O’Sullivan, Perez lead Royals split squad over SD

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Sean O’Sullivan pitched efficiently and benefited from two laser throws by catching phenom Salvador Perez as a Kansas City Royals split squad beat the San Diego Padres 11-3 on Monday night.

It was a matchup of teams that will have two of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

O’Sullivan, who went to high school in the San Diego area, gave up a long opposite-field home run to Brad Hawpe on a windy night, one of the two hits he allowed in three innings. O’Sullivan, one of six pitchers vying for five spots, struck out two and walked two.

Perez, a 20-year-old non-roster catcher who’s never played above Class A, twice threw out Padres leadoff batter Will Venable trying to steal second.

III

SURPRISE, Ariz. — J.J. Putz and Aaron Heilman are trying to take advantage of a fresh start with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Putz worked a perfect fourth inning, while Heilman allowed five runs (three earned) in three innings Monday and a Diamondbacks split squad rallied for an 8-6 victory over a Kansas City Royals split squad.

The teams combined for seven home runs. Juan Mirando, Konrad Schmidt, A.J. Pollock and Ryan Wheeler homered for Arizona. Pollock and Wheeler hit back-to-back homers in a four-run ninth off Royals rookie right-hander Kevin Pucetas.

Melky Cabrera, Kila Ka’aihue and Clint Robinson homered for the Royals. Ka’aihue hit a three-run shot, giving him a team-leading eight RBI.

“The wind was howling out there, anything in the air was going out of the park,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It’s tough day to judge. Kila’s ball was not wind blown. He absolutely smoked it. Melky’s ball was crushed, but every other ball that went out was wind aided.”

Putz was a dominant closer for Seattle, saving 76 games in 2006-07, but has only five saves the past two years with the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets, spending time on the disabled list with knee and elbow injuries.

Royals shortstop Joaquin Arias was pulled after two innings with a hamstring injury. Yost said he hurt it while trying to stretch a single into a double in the second inning.

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