KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Wily Mo Pena hit his first major league home run in nearly three years, Joe Saunders pitched seven strong innings and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Kansas City Royals 7-2 Tuesday night.
Pena, just promoted from Triple-A Reno where he topped the Pacific Coast League with 21 home runs, hit a towering shot to right-center with two out in the fifth to tie the score 1-1. Pena’s previous home run was June 24, 2008, while with the Washington Nationals.
Saunders (4-7), who started the season 0-5, picked up his fourth victory in six starts. He held the Royals to six hits and two runs over seven innings, his 10th consecutive start pitching at least six innings.
Chris Young padded the Diamondbacks’ lead with his 15th home run in the eighth after Stephen Drew walked.
Luke Hochevar (4-8) picked up the loss and is 1-5 in his past eight starts. Hochevar, the first pick in the 2006 draft, yielded five runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked one in seven innings, with his earned run average climbing to 4.97.
The Diamondbacks scored three runs in the seventh. Gerardo Parra stroked a two-run triple to right and scored on Ryan Roberts’ ground out. The Diamondbacks took the lead in the sixth when Justin Upton’s double scored Kelly Johnson, who had a bunt single.
Alex Gordon led the Royals with three hits, needing only a single for the cycle, and drove in both runs. He led off the game with a home run and his triple in the seventh scored Alcides Escobar, who had walked.
NOTES — OF Jarrod Dyson, who was used primarily as a pinch runner and stole nine bases in as many attempts to start the season for Kansas City, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha, where he hit .288 with 14 stolen bases in 29 games. Manager Ned Yost said Dyson would probably return to the minors Friday when LHP Bruce Chen is reinstated from the disabled list and start that night against the Cubs. ... LHP Danny Duffy, who departed his start Sunday in St. Louis after 3 2-3 innings with cramps in his left calf, will make his next start Saturday against the Cubs. ... RHP Kyle Davies, who is on the 15-day DL with rotator cuff inflammation, will make one more minor league rehab start before rejoining the Royals rotation July 1. ... Arizona RHP Sam Demel, who has a 1.72 ERA before going on the disabled list May 24 with shoulder tendinitis, threw on the side Tuesday and will throw a simulated game this weekend.