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Mendoza impressive despite blustery conditions


SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Luis Mendoza looked in midseason form on Sunday for the Royals.

Although it was his first outing of Spring Training, Mendoza went four innings and threw 65 pitches. He was prepared for the longer-than-usual outing by pitching in the Caribbean Series, where two strong performances for Mexico won him Most Valuable Player honors.

The sunny 56-degree afternoon was chilled by winds that gusted up to 31 mph, presenting a challenge for pitchers.

"The wind was so bad but I just tried to let the sinker move by itself," Mendoza said.

To a large degree, he kept the ball on the ground and induced two double plays. He struck out two and 45 of his pitches were for strikes. There was a gale blowing toward right field.

"For lefties especially, I tried to work the outside of the plate," Mendoza said.

He gave up one run on four hits. Leonys Martin led off the Rangers' second with a triple and scored on first baseman Eric Hosmer's error.

"Mendy did fine," manager Ned Yost said. "Conditions were awful tough to play a baseball game out there today -- wind blowing and very cold. But he did a good job."

Yost isn't certain if Mendoza will get another outing before leaving next weekend to play for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

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