Royals take down Rangers in exhibition game
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Bruce Chen was more than a little disappointed at his first trip to the mound.
The Royals leader in wins over the last two seasons gave up five runs and lasted only five outs in Kansas City’s 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday.
“It’s not the way I wanted to start spring training,” Chen said. “Giving up five runs is not what I wanted to do. I feel like I can only get better from here. I have to make better pitches. Everything I was throwing was hittable pitches. My pitches were up. I don’t want that to happen my next outing even if it’s spring training.”
Elvis Andrus went 3 for 3 and scored three times, and Adrian Beltre was also 3-for-3 for Texas.
Derek Holland, who won 16 games for the Rangers last season, allowed one run and three hits over two innings in his first spring start. Holland read a scouting report on him and the Rangers left-hander did not like what he saw.
“It said I was inconsistent with my off-speed pitches that you could sit on one pitch,” Holland said.
Holland focused on throwing off-speed stuff against the Royals.
“They were all good,” Holland said. “I kept everything down. I also showed I could throw them all for strikes, which was a big thing.”
Alex Gordon hit a two-run homer to trim Texas’ lead to 6-3 in the fifth. Derrick Robinson added a two-out, two run single in the sixth, and pinch-hitter Kevin Kouzmanoff delivered a two-run double with two out in the ninth.
“We had drama from the sixth inning on,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We had opportunities to put ourselves back in the game after being down five early. They kept after it, managed to get some runs in to make it close and put it away in the ninth.”
NOTES: Texas RHP Yu Darvish threw 43 pitches in the bullpen and is scheduled to make his first start Wednesday against San Diego. . Royals C Max Ramirez was hit by Tanner Scheppers’ pitch in the eighth inning and had to leave the game. Ramirez said the pitch hit him in the hand and bounced off his chin, but he is OK. . The Rangers added LHP Neal Cotts to their big league spring training camp. Cotts went 4-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 69 relief appearances in 2005 with the White Sox. He has not pitched since 2009 and has had elbow surgery and four hip operations. He is one of nine left-handers competing for a spot in the Texas bullpen. . Rangers C Mike Napoli, who strained a left ankle ligament in the World Series, will be brought about slowly in spring training. The plan is not to have him catch in back-to-back games until late in camp. . The Royals will play a split squad Tuesday. RHP Luke Hochevar is scheduled to throw at Surprise against the Padres. LHP Will Smith, who won a Texas League-leading 13 games last year, will start against the Indians at Goodyear. . LHP Joe Beimel, who has had a setback with elbow stiffness, threw 11 strikes in 15 pitches in a scoreless inning Monday in a Texas intrasquad game.