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KC Royals’ Nick Loftin relishes 1st spring home run with newborn son at the game

Kansas City Royals infielder Nick Loftin had a few special guests in attendance at Surprise Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Loftin, 25, started the spring training game at third base against the Cincinnati Reds. In the third inning, he hit a two-run home run off Reds pitcher Andrew Moore. The ball sailed into the outfield seats as Loftin’s family and friends celebrated in the stands.

Loftin cherished the moment. It was the second time his newborn son, Liam, has seen him play in a Cactus League game. Liam was born Jan. 21 and turned six weeks old Sunday.

And Loftin shared the occasion alongside his wife, Taylor, with a special family photo.

“This is the first picture we took together with me in uniform,” Loftin said. “That’s actually pretty cool, now that I think about it.”

Loftin made his Major League Baseball debut last season. He’s now looking to solidify a roster spot in Kansas City ahead of opening day.

The Royals have played Loftin in multiple spots. He has appeared in six spring training games and is hitting .333 (4-for-12) with a homer, three RBIs and three walks.

Loftin embraces the utility role. He has heard comparisons to former Royals standout Whit Merrifield, given his ability to play across the diamond.

Loftin is getting accustomed defensively to playing different positions. He hopes to grow comfortable at first base and add it to his repertoire.

He knows that more experience will help him in the field and at the plate.

“I got a good taste of it in September and was very fortunate to make the most of my opportunity,” Loftin said. “But I just want to be more consistent. Just continue to have great at-bats and see pitches. Take my walks when I can get them. Hammer the baseball when I get a good pitch to hit.”

Loftin is lauded for his eye as a hitter. He has struck out just once and is making solid contact this spring.

On Sunday, Cincinnati’s Moore hung a slider in the third inning. Loftin stayed true to his word and didn’t miss the pitch.

His blast helped cap a five-run inning for the Royals.

“Nick is a good hitter,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “He puts up good at-bats regardless, righty or lefty. He is very composed in the box. I think the power will develop.”

KC hit three home runs in the third inning. Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. drilled his second homer of the spring and outfielder MJ Melendez also went deep. The Royals collected 13 hits in a 7-3 victory.

Veteran pitcher Michael Wacha made his second spring start since joining the Royals this offseason. He allowed one run in two innings of work. He surrendered a solo home run to Reds infielder Jose Barrero in the second inning.

“Overall, I was pleased with it,” Wacha said of his day. “Taking away, I got some things to work on.”

The Royals improved to 8-3 in Cactus League play. KC will enjoy an off-day Monday before returning to action Tuesday.

Loftin planned to spend the day with his son and was excited for their time together.

“It’s memorable for sure,” Loftin said. “I felt good and I’m feeling really good at the plate. Glad to have my family out there supporting me.”