Homers by Betemit, Gordon lift Royals over Giants


The defending champion San Francisco Giants head back to the Bay Area with some uncertainty in their roster.

Jonathan Sanchez and a Giants' team made of mostly minor leaguers lost to the Kansas City Royals 7-4 Sunday.

Manager Bruce Bochy, though, was thinking about opening day.

"We've not finalized the team, yet," Bochy said. "We'll go to San Francisco and play a couple of games there. That's how close it is."

With injuries to closer Brian Wilson and outfielder Cody Ross leaves two big holes in the lineup.

Ross' injury -- a torn calf that will keep him out three weeks -- could open up a spot for first baseman Brandon Belt, who hit .352 with 23 home runs and 112 RBIs last year in three minor league stops in his first professional season. He is hitting .292 with three home runs, five doubles and 13 RBIs in 26 spring training games, but played only 13 games above Double-A last year.

"I like what I see from him on both sides of the ball," Bochy said. "He's done a great job at first. He's gives you quality at-bats, good balance up there, good discipline at the plate. You can see why this kid had a good year last year.

He said the injury to Ross "does make it easier maybe a little bit" more to keep Belt.

"We lost a pretty good bat in Cody Ross," Bochy said. "That will come into play when we do make our decisions. It gives us another left-handed bat in the lineup if he's on the club. We do have some other options."

Wilson, out with a strained side muscle, played catch for the second straight day. Bochy said Wilson would remain in Arizona, where the weather is better and the Giants can control how they use him on the mound better in extended spring minor league games.

"Depending on Wilson, we're still looking at the last spot, maybe two in the bullpen," Bochy said.

Sanchez, who will be the Giants No. 2 starter behind Tim Lincecum, gave up five runs -- four earned -- on six hits and a walk, while striking out four. One hit was a three-run homer to Wilson Betemit in the fourth.

"I made one bad pitch, the home run, that was it," Sanchez said. "Everything else was good. I was down in the zone. My breaking pitch was good. The split was working."

Royals left-hander Jeff Francis yielded one run on six hits in five innings, while striking out six and walking none.

"Francis threw the ball really, really good," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He kept the ball down, changed speeds, commanded the baseball. He's ready to go."

Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer off Giants reliever Ramon Ramirez in the eighth. Gordon is hitting .365 with five home runs and 22 RBIs.

"He's been as good as we hoped he could be this spring," Yost said. "He's been very impressive, very encouraging and (I'm) excited to see what he can do during the year."

NOTES: Royals CF Melky Cabrera had two doubles and raised his Catcus League-leading average to .474. The Royals made two roster moves, optioning OF Lorenzo Cain to Triple-A Omaha and returning Rule 5 draft pick LHP Robert Fish to the Los Angeles Angels.

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