Lucas Duda's arm was challenged by Eric Hosmer, who made a delayed dash home on the high throw to score the tying run in the ninth inning of what turned out to be the finale of the Kansas City Royals' five-game win over the New York Mets in the 2015 World Series.
Now Duda is replacing Hosmer.
"It's funny how baseball works out," Duda said Wednesday after agreeing to a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Royals that allows him to earn $1.3 million more in performance bonuses. "You definitely learn from failure. It makes you strong as a person, as a player. For the Kansas City fans out there that don't think maybe I'm the right fit or whatever it may be, I'm out to prove them wrong."
Hosmer became a free agent and agreed to a $144 million, eight-year contract with San Diego. Before adding Duda, the Royals' candidates included a trio of players with no first-base experience in the major leagues: Hunter Dozier, Frank Schwindel and Ryan O'Hearn.
"I was glad we could get Duda because I felt like it that was a spot that was going to be a pretty big hole was first base," Yost said. "We looked around and I think we are pretty well covered for the most part. It never hurts if something falls into your lap or becomes available that can help us."
The 32-year-old Duda hit .217 with 30 homers and 64 RBI last year for the New York Mets and Tampa Bay, which acquired him on July 27. He had 58 extra-base hits and a .496 slugging percentage.
Munoz unleashes power for Cards
Manny Machado hit a grand slam and singled for Baltimore. Chris Davis added a three-run shot, but the Cardinals got back to .500 with a 10-9 win over the Orioles.
Yairo Munoz homered twice in the seventh inning and drove in four runs for St. Louis. The Cardinals got the 23-year-old shortstop/outfielder in the winter trade for Stephen Piscotty. Munoz got three hits for the second straight day.
Royals remain perfect on the spring
Salvador Perez doubled and drove in one run during the Royals' 3-2 win over the Reds.
Alcides Escobar and Humberto Arteaga each collected a pair of hits and right-hander Andres Machado tossed one scoreless inning to pick up his first win of the spring.
Astros' Gurriel to miss six weeks
Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel will have to wait even longer before playing this season.
Gurriel had surgery on his left hand Wednesday and the normal recovery time is six weeks.
Opening day for the World Series champions is March 29, when the Astros visit Texas. When Gurriel returns, he will serve a five-game suspension imposed by Major League Baseball for making an inappropriate gesture toward Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish during the World Series.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Gurriel's hand was broken before he came to camp. Luhnow said he did not know the original cause of the fracture.
The 33-year-old Gurriel hit .299 with 18 homers and 75 RBI last year in his first full season in the majors. He played in one exhibition game this spring and homered.
A.J. Reed, J.D. Davis and Tyler White will get time to audition as a replacement.