Royals

Royals bounce back with 11-1 spring training win over Rangers

Updated: 2014-03-25T18:25:20Z

By ANDY McCULLOUGH

The Kansas City Star

— A day after a rusty Cactus League opener, the Royals experienced an enjoyable second effort, an 11-1 victory over Texas at Surprise Stadium.

Mike Moustakas played a starring role. He drove in three runs, including a pair on a second-inning double. Billy Butler had three hits and scored twice. Nori Aoki reached base in all three of his plate appearances. Christian Colon collected two RBI of his own.

“We had some really, really good at-bats,” manager Ned Yost said. “I was impressed with that.”

James Shields made his spring debut, needing only 10 pitches to complete an inning of work. He tarried to the bullpen to throw 20 more in a simulated game. He is expected to throw 45 pitches in his next outing.

After a clean inning from reliever Tim Collins, which encouraged Yost, Chris Dwyer contributed a pair of scoreless frames of his own.

Arms race

Dwyer resides on the outside of the team’s fifth-starter chase. He is almost assuredly going to start the season with Class AAA Omaha. But the organization still values him, and hopes he can break into the big-league rotation at some point down the road.

Dwyer needed only 26 pitches to complete his work. He gave up a hit, but otherwise escaped unscathed.

Medical updates

Reliever Louis Coleman is being held out of game action during the team’s first turn through their rotation. Coleman injured a finger on his pitching hand during fielding drills earlier this week. He has been throwing bullpen sessions still, but the team is being cautious.

Etc.

Kyle Zimmer, the organization’s top prospect, began his throwing program earlier this week. But he is not expected to pitch off a mound for roughly two weeks. His offseason program was cut short by a renewed bout of biceps tendinitis in his right arm. The team still hopes he can make his big-league debut sometime this summer.

Up next

Rain is in the forecast, but the Royals are still scheduled to face San Diego at 2:05 p.m. Central time Saturday at Surprise Stadium. Jason Vargas will start. Catcher Salvador Perez is expected to have the day off.

Quote of the day

“If I throw 300 innings, that’ll be a lot of innings.” — James Shields on the season ahead and an unreachable goal.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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