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Kansas City at Chicago

Scoreboard
Kansas City (16-4)0001001103111
Chi. Cubs (9-12) «40111100x8120

Cubs 8, Royals 3

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MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum has compared Javier Baez's bat speed to that of nine-time All-Star Gary Sheffield's vicious swing.

Even Sheffield, who finished with 509 career home runs, would be impressed with what the 20-year-old Cub's shortstop prospect has done over the last two days.

Baez has hit four home runs in his last five at-bats on a total of seven pitches, including two off Bruce Chen on Saturday as a Cubs split-squad pounded out an 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals.

"I am seeing the ball pretty good and hitting the ball hard," he said. "This is my first time and it feels great."

The two homers he hit Friday, including a two-run game-winner, won't show up in the Cactus League statistics because they came in an exhibition against Japan, which is preparing for the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic.

The feat, however, is very real in the organization's eyes.

"He is special and that's why he was drafted where he was," said Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk, who was managing while Sveum was with the other squad in Las Vegas. "Hopefully, he keeps doing what he is doing and time will tell when he gets here."

Baez was the Cubs' first pick - ninth overall - in the 2011 draft.

"There is no rush. Some guys are special and his talents will take him as quick as he needs to be. He is getting great experience of playing all of these major league spring training games," Quirk said.

Baez has received an extended look because shortstop Starlin Castro missed 12 games with a leg injury before recently returning, and now the Cubs are in the middle of three straight split-squad days.

Baez is expected to be sent to minor league camp in the coming days but not before giving a glimpse of what he can do.

"That's not my decision so I will do whatever they want me to do," said Baez, who is hitting .324 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 34 at-bats. "My goal was to show them I can play the game hard and come to play."

Joining Baez in the hitting barrage were David DeJesus, who led off the bottom of the first with a home run, Alfonso Soriano, who hit a two-run shot in the first and second baseman Alberto Gonzalez, who connected for a solo shot in the fourth.

"I'm feeling good," Soriano said. "My body has responded very well and I have to work with my timing at little bit at home plate."

Chen, who is competing with three others for the fifth sport in the rotation, was roughed up by the Cubs as they hit five home runs, including three in the first inning, off the veteran left-hander.

In five innings he allowed nine hits, seven runs - 6 earned - with one walk and four strikeouts while facing 25 batters.

"I feel like I made some adjustments after the first inning," Chen said. "I made some good pitches and some bad pitches. Overall, I need to improve and make better pitches. My body felt good and I just need to work on keeping the ball down."

NOTES: Cubs outfielder Brett Jackson (right shoulder) had an MRI Friday that showed inflammation, but it isn't considered serious. He is expected to be out of the lineup for about a week. . Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar (stiff back) went through a full workout Saturday is scheduled to return to action Sunday or Monday. . Royal first baseman Eric Hosmer and reliever Tim Collins were expected to return to Arizona on Saturday after their team with Team USA in the WBC. The date of their availability hasn't been determined.

 
Copyright 2014 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
Chicago

A. Soriano
AB 2
R 2
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Kansas City

C. Getz
AB 2
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jarrod Dyson, CF4010012 .270
    Nick Van Stratten, RF1000000 .000
Johnny Giavotella, 2B3010003 .278
   a- Chris Getz, PH-2B2011000 .303
Mike Moustakas, 3B3111001 .415
    Anthony Seratelli, 3B-SS1000002 .227
Max Ramirez, 1B2000110 .371
    Brandon Wood, 1B1110000 .296
David Lough, RF3020001 .559
    Endy Chavez, RF-CF1000001 .214
Brett Hayes, C3000013 .222
   b- George Kottaras, PH1010000 .286
Christian Colon, SS4121001 .200
    Rey Navarro, 3B00000001.000
Willy Taveras, LF3010101 .419
    Paulo Orlando, LF00000001.000
    Adam Moore, C2000012 .304
Totals35311324  
a-singled for Giavotella in the 7th
b-singled for Bueno in the 8th
Batting
2B - Brandon Wood (3, Fujikawa), Christian Colon (1, Takahashi)
3B - Jarrod Dyson (2, Bowden)
HR - Mike Moustakas (2, Takahashi)
SH - Bruce Chen (1)
RBI - Chris Getz (6), Mike Moustakas (8), Christian Colon (4)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Getz (1)
SB - Chris Getz (3, 2nd base off Camp/Lopez)
CS - Johnny Giavotella (1, 2nd base by Takahashi/Lopez)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Johnny Giavotella (1, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Bruce Chen (L,1-1) 5976145 7.90
Aaron Crow 1311000 5.40
Francisley Bueno 1000010 2.89
Michael Mariot 1000100 3.86
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Bruce Chen 3-8, Francisley Bueno 1-1, Michael Mariot 2-1
Batters Faced - Bruce Chen 25, Aaron Crow 6, Francisley Bueno 3, Michael Mariot 4
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
David DeJesus, CF3111001 .308
    Dave Sappelt, CF1000101 .161
Brent Lillibridge, 3B3120000 .412
    Christian Villanueva, 3B2010001 .154
Anthony Rizzo, 1B3000023 .235
    Justin Bour, 1B10110001.000
Alfonso Soriano, LF2212100 .250
    Pin-Chieh Chen, LF1000002 .000
Josh Vitters, DH2000011 .000
   a- Bijan Rademacher, PH-DH2000020 .000
Javier Baez, SS3222001 .324
   b- Arismendy Alcantara, PH-SS1000000 .000
Jorge Soler, RF4010000 .258
    Oliver Zapata, RF0000000 .000
Rafael Lopez, C4110001 .154
Alberto Gonzalez, 2B2121000 .182
   c- Carlos Penalver, PH-2B2000001 .000
Totals36812725  
a-struck out for Vitters in the 5th
b-grounded out for Baez in the 7th
c-flied out for Gonzalez in the 6th
Batting
2B - Brent Lillibridge (2, Chen)
HR - David DeJesus (1, Chen), Alfonso Soriano (2, Chen), Javier Baez 2 (4, Chen, Chen), Alberto Gonzalez (1, Chen)
RBI - David DeJesus (1), Justin Bour (1), Alfonso Soriano 2 (5), Javier Baez 2 (8), Alberto Gonzalez (2)
2-OUT RBI - Justin Bour (1), Javier Baez 2 (3)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Dave Sappelt 1
DP - Baez-Rizzo
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Hisanori Takahashi (W,1-1) 4511111 4.09
Michael Bowden (H,2) 2200020 2.16
Shawn Camp (H,1) 1211110 1.80
Kyuji Fujikawa (H,3) 1211000 3.00
Carlos Marmol 1000000 2.70
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hisanori Takahashi 6-3, Shawn Camp 2-0, Kyuji Fujikawa 1-2
Batters Faced - Hisanori Takahashi 16, Michael Bowden 8, Shawn Camp 6, Kyuji Fujikawa 5, Carlos Marmol 3
Game Information
Attendance - 9918
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Mark Ripperger, First Base - Joel Hospodka, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Mike Muchlinski