Royals' Anderson hits for cycle in four innings

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Former White Sox first-round pick Brian Anderson, currently auditioning for a spot on the Kansas City bench, hit for the cycle and drove in seven runs in the first four innings Friday as the Royals took a 17-0 lead over the Diamondbacks.
Anderson, who would have had a shot at a starting job before Rick Ankiel was signed, appeared to be losing a competition with Mitch Maier for one spot on the Kansas City bench, but he may have reversed his fortunes in the span of an hour and a half.
The 28-year-old doubled and tripled off Arizona starter Billy Buckner, singled off closer Chad Qualls and then hit a two-run homer in the fourth off Clay Zavada.
The homer was his first of the spring. He entered the day with a .273 average and three doubles in 22 at-bats.
Anderson wasn’t the only former White Sox first-round pick having a big game for Kansas City, either. Josh Fields, another player battling for a bench spot, was 3-for-3 with a double and five RBI before being pulled for a pinch-runner.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”