By Alan Eskew
SURPRISE, Ariz. – Dan Straily worked four promising innings only hours after the Athletics said two of their starters might not be ready for opening day, Derek Norris and Michael Taylor homered and Oakland and the Kansas City Royals played to a 9-9 tie in nine innings Friday.
A's manager Bob Melvin said before the game starters Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin are in "jeopardy" of beginning the season on the disabled list with arm injuries.
"We'll have somebody step up if they're not ready," Straily said. "That's all it comes down to. We're not limited to five quality arms in this organization. We probably have seven, eight or nine that are big league ready right now as starters. It's a great problem to have."
Straily went 10-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 27 starts as a rookie last season with Oakland.
"There's no reason for us to put pressure on ourselves one way or the other for anything," Straily said if other A's starters are hurt. "This game is tough enough as it is. You've just got to focus on yourself and your game and make sure you're ready to go. If everyone does that then our team is going to very competitive and very good."
Straily allowed three hits and one run, an Alex Gordon homer.
Norris hit a three-run homer in the second off Danny Duffy, while Taylor connected for his third in the fourth. Billy Burns went 3 for 4 and stole his Cactus League-leading eighth base.
Duffy gave up five runs on five hits, three walks and a hit batter in two innings.
"I felt like I was on the attack and one thing led to another," Duffy said. "I left a pitch up to the 3-hole hitter (Norris) and he smoked it. I've got to figure out a better way to go about it out there because that's not going to help this team right now."
Justin Maxwell went 3 for 4 with a double and drove in two Royals' runs. Francisco Pena homered on a full-count pitch with two out in the ninth to tie it, but he was told afterward he was being optioned to Triple-A Omaha.
Athletics: Straily said he threw nothing but fastballs for two of his four innings, working on commanding it.
"Walking the first batter, that's not how you want to start your day," Straily said. "But don't worry about it. That so-what mentality. I'm working on a back-door slider when I normally wouldn't be working on a back-door slider, home run (to Alex Gordon). So what? Move on, keep working. Not everything out here is all about results, but that's how we're judged. But we're out here to get ready for the season and work on stuff."
Royals: Duffy toiled through two innings, throwing 65 pitches, allowing five runs on five hits, three walks and a hit batter. Duffy has an 11.00 ERA in four outings.
Athletics: Parker will see Dr. James Andrews on Monday in Birmingham, Ala. to evaluate his sore right forearm. Griffin had a MRI scheduled Friday for his tender elbow.
Royals: Shortstop Alcides Escobar remains out with a sore right arm.
ROYAL ROSTER MOVES
The Royals, who also signed veterans Brett Tomko and Ramon Troncoso (see related story), optioned left-hander Justin Marks, right-hander Michael Marriot, infielder Christian Colon and Pena to Triple-A Omaha and assigned left-handers Everett Teaford and Scott Alexander to minor league camp. They traded non-roster invitee infielder Brandon Laird to the Nationals for a player to be named.