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02/25/09 6:10 PM EST

Benson solid as Rangers win opener

Veteran right-hander backed by three Texas home runs

at Surprise, Ariz.
Feb. 25

Rangers at the plate: Hank Blalock crushed a two-run home run and Ian Kinsler had a pair of singles in a six-run first inning. Blalock also had a triple and scored a run in the second inning after a pair of home runs by Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz.

Royals at the plate: Mike Jacobs hit a three-run home run in the third inning. Billy Butler, Miguel Olivo and Mitch Maier also went deep for Kansas City.

Rangers on the mound: Kris Benson started for the Rangers and pitched two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk. He gave up a home run to Butler, but he also got the Royals to hit into two double plays.

Royals on the mound: Kansas City starter Horacio Ramirez was unable to get out of the first, allowing six runs in just two-thirds of an inning. Only three of the runs were earned because of a throwing error by second baseman Mark Teahen. Brandon Duckworth took over and allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings.

Cactus League records: Rangers 1-0; Royals 0-1.

Up next: The two teams will meet again at 2:05 p.m. CT on Thursday. Kevin Millwood is starting for the Rangers against Kyle Davies for the Royals. Doug Mathis, Derek Holland, Willie Eyre and Eddie Guardado also are scheduled to pitch for Texas. Heath Phillips, Julio Pimentel, Tim Hamulack, Matt Wright, Carlos Rosa and Victor Marte will throw for Kansas City.

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