SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Mike Aviles hit a grand slam in the third inning and drove in five runs and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Oakland Athletics 8-3 on Tuesday night.
Aviles, who started last season at AAA, was promoted on May 29 last season and became the Kansas City regular shortstop on June 6, hitting .325 with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs in 102 games. He finished tied for fourth in the American League rookie of the year balloting.
"It's a complete 180, definitely for the better," Aviles said of the turnaround of his fortunes from the 2008 camp. "I'm not saying it was bad in 2007, but it's a lot different now. I can't complain. I worked really, really hard to be where I'm at right now. I'm going to work harder to stay where I'm at and get better. That's usually my philosophy, just work as hard as I can and leave everything out there."