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Davies, Chen sharp as Royals take opener

Davies, Chen sharp as Royals take opener

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Davies, Chen sharp as Royals take opener
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals pitchers Kyle Davies and Bruce Chen, possibly two key members of their rotation, were sharp in their first outing of the Cactus League season, helping pitch Kansas City to a 4-2 victory over Texas on Sunday.

Both Davies and Chen pitched two scoreless innings. Davies allowed just one infield single that was erased by a double play, while striking out three of the six batters he faced. Chen gave up a double to Julio Borbon and a walk in his two scoreless innings.

This was the first of three meetings between the two teams that share the Surprise complex. They play again Monday and on March 20.

Rangers starter C.J. Wilson gave up two runs in two innings of work. Wilson gave up three ground-ball singles in the first inning that led to two runs, before retiring six straight hitters. Billy Butler had a two-run single in the Royals' first-inning rally.

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"If you're giving up singles on the ground, that's not bad," Wilson said. "Our field back home is more hospitable. Getting ground balls is an indication you're down in the zone."

Jeff Francoeur, who played in the World Series with the Rangers before signing with the Royals in the offseason, faced his old teammates, and hit a solo home run off Dave Bush in the fourth inning.

Rangers outfielder Doug Deeds, in camp on a Minor League contract, broke up the Royals' shutout with a two-run home run off of Louis Coleman in the sixth.

"Very, very, very good today," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I was very pleased with the pitching. I thought Kyle Davies was very sharp, Bruce [Chen] was very sharp. Everybody threw the ball very well."

Up next: Right-hander Vin Mazzaro, who came from the A's in the trade for popular outfielder David DeJesus, gets his first start for the Royals on Monday, and is scheduled to pitch two innings against the Rangers. The Royals will also unleash five of their rookie left-handers -- Danny Duffy, Everett Teaford, Blaine Hardy, Will Smith and Chris Dwyer -- who will pitch an inning each. Right-handers Patrick Keating and Steve Shell are scheduled to finish up. Of the eight pitchers, only Mazzaro and Shell have big league experience.

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.

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