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Kansas City at Texas

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Kansas City (17-5)000000002270
Texas (12-11) «12031010x8170

Rangers 8, Royals 2

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SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Derek Lowe took advantage of an opportunity that arose when Yu Darvish was scratched from his start with neck stiffness to enhance his chances to make the Texas Rangers.

Lowe pitched three scoreless innings and Ian Kinsler had a two-run homer among his three hits and the Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 8-2 Monday night.

The Rangers scratched Darvish, the Japanese star who won 16 games as a rookie, with what the club termed a "very minor" neck strain.

"I think today was obviously Darvish not being able to start," Lowe said. "I was scheduled to pitch two innings. You never like to see anybody get injured, but it actually worked out in my favor to get an extra inning out of it."

Lowe, who signed a minor league contract with the Rangers on March 6, gave up three singles, walked one and struck out three against a Royals' club that entered the game with a spring training-best .335 batting average. He threw 28 strikes in 47 pitches in his second outing.

"It was a lot better, a lot better breaking ball, command of the sinker was a lot better," Lowe said. "We added a cutter today. You're starting to get your legs underneath you a little bit where you feel like you can compete no matter how long you're out there. All in all, it was a good day."

Lowe, who turns 40 on June 1, has been a closer and a starter. Last season he went 8-10 with a 5.52 ERA in 21 starts with Cleveland and 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA and one save in 17 relief appearances with the New York Yankees. The Rangers still have an opening for a fifth starter.

"I think you're asking a little much," Lowe said. "I said all along when I talked to (Rangers general manager) Jon Daniels I just wanted an opportunity to compete for the job or any job. There was never any talk of anything. And I was fine with competition, try to go out and earn your way on the team.

"Let's be honest, look around. There's 34 pitchers still in camp or whatever it is. I'm out here to fight and claw to grab onto any role that's possible," he said. "That's all I really care about. It doesn't matter if it's a half inning, one inning, five innings."

Darvish said in a statement that the move is "just precautionary" and that he would have made the start in the regular season.

The Japanese ace said he felt what he called a very mild strain in his neck during a workout Sunday that caused the stiffness.

"It's not a setback at all," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "In the season, he would have pitched, and you wouldn't have known anything about it. But it doesn't make any sense if he's feeling something down here."

In his first three appearances this spring for the Rangers, Darvish has allowed only one run with 10 strikeouts in 8 2-3 innings.

Kinsler homered off Ervin Santana.

Santana, who the Royals acquired in an off-season trade with the Los Angeles Angels, allowed six runs on 10 hits in four innings. Santana had a 14.46 ERA in three starts last season against the Rangers.

"Everything was a little bit up," Santana said. "That was the problem today. I was leaving the pitches up a little bit and behind in the count, too. It happens. I'm human. Nobody's perfect. Better down here (Arizona) than up there."

Brandon Wood, who was reassigned to minor league camp after the game, hit a two-run two-out ninth double for the only Kansas City runs.

NOTES: The Royals optioned LHPs Will Smith and Everett Teaford and RHP Nate Adcock to their Triple-A Omaha club. They reassigned non-roster invitees RHP Yorando Ventura, Brian Sanches, Blaine Boyer and Michael Mariot, C Adam Moore, OF Willy Taveras and IFs Christian Colon, Anthony Seratelli and Wood to minor-league camp. .LHP Derek Holland returned to the Rangers' camp after pitching for the USA in the World Baseball Classic and will throw in a minor-league game Tuesday. .RHP James Shields did not pitch Sunday against the White Sox, who he will likely face in the April 1 Royals' opener at Chicago, but instead worked in a minor league game. He allowed two hits in six scoreless innings, walked one and struck out eight. He threw 54 strikes in 76 pitches. . SS Alcides Escobar returned to the Royals' lineup for the first time since March 10 after being setback by back spasms. .Lance Berkman played first base, the first time he was in the field for the Rangers after DHing in 12 games.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

