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Royals announce tentative schedule for top starters

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals will be rolling out their starting pitchers next week.

The tentative schedule has Wade Davis pitching Tuesday against Cleveland; Luke Hochevar and Bruce Chen on Wednesday against Milwaukee; James Shields on Thursday against San Diego; Ervin Santana on Friday against Cincinnati; and Jeremy Guthrie on Saturday against San Francisco.

Because of a longer Spring Training schedule that accommodates the World Baseball Classic, manager Ned Yost decided to hold back his top starters until the fifth Cactus League game.

He is doing the same thing with most of his front-line relievers, although Kelvin Herrera and Tim Collins are to pitch in the third game against Texas. That's to help them prepare for the Classic; Herrera is on the Dominican Republic roster; Collins on the USA roster.

Similarly, rotation candidate Luis Mendoza will start Sunday against Texas because he is on the Mexico roster. Mendoza threw 107 pitches recently in the Caribbean Series, so he will make 60 to 70 pitches Sunday.

Other Royals on the final Classic rosters are catcher Salvador Perez, Venezuela; pitcher Atahualpa Severino and infielder Miguel Tejada, Dominican Republic; infielder Irving Falu, Puerto Rico; and outfielder Paulo Orlando, Brazil.

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