Bubba Starling hit a two-run, inside-the-park homer in the sixth inning off of reliever Jason Motte to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday in Surprise, Ariz.
Starling sent a one-out, two-strike fastball from Motte -- whom the Rockies signed as a free agent this offseason - high off the left-center field wall. Neither center fielder Raimel Tapia nor left fielder Michael Tauchman necessarily misplayed the ball, but Starling's speed allowed him to score easily, giving the Royals a 3-0 lead at the time.
Trevor Story nearly homered to lead off the following inning but settled for a double. He scored on Ben Paulsen's RBI single, which put the Rockies on the board.
Cristhian Adames hit a solo homer with one out in the ninth to pull the Rox to within one, but veteran reliever Ross Ohlendorf got Ryan McMahon to fly out and Dom Nunez to ground out to end the game.
Jordan Lyles started for the Rockies and went three innings, allowing a solo homer to Tony Orlando but not much else. Lyles whiffed two batters and threw 25 of 39 pitches for strikes in what was a satisfactory outing.
The Rockies got good bullpen work from Shane Carle (two scoreless innings, two strikeouts), Scott Oberg and Gonzalez Germen to stay within striking distance. The aforementioned Motte allowed two runs -- both on Starling's homer -- on two hits in his lone inning of work.
Colorado hitters struck out eight times, didn't draw a walk and managed just four hits against a group of Royals pitchers led by starter Edinson Volquez (three hitless innings, two strikeouts) and Miguel Almonte (three innings, one earned run, four Ks). As you can imagine, perhaps the best part of the game was BEES:
The Rockies will be back in action on Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium against the San Francisco Giants. Eddie Butler will start for Colorado and is scheduled to go three innings. New bullpen acquisitions Jake McGee and Chad Qualls are expected to make their first Cactus League appearances.