SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The old saying is that if you give up a home run, do it with the bases empty. That's what Royals left-hander Bruce Chen did on Saturday, although he might have overdone it a bit.
Chen gave up three home runs, all with the bases empty, and the Royals lost to the San Francisco Giants, 3-1, at Scottsdale Stadium. Even so, both Chen and manager Ned Yost were pleased with the way his six innings went.
"A lot better than I did last time against the Minor Leaguers," Chen said, referring to an intrasquad game. "I felt like I was throwing low strikes, mixing all my pitches and Brayan [Pena] did a real good job calling the game."
The home runs were belted by the 3-4-5 hitters in the Giants' lineup -- Aubrey Huff, Buster Posey and Cody Ross.
"That's going to happen whenever you're aggressive in the count," Chen said. "I went out there and went after them. I thought two of the home runs were on good pitches and that's going to happen. I'm very happy with the way I pitched and the way I'm feeling."
Yost let Chen become the first Royals' pitcher to go six innings this spring and agreed that two of the three homers came on pitches that were low and not all that bad.
"That's all they mustered off him in six innings," Yost said. "He was real efficient with his pitches, kept the ball down and did a real nice job of commanding his stuff."
Catchers Pena, May, Pina continue to compete
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Royals' catching job is still sort of catch on as catch can.
Nothing is established as Brayan Pena, Lucas May and Manny Pina continue to compete to be the replacement for rehabbing Jason Kendall.
"We've still got time," manager Ned Yost said.
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"I don't care about the offense," Yost said. "I care about it but my whole focus is that I want a guy back there that can call a game, that can block pitches, that receives balls -- can be a catcher. And he had a good game the other day. That's a good sign."
How is the defense going for May, a converted infielder-outfielder?
"So-so," Yost said.
Pina is considered a defensive whiz.
"Like you saw yesterday, Manny can catch and throw and calls a decent game. Not much offense right now but I think he's going to be able to hit," Yost said.
Both Pena and May are out of options; Pina has options remaining, so that could be a factor.
Kendall, who had right shoulder surgery last September, is likely to start the season on the disabled list but could be ready at some point in April.
Adcock continues scoreless spring
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Rule 5 Draft pick Nate Adcock continued his scoreless spring with a perfect inning against the Giants on Saturday.
Adcock has not given up a run in the nine innings he's worked for the Royals. He's allowed seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
"He's done a really good job," manager Ned Yost said. "He's got the heaviest sinker we've got in camp -- it's just a power sinker. He needs a little work on refining his secondary pitches but he throws strikes and he's got a pitch that he can get ground balls with and survive with. So we like what we've seen so far."
The Royals selected Adcock from the Pittsburgh organization and must keep him on the 25-man roster or offer him back to the Pirates. He has not played above the Class A level.
"I'm very happy, very pleased with the way I've been throwing," Adcock said. "Just trying to throw strikes and I've learned a whole lot and it's helped, being more mature and not just throwing but pitching in-and-out and changing speeds. It's something Mac (pitching coach Bob McClure) really stresses and I've really picked it up. I'm trying to do my best to do it."
Another right-hander, Aaron Crow, also pitched a scoreless inning allowing one hit, and has a 2.00 ERA this spring.
Texeira in midst of bullpen battle
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Kanekoa Texeira didn't get into Saturday's game, but he's in the midst of the Royals' battle for the bullpen.
Texeira has a 1.35 ERA in 6 2/3 innings, giving up one run and three hits.
"He's in real good shape," manager Ned Yost said. "He's gained probably two miles an hour on his fastball and his consistency and his command's been impeccable from the first day of Spring Training on, with good stuff -- a better slider, a little bit harder sinker."
Claimed on waivers from Seattle last June 3, Texeira was a Rule 5 Draft pick kept by the Royals. He appeared in 27 games and was 1-0 with a 4.64 ERA.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.