Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor gave his team a quick lead when he slugged the second pitch he saw from Nick Pivetta to deep left-center field at Citizens Bank Park. Fortunately for him, the ball took a favorable bounce off of the chain link fence above the wall, going back towards the left field line. Neither center fielder Odubel Herrera nor left fielder Aaron Altherr had any chance of retrieving the ball by the time Taylor circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
According to Statcast, Taylor went around the bases in 15.4 seconds, good for the third-fastest time on a home run this season. Justin Turner followed up by hitting a traditional solo home run off of Pivetta to make it a 2-0 game.
After Taylor’s homer, the 27-year-old is batting .291/.357/.503 with 20 home runs, 68 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 526 plate appearances.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.