SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitching in a "B" game with a bizarre format, Matt Harrison threw a scoreless inning Tuesday morning while pitching under game conditions for the first time in 11 months.
Harrison needed just 11 pitches to get through the Royals' loaded lineup, allowing just one hit. He was the first of five Rangers pitchers to hold the Royals' six-man lineup scoreless through seven innings.
"It went quicker than I thought," Harrison said. "I like quick innings. My back feels good, so hopefully we'll keep progressing. Everything felt great. The big thing is how I recover the next day, but I don't expect anything bad. I feel good and I expect to keep progressing."
Harrison made just two starts last season before suffering a herniated disk in his lower back. He needed two operations to correct the problem, missed the rest of the season and had some issues early in spring that have put him behind all other pitchers. The Rangers haven't announced when he'll pitch again, but it probably won't be more than one or two innings.
It's also likely that Harrison won't have pitched at least five innings in a start before the Rangers break camp on March 26. Harrison, if he doesn't have anymore setbacks, is expected to need at least two to three more starts after that in the Minor Leagues.
"I would like to be back before mid-April, but we'll see," Harrison said.
The Royals' lineup consisted of Major League hitters Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Danny Valencia, Jarrod Dyson and Brayan Pena. All but Pena were used as "designated hitters." The Royals used Minor Leaguers to play the field when the Rangers were hitting.
Rangers pitchers still dominated the affair. Justin Germano threw three scoreless innings, while Shawn Tolleson and Miles Mikolas pitched one scoreless inning each. Tolleson, who has overcome a sore shoulder, and Mikolas, who had some soreness in his elbow, were pitching for the first time since the intrasquad games back in February. Minor Leaguer Martire Garcia also pitched a scoreless inning.
"They all threw the ball well," manager Ron Washington said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.