I. Kinsler
AB 3
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Kansas City

B. Wood
AB 1
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF2010100 .500
    Willy Taveras, LF1000000 .406
Alcides Escobar, SS3000001 .265
    Anthony Seratelli, SS1000010 .208
Eric Hosmer, 1B3000011 .367
    Max Ramirez, 1B0100100 .389
Billy Butler, DH3000010 .319
   a- Chris Getz, PH-DH1110000 .333
Mike Moustakas, 3B3010010 .409
    Brandon Wood, 3B1012000 .323
Salvador Perez, C3010001 .406
    Adam Moore, C1000011 .320
Lorenzo Cain, CF3020000 .457
    Jarrod Dyson, CF0000000 .263
Jeff Francoeur, RF3000003 .220
    David Lough, RF0000000 .543
Johnny Giavotella, 2B3000020 .275
    Elliot Johnson, 2B0000000 .265
Totals3127227  
a-singled for Butler in the 9th
Batting
2B - Brandon Wood (5, Bonilla)
RBI - Brandon Wood 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Wood 2 (3)
CS - Alex Gordon (1, 2nd base by Lowe/Soto)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Lorenzo Cain 1, Jeff Francoeur 1
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Ervin Santana (L,0-1) 41066121 5.54
Tim Collins 1211010 9.00
Luke Hochevar 1200020 4.91
Donnie Joseph 1011220 2.25
Louis Coleman 1300010 1.93
WP - Ervin Santana (1), Donnie Joseph 2 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 80-49, Tim Collins 13-8, Luke Hochevar 20-11, Donnie Joseph 25-11, Louis Coleman 20-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 7-1, Tim Collins 1-1, Donnie Joseph 1-1
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 21, Tim Collins 5, Luke Hochevar 5, Donnie Joseph 6, Louis Coleman 6
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B3232000 .214
   a- Jeff Baker, PH-2B2000013 .467
Elvis Andrus, SS3011000 .344
   b- Yangervis Solarte, PH-SS2000011 .237
Lance Berkman, 1B4020011 .212
    Jim Adduci, PR-1B1010000 .441
Adrian Beltre, 3B3121000 .267
   c- Mike Olt, PH-3B2010012 .194
David Murphy, LF3010002 .326
    Aaron Cunningham, LF2000012 .286
Geovany Soto, C3000023 .154
    Jose Felix, C2110010 .333
Mitch Moreland, DH2221100 .395
   d- Brandon Allen, PH-DH1000103 .194
Craig Gentry, CF3000002 .275
    Engel Beltre, CF0000100 .067
Julio Borbon, RF3232000 .341
    Jared Hoying, RF1000002 .111
Totals40817738  
a-struck out for Kinsler in the 6th
b-flied out for Andrus in the 6th
c-struck out for Beltre in the 6th
d-walked for Moreland in the 7th
Batting
2B - Adrian Beltre (2, Collins)
HR - Ian Kinsler (1, Santana)
RBI - Ian Kinsler 2 (7), Elvis Andrus (4), Adrian Beltre (4), Mitch Moreland (11), Julio Borbon 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Mitch Moreland (6)
SB - Ian Kinsler (2, 2nd base off Santana/Perez), Mitch Moreland (1, 2nd base off Santana/Perez)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Berkman, Kinsler-Andrus-Berkman
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Derek Lowe (W,1-0) 3300130 0.00
Joe Ortiz (H,4) 2200020 0.00
Nate Robertson (H,6) 2000000 0.00
Ben Rowen (H,2) 1000000 0.00
Lisalberto Bonilla 1222120 6.00
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Lowe 47-28, Joe Ortiz 20-16, Nate Robertson 16-11, Ben Rowen 7-5, Lisalberto Bonilla 27-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Lowe 4-1, Joe Ortiz 2-0, Nate Robertson 2-4, Ben Rowen 1-2, Lisalberto Bonilla 1-0
Batters Faced - Derek Lowe 12, Joe Ortiz 6, Nate Robertson 6, Ben Rowen 3, Lisalberto Bonilla 6
Game Information
Attendance - 7280
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Joel Hospodka, First Base - Al Porter, Second Base - Mike Muchlinski, Third Base - Stephen Barga