Arizona at Kansas City

Kansas City
W: J. Saunders (4-7) L: L. Hochevar (4-8)
HR: ARI - W. Pena (1),C. Young (15)   KC - A. Gordon (9)

Diamondbacks 7, Royals 2 wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Wily Mo Pena is slugging again after a lengthy hiatus.

Pena hit his first major league home run in nearly three years, Joe Saunders pitched seven strong innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Kansas City Royals 7-2 Tuesday night.

Pena, just promoted from Triple-A Reno where he topped the Pacific Coast League with 21 home runs, hit a towering shot to right-center with two out in the fifth to tie the score 1-1. Pena's previous home run was June 24, 2008, while with the Washington Nationals.

This time last year, Pena was playing with the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League. He had season-ending shoulder surgery on July 22, 2008, when he was last in the majors.

Royals starter Luke Hochevar had limited the Diamondbacks to one hit over the first 4 2/3 innings before Pena crushed a fastball to right-center.

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"My first at-bat I was a little too anxious, swinging at the first pitch," Pena said of his foul pop. "My second at-bat, I said, 'Just calm down, I know it's been a long time since I'm here, just be like you were in Triple-A.' I was looking for my pitch."

He got it -- all of it.

"That was probably one of the most impressive home runs I've ever seen," said Justin Upton, who had two doubles and drove in a run. "That ball was on a line. If it didn't run into something, it was going to keep going. It was an impressive swing. We hope to get more of that out of him.

"You want that dangerous hitter in your lineup. We welcome him with open arms because we need another guy that's capable of putting the ball out of the ball park and driving in some runs."

Saunders called the home run "unbelievable."

"I saw it off the bat and said that ball might be a double," Saunders said. "It just kept rising. It's special to see someone hit a ball that hard. I faced him a couple of times in the AL and you kind of cringe when he swings. For him to connect like that against Luke, especially in his first game here, it was awesome for us."

The 29-year-old Pena was hitting .363 with 23 doubles and a .726 slugging percentage with Reno.

"That's what we brought him up here for -- to turbo it out of here," said Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson. "He's been doing it in Triple-A. After the home run, they became a little stingy with their pitches [Pena struck out in final two at-bats]. He'll have to make adjustments on that. You can see what he does when he gets a fastball out over the plate. He's a strong man. I'd like to say I used to hit them that way, but I don't think so."

Saunders (4-7), who started the season 0-5, picked up his fourth victory in six starts. He held the Royals to six hits and two runs over seven innings, his 10th consecutive start pitching at least six innings.

Chris Young padded the Diamondbacks' lead with his 15th home run in the eighth after Stephen Drew walked.

Hochevar (4-8) picked up the loss and is 1-5 in his past eight starts. Hochevar, the first pick in the 2006 draft, yielded five runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked one in seven innings, with his earned run average climbing to 4.97.

The Diamondbacks scored three runs in the seventh. Gerardo Parra stroked a two-run triple to right and scored on Ryan Roberts' ground out. The Diamondbacks took the lead in the sixth when Upton's double scored Kelly Johnson, who had a bunt single.

Alex Gordon led the Royals with three hits, needing only a single for the cycle, and drove in both runs. He led off the game with a home run and his triple in the seventh scored Alcides Escobar, who had walked.


OF Jarrod Dyson, who was used primarily as a pinch runner and stole nine bases in as many attempts to start the season for Kansas City, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha, where he hit .288 with 14 stolen bases in 29 games. Manager Ned Yost said Dyson would probably return to the minors Friday when LHP Bruce Chen is reinstated from the disabled list and start that night against the Cubs. ... LHP Danny Duffy, who departed his start Sunday in St. Louis after 3 2/3 innings with cramps in his left calf, will make his next start Saturday against the Cubs. ... RHP Kyle Davies, who is on the 15-day DL with rotator cuff inflammation, will make one more minor league rehab start before rejoining the Royals rotation July 1. ... Arizona RHP Sam Demel, who has a 1.72 ERA before going on the disabled list May 24 with shoulder tendinitis, threw on the side Tuesday and will throw a simulated game this weekend.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
Kansas City

A. Gordon
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1

C. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

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February 17, 2017
NL West Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks (2:12)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Ryan Roberts, 3B4001100 .257
Kelly Johnson, 2B4110011 .215
Justin Upton, RF4021010 .305
Stephen Drew, SS3100112 .275
Chris Young, CF4112001 .253
Miguel Montero, C4110010 .278
Wily Mo Pena, DH4111021 .250
Juan Miranda, 1B4120020 .231
Gerardo Parra, LF4112001 .275
2B - Justin Upton 2 (21, Hochevar, Hochevar), Juan Miranda (6, Hochevar)
3B - Gerardo Parra (3, Hochevar)
HR - Chris Young (15, Teaford), Wily Mo Pena (1, Hochevar)
RBI - Ryan Roberts (31), Justin Upton (39), Chris Young 2 (40), Wily Mo Pena (1), Gerardo Parra 2 (20)
2-OUT RBI - Wily Mo Pena (1)
Team LOB - 3
Arizona Diamondbacks
Joe Saunders (W,4-7) 7622331 4.35
David Hernandez 1000110 2.65
Aaron Heilman 1000000 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 109-66, David Hernandez 19-11, Aaron Heilman 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 9-8, Aaron Heilman 1-2
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 29, David Hernandez 4, Aaron Heilman 3
Kansas City Royals
Alex Gordon, LF4132000 .287
Melky Cabrera, CF4010002 .275
Eric Hosmer, 1B4000012 .276
Jeff Francoeur, RF3000111 .260
Billy Butler, DH2010200 .304
Mike Moustakas, 3B4000014 .219
Matt Treanor, C4000001 .210
Chris Getz, 2B4010001 .250
Alcides Escobar, SS3100110 .252
2B - Alex Gordon (21, Saunders), Melky Cabrera (16, Saunders)
3B - Alex Gordon (4, Saunders)
HR - Alex Gordon (9, Saunders)
RBI - Alex Gordon 2 (43)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Gordon (18)
CS - Chris Getz (3, 2nd base by Saunders/Montero)
Team LOB - 7
Kansas City Royals
Luke Hochevar (L,4-8) 7855161 4.97
Everett Teaford 1122111 3.00
Joakim Soria 1000010 4.50
WP - Luke Hochevar (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Luke Hochevar 97-59, Everett Teaford 28-17, Joakim Soria 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Luke Hochevar 5-9
Batters Faced - Luke Hochevar 29, Everett Teaford 5, Joakim Soria 3
Game Information
Attendance - 19305
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Cory Blaser, Third Base - Scott Barry