Rangers beat World Series champ Royals 6-2 in Cactus League
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Promising prospect Kyle Zimmer tossed two scoreless innings for the World Series champion Royals before the Texas Rangers rolled to a 6-2 victory over Kansas City in their Cactus League opener Wednesday.
''I'm excited to get the first one going and hopefully there's a lot more to come,'' said Zimmer, who is trying to make the big league roster after injuries stunted his rapid rise through the minors.
The Royals managed one hit, a double by Mike Moustakas, off Colby Lewis and the Rangers bullpen through the first six innings. Lewis is coming off knee surgery in October.
''We're just going out there and getting our work in,'' said Lewis, who walked two in the first to load the bases before escaping the jam. ''Just trying to get into pitching shape.''
Nomar Mazara hit a three-run homer in the ninth and finished with four RBIs for Texas. Patrick Kivlehan and Doug Bernier also drove in runs as Texas took the game from its campus co-tenant.
Jorge Bonifacio homered in the sixth for Kansas City and Parker Morin went deep in the eighth.
Chien-Ming Wang, John Lannan and Peter Moylan also made scoreless appearances for the Royals, who took the field for the first time since beating the New York Mets in Game 5 of the World Series.
''It's nice to do something different,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''We've been practicing. We've been taking batting practice. Now we get out on a big diamond in front of a crowd and start playing again.''
Rangers: Lewis fared better than he did in his spring debut a year ago, when he allowed six runs on five hits - three of them homers - and a walk in one inning against Kansas City.
Royals: Zimmer got help from a double play turned by promising shortstop Raul Mondesi Jr. to get through the second inning. The big right-hander struck out Elvis Andrus to cap his day.
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish threw 20 pitches from a full-size mound in his second bullpen session Wednesday. Pitching coach Doug Brocail said Darvish, who had Tommy John surgery last March, will continue throwing every two or three days. He is not expected in the rotation until mid-May or early June.
Royals: RF Jarrod Dyson left after two innings with a strained right oblique. Dyson is likely going to platoon at the position with Paulo Orlando, though Travis Snider replaced him Wednesday.
Drew Butera started at catcher for Kansas City and had a Salvador Perez-like day. He threw out Delino DeShields in the third inning, then cut down pinch runner Hanser Alberto trying to advance in the fifth.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre asked for a few extra days before playing a game, so Drew Robinson got the start. Beltre, who turns 37 in April, missed time last season with a torn thumb ligament before a lower back strain hit in the playoffs. ''I don't even know if it's sore,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ''He came to me and just said, `Hey, look, can we give it another couple of days?'''
Rangers: LHP Derek Holland starts as Texas become the home team against Kansas City, while RHP Jeremy Guthrie - a member of the World Series champions last season - gets a turn against his former team.
Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez starts against the Rangers. LHP Brian Flynn, the star of an intrasquad game this week, gets his opportunity to start nailing down a bullpen job.