The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers offenses both exploded today for a combined 23 runs as the Rangers defeated the Royals by a final score of 12-11. This came a day after the Royals defeated the same Rangers team 4-2.
After two solid innings of work from starter Vin Mazzaro, in which he gave up two hits (with no walks or strikeouts), the Royals where able to post three runs in the top of the third inning, fueled by a Mike Aviles two-run scoring triple off Rangers pitcher Michael Kirkman following Pedro Feliz's walk and a Alcides Escobar double. Aviles was then able to score on on a sac fly by Melky Cabrera.
After scoring one run in the bottom of the third off Royals pitcher Danny Duffy, the Rangers were able to scuff up pitcher Everett Teaford for five runs in the bottom of the fourth on four hits and a walk. Teaford gave up a two-run home run to Mike Napoli, and then a three-run shot to Ian Kinsler after two more Rangers had reached base.
The Royals were able to knot the score at six in the top of the fifth which featured three singles, and also Aviles reaching on a throwing error. After the Rangers again answered the call, the Royals were able to go back out in front in the top of the seventh on a three-run home run to center field by super prospect Mike Moustakas. With Eric Hosmer and David Lough reaching on singles earlier in the inning, Moustakas took a 2-0 count high inside pitch from Zach Jackson out of the park to put the Royals in front 10-9 at the time.
Royals pitcher Chris Dwyer then gave up three runs on two hits and two walks to give up the lead for the final time. The Royals did make it interesting when Hosmer went deep in the ninth inning for the second Royals home run on the day, but the Rangers prevailed 12-11. Dwyer took the loss, which Jackson picked up the win. Yhency Brazoban picked up the save for Texas, despite giving up the late long shot to Hosmer.
In a game like this it is easy to be frustrated with the pitching, but it is still way too early to be worried about that. Keep in mind these early games are much like the All-Star game in that there is little continuity as players are revolving nearly every inning. What is promising from this game however was Hosmer going 2 for 2 at the plate, and Moustakas hiting 1 for 2 with a walk as well. The future is indeed bright.
A complete box score can be found here.
The Rangers are back at it tomorrow facing the Seattle Mariners, while the Royals will take on the San Diego Padres at 2:05 CST. The Padres enter the game with a 0-1-1 record thus far, while the Royals are 1-1. Luke Hochevar is expected to make his spring debut on the mound tomorrow.