Just about everybody got their licks in against Oakland pitcher Andrew Triggs in spring training, including the Kansas City Royals, the team that drafted him out of Southern California.
Things have been far different in the regular season.
Triggs followed his strong start against the Angels with six shutout innings against the Royals, while Jed Lowrie led a proficient offense with three RBIs and the Athletics romped to an 8-3 victory over punchless Kansas City on Wednesday night.
"The lights come on and the real gams begin," Triggs said, "you want to perform."
He certainly has, scattering four hits and a walk while striking out three with an effective slider and pinpoint fastball. Triggs (2-0) has now gone 11 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run this season.
All after going 1-3 with an 8.10 ERA during the spring.
"He's been great," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "He was going to be in the rotation going into the spring, so we weren't really looking at results. We were looking to get his pitch count up and have him get off to a good start to the season."
Triggs combined with Ryan Dull to extend the Royals' scoreless-inning streak to 19 before Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer drove in runs off reliever Liam Hendricks in the eighth. Raul Mondesi homered in the ninth.
The A's have won eight in a row over the Royals, six of those coming at Kauffman Stadium — and most of them in romps. Oakland has outscored the Royals 53-15 in the games played in Kansas City.
"It's a tough team and it's been a tough team for us," Melvin said, "so hopefully it continues."
Jason Hammel (0-1) gave up four runs on seven hits and two walks before getting yanked with two outs in the fifth, while Travis Wood and Chris Young allowed four more runs in another embarrassing show by the Royals' bullpen.
Then again, their performance was moot the way the offense was sputtering.
Triggs got an inning-ending double play to escape the first, then stranded a runner at third in the second before cruising through the next four innings. By the time the Royals squandered a leadoff double in the fourth, they had gone 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position for the second straight game.
"It wasn't real sporty the first couple of innings, but it was nice to see the bats come alive late in the game, the last two innings," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Lorenzo with three hits, that was good. Mondy had a great game, hit two bullets for outs, a walk and a home run. Those were all positives."
Alex in right
The Royals' Alex Gordon started in RF for the first time since 2010 and only the fourth time in 1,282 big league games. The reason was to get Brandon Moss into the lineup in LF, where he's more comfortable, and Cheslor Cuthbert's bat in the lineup as DH. Moss and Cuthbert combined to go 0 for 8.
The Royals recalled LHP Scott Alexander and RHP Jake Junis from Triple-A Omaha to reinforce their struggling bullpen. Alexander pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, while Junis loaded the bases in the ninth before getting a double play to end it.
Kansas City OF Jorge Soler (left oblique strain) hit in the cage before the game and could take live batting practice Friday. That would put him on pace to begin a rehab assignment next week.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Hahn makes his first start of the season in Thursday night's series finale. He pitched six innings in relief in a 10-5 loss at Texas last week.
Royals: LHP Jason Vargas makes his fifth start since Tommy John surgery in 2015. He earned his first win since June of that year in a 5-1 victory at Houston last week.