{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Smith bolsters rotation chances with performance

|

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Will Smith might face a tough challenge for the Royals' No. 5 starting job, but he certainly did not hurt himself Friday.

Smith started against Texas and pitched two perfect innings in a 5-5 tie with the Rangers in the Cactus League opener at Surprise Stadium. The Rangers got just one ball out of the infield against Smith, and he notched one strikeout, getting David Murphy.

"I felt good out there," Smith said. "Dave [Eiland, pitching coach] gave me something in the offseason to go home and work on, so I took it and worked hard with it. I feel comfortable out there with my delivery now. I'm slowing the game down. I'm happy with it."

The goal, he said, was to stay back more in his delivery.

"I get a little too excited and start rushing, so I stay back and break my hands, and it helps me get downhill, to the bottom of the strike zone better," Smith said.

The Royals also got a two-inning look at one of their top pitching prospects, right-hander Yordano Ventura. He worked a scoreless third inning, with catcher Salvador Perez throwing out a base-stealer, but gave up a two-run homer to Nelson Cruz in the fourth.

"I thought his first inning was very good," manager Ned Yost said of Ventura. "His second inning he got a little inconsistent with his command. His stuff was phenomenal, very electric."

Blaine Boyer, a non-roster right-hander, gave up a two-run homer to Yangervis Solarte with two outs in the ninth to create the tie. The Rangers' other run came off Sugar Ray Marimon. Justin Marks, Nate Adcock and Michael Mariot each pitched a scoreless inning.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español