Thursday, March 4
Rangers at the plate: Julio Borbon is off to a good start as the Rangers' leadoff hitter, going 2-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a three-run home run in his first at-bat of the spring after Nelson Cruz singled and Chris Davis walked. Chad Tracy smashed an RBI triple after Matt Brown doubled in the eighth. Brown ripped a three-run homer in the ninth. Mitch Moreland went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Royals at the plate: Leadoff batter Scott Podsednik made his presence felt immediately. He singled to right, stole second base and took third as the catcher's throw kicked off his foot. Then he scored as Jason Kendall grounded out. Alex Gordon doubled to center to start the fifth and scored on Mitch Maier's single. Yuniesky Betancourt tripled to deep center in the seventh.
Rangers on the mound: Rich Harden allowed one run in two innings and Colby Lewis set down the side in order, needing just 11 pitches, in the third. Tanner Scheppers, a supplemental first-round Draft pick from last season, pitched for the first time ever against a Major League team and retired the side on three grounders in the sixth.
Cactus League records: Rangers 1-0, Royals 0-1.
Worth noting: The Royals started their likely regular lineup except for right fielder David DeJesus and he'll play on Friday. Jose Guillen was in right field and Alberto Callaspo was DH. ... Saltalamacchia, who is coming off shoulder surgery, had a throwing error on the one stolen base attempt in the first. His throw was low and into the runner, allowing Podsednik to race to third.
Up next: Zack Greinke will put his Cy Young Award talents on display for the first time this year as he starts against the Texas Rangers at 2:05 p.m. CT on Friday at Surprise Stadium. Greinke is scheduled to pitch three innings but that could be shortened, depending on the pitch count. Although Greinke was 1-1 against the Rangers last season, he gave up just one run in his 16 innings against them. He shut out the Rangers, 2-0, on April 18 but took the loss on July 24 despite allowing one run on three hits in seven innings. The Rangers won, 2-0.Scott Feldman will start for the Rangers. Taylor Teagarden will also be behind the plate in his first start of the spring. Teagarden is competing with Saltalamacchia to be the Rangers' No. 1 catcher.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less