KANSAS CITY -- Not that the D-backs needed confirmation, but Wily Mo Pena showed on Tuesday night he can hit a fastball when he clubbed one on a line over the wall and into a fountain in center.
Of course, after that he saw just two more heaters the rest of the night and fanned in his two other at-bats. The D-backs beat the Royals, 7-2, in the series opener.
Will Pena be able to make the adjustment?
"We'll find out," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's going to have to lay off bad pitches just like everybody else in the big leagues. They'll probably throw those fastballs in counts he wouldn't expect them. You still have to look to your strength, but at the same time you've got to be more selective. He's got to get better at that."
Pena was called up to serve as the team's designated hitter with the D-backs playing nine of the next 12 games in American League parks. While he has played outfield over his Major League career, it does not sound like he needs to pack his glove on the upcoming trips.
"He's probably in a little better shape than he was in Spring Training, but that's not his strength," Gibson said of Pena's defensive ability. "I don't have any plans to play him in the outfield right now. I pretty much am just going to let him hit when he's here. That's my plan. It could change, but that's how I look at it right now."
Pena hit .363 with 21 homers and 63 RBIs in 63 games for Triple-A Reno.