Brett Hayes' leadoff home run in the eighth inning gave the undefeated Royals a 3-2 victory over the Reds on Friday at Surprise Stadium.
Hayes, bidding for the backup catcher's job, connected on an 0-1 pitch from right-hander Jeff Stevens. The Royals' record improved to 7-0-1; the Reds are 2-7.
Both starting pitchers made their first starts in the Cactus League and each got through two scoreless innings. The Royals' Ervin Santana retired the first five batters, then survived a walk and Chris Heisey's double. He worked out of the jam with a strikeout and finished with a pitch count of 31, including 18 strikes.
"Everything was very good," Santana said.
The Reds' Mat Latos walked the first two batters he faced in the first inning and also pitched past a second-inning double by Xavier Nady. Latos felt like he made the right adjustment in the second inning.
"I stayed on a straight line," Latos said. "Throwing in the first inning with a little adrenaline, I kind of opened up the front shoulder a little bit."
Chris Getz began a flurry of solo home runs, leading off the Royals' fifth with a blast to right field off Sam LeCure. The Reds' Devin Mesoraco countered with a homer to left off Greg Holland in the fifth and Kristopher Negron did the same against Aaron Crow to open the sixth for a 2-1 lead.
Miguel Tejada's double and Salvador Perez's RBI single pulled the Royals even, 2-2, in the sixth