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Royals enjoying run of success, even in spring

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm •  Published: March 4, 2013

"It's about being comfortable," Gordon said. "That's where you try to get."

The Royals seem to be getting there.

They're hitting .338 as a team, by far the best average in spring training — and no, they're not playing their starters any later than anybody else. They're also among the top five in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and stolen bases.

"In spring training, you want to make sure everyone gets their work in, and you want to make sure everyone plays. That's my view, anyway," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "And if you look at the games we've played, everyone's been a part of it."

What may excite Yost the most has been the way his starting rotation has looked.

James Shields, acquired from Tampa Bay to be the ace of the staff, pitched a perfect inning in his debut on Thursday. Fellow right-hander Wade Davis, who also came over from the Rays, has allowed just three hits in five scoreless innings.

Ervin Santana, acquired in the offseason from the Angels, also tossed two scoreless innings.

"It's nice to see wins," right fielder Jeff Francoeur said, "but I think the thing I'm most excited about is the pitching. I feel like we have guys on this team between Hos, myself, Moose, they can bounce back and have good years. When you look at what our pitching can do, get those guys in there, the confidence of our offense knowing what we have out there is huge.

"Not to say we didn't have it last year," Francoeur said, "but to me, when you know you can have five guys go out there and throw well every day, it's a huge confidence booster."

Wins and losses may become even more baseless this week as rosters are thinned by top players heading to the World Baseball Classic. The Royals are losing nine guys to various teams.

But as long as there are games to be played, Kansas City intends to win them.

And with every victory, confidence continues to climb.

"Everybody's been playing," Yost said after beating the Reds on Sunday. "Everybody is playing regularly, and everyone is contributing, and it makes for a fun clubhouse."