcher Derek Norris in last year's AL wild-card game, stealing seven bases in their victory over Oakland.

Norris, traded to the Padres in the offseason, fared much better Tuesday. He threw out Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain trying to steal second. Alex Gordon did swipe second.

Norris also doubled off the wall and scored against Guthrie in the third.

MORALES SAFE?

Yost hinted that left-hander Franklin Morales has a good chance of making the 25-man roster.

Morales, a non-roster invite to camp, didn't allow a run over six innings and four appearances before a couple of poor outings. He has a 7.20 ERA in 10 innings, allowing eight runs and 12 hits with 11 strikeouts.

LEARNING FIRST

Carlos Quentin, whose future in San Diego is uncertain, played first base in a minor league game. The two-time All-Star outfielder has gotten work there after losing his starting job in the flurry of offseason moves.

"Listen, it takes time for anybody to become comfortable at the highest level of baseball when you switch positions," Black said. "It's tough, but he continues to work on it. He's putting the time in."

WE ALL SCREAM

Nothing like an ice cream break, especially on a 95-degree day.

Padres third base coach Glenn Hoffman arranged for an ice cream truck to drive into the outfield during the afternoon workout and deliver treats to the players on the field.

"Childhood memories," pitcher James Shields said, smiling.

UP NEXT

Royals: Opening-day starter Yordano Ventura, Morales and Hochevar are all scheduled to throw in the Cactus League finale Wednesday against Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Padres: Shields will make his final spring start Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox. "He'll scale back a little bit," Black said. "There's no set number of innings, just what he feels he needs."

Tyson Ross pitches in the final Cactus League game Thursday vs. Milwaukee. Andrew Cashner will throw a bullpen session during Friday's workout in San Diego, and Ian Kennedy will pitch in Saturday's home exhibition against a Mexican League team.

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