03/20/11 6:54 PM ET
Moreland leads Rangers to Surprise title
First baseman homers as Texas wins spring series vs. Kansas City
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
The Rangers downed their co-tenants, the Kansas City Royals, 5-2, on Sunday at Surprise Stadium, winning two of the three Cactus League games between the clubs.
Royals starter Vin Mazzaro, competing with Sean O'Sullivan for the job as fifth starter, went five innings and gave up two runs.
"I felt pretty good today. My sinker was working pretty good, I was getting those ground balls when I needed them," Mazzaro said. "I hit a little rough patch in the fourth, but I battled out of it and got the strikeout."
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Mitch Moreland hit a solo home run, his third, after two were out in the fourth. Singles by Yorvit Torrealba and Julio Borbon preceded Ian Kinsler's RBI double before Mazzaro fanned Elvis Andrus.
Moreland also knocked in a sixth-inning run against reliever Jeremy Jeffress with a single, giving him 10 RBIs in 18 games.
Derek Holland, the Rangers' starter, gave up one unearned run in five innings and five hits.
Royals closer Joakim Soria gave up a double to Andrus and a single to Josh Hamilton to start the seventh but kept the Rangers from scoring with consecutive strikeouts of Adrian Beltre, Michael Young and Nelson Cruz. Soria also struck out Moreland to start the eighth before a walk and a bloop single got him up to 34 pitches, prompting his removal from the game.
The Rangers added two runs in the ninth off Robinson Tejeda, with Chris Davis and Endy Chavez socking doubles off the wall.
Jeff Francoeur had three hits, including a double, for the Royals, and Julio Borbon had three singles for the Rangers.
Rangers up next: Left-hander C.J. Wilson starts for the Rangers against the Brewers at 3:05 CT on Monday at Maryvale Baseball Park, live on Gameday Audio.
Royals up next: Luke Hochevar -- presumed to be, although not announced as, the Royals' Opening Day pitcher -- will start against the Cleveland Indians at 3:05 p.m. CT on Monday at Surprise Stadium, live on Gameday Audio. He's made three Cactus League starts with a 4.15 ERA, giving up four runs on 11 hits in 8 2/3 innings. Chris Getz is expected back in the lineup to resume his effort to nail down the second-base job.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.