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Shields shelled in final tuneup for Royals

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | 9:51 p.m. CDT
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher James Shields throws before the start of the second inning of a spring exhibition baseball game against the San Diego Padres Wednesday in Peoria, Ariz.

PEORIA, Ariz. — James Shields gave up seven runs in the first inning Wednesday before settling down to throw three scoreless ones in his final start before opening day in the Kansas City Royals' 9-5 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Shields gave up six hits, walked one and hit a batter as the Padres sent 11 to the plate in the first. Shields allowed only one hit after that and finished with a 4.74 spring ERA.

"They were just hitting groundballs that found some holes," Shields said. "I was trying to stay aggressive. Walking the first guy didn't help. But other than the first inning, I thought it was a pretty good effort."

Shields will start Monday at Detroit as the Royals try to end a 28-year postseason drought, longest in the majors.

Padres starter Ian Kennedy gave up solo home runs to Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez on consecutive pitches in a two-inning stint that included three runs and six hits.

Perez left in the third after he was hit in the head by Johnny Barbato's curveball. A team spokesman said he didn't sustain a concussion.

Perez was the batter who hit the liner into Cincinnati reliever Aroldis Chapman's face last week, causing a facial fracture that required surgery.

This time, the catcher was on the other end of a scary incident, being hit in the head with a pitch.

"I'm fine," Perez said through a team spokesman.


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