Royals drop slugfest to open Spring Training schedule

The Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals play at Surprise Stadium in their first exhibition baseball game at spring training, Thursday Feb. 27, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
The Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals play at Surprise Stadium in their first exhibition baseball game at spring training, Thursday Feb. 27, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

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.

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. They led 4-0 before Darvish threw his last pitch in the Cactus League opener.

Fielder, acquired in a trade from Detroit for Ian Kinsler, pulled a homer over the Rangers bullpen, well beyond the 350-foot sign on the right field fence.

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