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Darvish 4 Ks, Fielder HR in Texas 11-7 win over KC

By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
  •  

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Yu Darvish struck out four in two innings of the spring opener for Texas, and Prince Fielder hit a towering solo homer as the Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 11-7 on Thursday.

Darvish, who led the majors with 277 strikeouts and was second in the AL Cy Young Award voting last season, threw 23 of 29 pitches for strikes. His first pitch to all eight batters faced was a strike.

''I think it worked out very well,'' Darvish said through his interpreter. ''I'm looking forward to tomorrow's pitchers meetings and I think (pitching coach Mike) Maddux is going to praise my performance. ... There's a lot of life to my fastball, a lot of movement on my slider.''

The Rangers struggled at times last year to score runs behind Darvish, who was the first pitcher since 1989 to have four 1-0 losses in the same season.

''Hopefully we can turn that around,'' Fielder said.

Texas led 4-0 before Darvish's final pitch in the Cactus League opener, and never trailed.

Fielder, acquired in a trade from Detroit for Ian Kinsler, had a weak grounder in the first inning. In the third, he pulled a homer over the Rangers bullpen, well beyond the 350-foot sign on the right field fence.

''Just got lucky. (He) threw it where my bat was going,'' Fielder said. ''Obviously they don't count, but they're definitely good for you mentally.''

STARTING TIME

Royals: Bruce Chen, going into his sixth season with Kansas City, allowed two runs and four hits in two innings. The Royals had errors on consecutive plays behind him, making one of the runs unearned. The left-hander threw 18 of 26 pitches for strikes.

Rangers: Alexi Ogando is scheduled to start for Texas in Friday's game against the Royals - this time with Texas as the home team in the complex they share.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison threw for the first time in 11 days, at about 120 feet on flat ground.

''My back felt great. Everything felt really good,'' Harrison said.

Harrison made only two starts last season before two operations on a herniated disk in his lower back. He had been sidelined by neck and back stiffness before getting cleared by an exam in Texas with the doctor who did the operations.

GOING DEEP

Danny Duffy, a candidate to be the Royals' No. 5 starter, was trying to throw in on the hands of Fielder.

''I left it over the plate and he smoked it,'' Duffy said. ''It was the right mindset, but I didn't execute.''

Brent Lillibridge also homered for Texas.

Kansas City got homers from Danny Valencia and Justin Maxwell, the later with a bit of an assist.

Rangers left fielder Bryan Petersen was trying to make a play on Maxwell's deep flyball, which instead went off his glove and over the fence. Peterson followed that with a nice running catch to end the seventh.

FELLOW COUNTRYMEN

Right fielder Norichika Aoki, Kansas City's first position player from Japan, led off for the Royals by striking out against the Texas ace from Japan.

''He was in a different league in Japan, so I didn't really face him too much,'' Aoki said through an interpreter. ''He felt like the same Darvish.''

That was the only time facing Darvish for Aoki, who finished 0 for 3.

''I think I faced Aoki like any other hitter,'' Darvish said. ''He seemed really aggressive. He seemed like he wanted to hit, so I really wanted to strike him out.''

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

B. Lillibridge
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Kansas City

J. Maxwell
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Texas Rangers
Shin-Soo Choo , LF2000012.000.000.000
Elvis Andrus , SS2000010.000.000.000
Prince Fielder , 1B2111000.500.5001.000
Adrian Beltre , 3B12101001.0001.0001.000
Mitch Moreland , 1B2011011.500.500.500
  Jurickson Profar , 2B-DH3111000.333.333.333
J.P. Arencibia , C3111012.333.333.667
Michael Choice , CF20200001.0001.0001.000
Adam Rosales , SS2011002.500.500.500
Leonys Martin , CF2000012.000.000.000
Bryan Petersen , RF2100111.000.333.000
Josh Wilson , SS2110000.500.5001.000
Jim Adduci , CF1000010.000.000.000
Alex Castellanos , 3B2100120.000.333.000
Brad Snyder , RF2112111.500.6671.000
Brent Lillibridge , SS2112001.500.5001.000
Engel Beltre , CF3010001.333.333.333
Robinson Chirinos , C2010012.500.500.500
Luis Sardinas , SS11100001.0001.0001.000
Kevin Kouzmanoff , 1B1000001.000.000.000
Rougned Odor , 2B1000001.000.000.000
Totals401114941117  
BATTING
2B - A Beltre (1); J Arencibia (1); J Wilson (1); B Snyder (1)
HR - P Fielder (1); B Lillibridge (1)
RBI - P Fielder (1); M Moreland (1); J Profar (1); J Arencibia (1); A Rosales (1); B Snyder 2 (2); B Lillibridge 2 (2)
S - J Adduci (1)
BASERUNNING
CS - B Snyder (1)
Texas Rangers
Yu Darvish (W,1-0) 2.02000400.00
Tommy Hanson 1.10101100.00
Wilmer Font 0.20001000.00
Ryan Feierabend 2.02110314.50
Justin Germano 1.245300116.20
Aaron Poreda 0.11000000.00
Lisalverto Bonilla 1.02001100.00
Kansas City Royals
Norichika Aoki , RF3000010.000.000.000
Omar Infante , 2B2000001.000.000.000
Eric Hosmer , 1B2010001.500.5001.000
  Brandon Laird , 3B-1B2011000.500.667.500
Billy Butler , DH2100123.000.333.000
  Jorge Bonifacio , RF-DH2100001.000.000.000
Alex Gordon , LF2000011.000.000.000
  Justin Maxwell , RF-LF3122002.667.6671.000
Salvador Perez , C10110001.000.5001.000
Mike Moustakas , 3B1000111.000.500.000
Lorenzo Cain , CF2000003.000.000.000
Pedro Ciriaco , SS2000012.000.000.000
Johnny Giavotella , 2B3121000.667.6671.000
Brett Hayes , C3000004.000.000.000
Danny Valencia , 3B3111011.333.3331.000
Jarrod Dyson , CF2110110.500.6671.000
Jason Donald , SS3120000.667.667.667
Carlos Peguero , RF2001011.000.000.000
Malcom Culver , P0000000.000.000.000
Totals4071173921  
BATTING
2B - E Hosmer (1); J Giavotella (1); J Dyson (1)
HR - J Maxwell (1); D Valencia (1)
RBI - B Laird (1); J Maxwell 2 (2); S Perez (1); J Giavotella (1); D Valencia (1); C Peguero (1)
SF - S Perez (1)
BASERUNNING
SB - N Aoki (1)
Kansas City Royals
Bruce Chen (L,0-1) 2.04210104.50
Danny Duffy 2.03221419.00
Donnie Joseph 1.00000300.00
Scott Alexander 1.01001000.00
Cory Wade 1.045511145.00
Kelvin Herrera 1.01211109.00
Malcom Culver 1.01000100.00