GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Non-roster infielder Juan Castro, needing a strong spring to make the Dodgers despite 13 Major League seasons of experience, slugged a three-run homer in an 11-5 loss to the Royals on Wednesday.Castro homered off Jeff Francis in support of Dodgers starter Tim Redding, who pitched three scoreless innings filling in for Ted Lilly, who was scratched with the flu. Castro's home run cashed in singles by James Loney and Ivan DeJesus. Francis allowed three runs on five hits in two innings. "The double to [Andre] Ethier, the homer to Castro and the line doesn't look very good," Francis said, "but I think for the most part, I threw a lot of strikes with all three pitches, with the exception of a few that I fell behind on the count. And I grooved a couple, and they made me pay for it."
2010 Spring Training - Los Angeles Dodgers
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Held scoreless through four, Kansas City rallied in the fifth inning. Dodgers righty Jon Link allowed a pair of walks and RBI singles from Melky Cabrera and Billy Butler.
Scott Elbert relieved Link and had a tough outing, walking four of the five batters he faced and now has issued six walks while facing only 10 batters this spring.
"For me, he's had one rough day and we'll see how he comes back and not let one day turn into the next," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "We'll see how he goes the next time out."Jarrod Dyson and Mitch Maier picked up RBIs on infield hits during a sixth-inning Royals rally, and Kila Ka'aihue and Joaquin Arias added two-run homers in the eighth and ninth, respectively, as the Royals pulled away.
"I didn't know if it was gone, I didn't know if it was going to make it out or not but I got the job done the second time at least," said Ka'aihue, who struck out with the bases loaded in his first at-bat.
Up Next: The Dodgers play their first night game of the spring on Thursday, when they travel to Goodyear, Ariz., to play the Reds at 6:05 p.m. PT. Hiroki Kuroda, who pitched two scoreless innings in his spring debut last week, gets his second start and he'll be joined by infielders Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal and Juan Uribe, among other regulars. Marcus Thames, nursing a sore heel, is not expected to make the trip, but that means extra playing time for Xavier Paul, who is out of options and trying to make the club.
For the Royals, Kyle Davis goes against the Angels at 12:05 p.m. PT on Thursday at Tempe Diablo Stadium as the starting pitchers begin their second go-round of the spring and where manager Ned Yost begins to look for improvement.
"You expect them to get a little better each time they go out," Yost said.
This is also scheduled to be the first outing for closer Joakim Soria and setup man Robinson Tejeda, who were held out of the first four games. They are the only two "locks" in the seven-man bullpen.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.