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Jennings solid in final spring start

Jennings solid in final spring start

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RANGERS 8, ROYALS 5
at Surprise, Ariz.
Thursday, March 27

Royals at the plate: Catcher John Buck hit his first home run of the spring in the second inning. Third baseman Alex Gordon hit a run-scoring triple and a single in two at-bats and leaves Arizona hitting .308 with one home run and five RBIs.

Rangers at the plate: Hank Blalock and Milton Bradley hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning. The homer was Blalock's fourth of the season, while Bradley's was his first -- a monster shot that cleared the left-center-field wall and berm. Bradley also had an RBI single in the first inning, while playing five innings in right field

Royals on the mound: Mike Maroth, who is headed for Triple-A Omaha after being held back by shoulder problems earlier in the spring, allowed five runs over three innings, leaving him with a 9.00 ERA for the spring. Joel Peralta struck out two in a scoreless fifth inning. Newly acquired reliever Ramon Ramirez pitched a scoreless sixth, striking out one.

Rangers on the mound: Jason Jennings finished the spring strong, allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out four. He finished the spring with a 2.12 ERA with opponents hitting .193 off him.

Cactus League records: Royals 15-13; Rangers 17-10.

Up next for the Royals: The Royals leave Arizona for Milwaukee, where they'll meet the Brewers at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday at Miller Park. Brian Bannister, who'll pitch the second game of the regular season in Detroit, will start for the Royals. Ex-Royal Jeff Suppan is the Brewers' scheduled starter.

Up next for the Rangers: C.J. Wilson and Joaquin Benoit are among the relievers that are expected to pitch for the Rangers against the White Sox at 7:05 p.m. on Friday at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla. Rangers manager Ron Washington said his starters will likely play seven innings.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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