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Vargas continues to impress

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Jason Vargas got good marks after pitching four innings and allowing one run in the Royals' 7-5 loss to the Dodgers on Tuesday.

"I thought he pitched great," manager Ned Yost said. "I was really pleased with the way Vargas pitched. He changed speeds, kept the ball down. I thought he pitched great."

Vargas was working in a Cactus League game with catcher Brett Hayes for the first time. Regular catcher Salvador Perez was resting a bruised hand.

"That was the first throwing to Brett in a game other than a simulated game early in camp," Vargas said. "But he was good, we worked well and I was able to execute pitches. That last inning I was able to work out of a jam, and it was easy to do."

In the fourth inning, Vargas allowed his first run in three outings and nine innings this spring. But the inning began with the bases loaded and no outs, and only one run scored.

Bullpen regulars Greg Holland and Wade Davis each pitched one inning. Holland pitched a perfect inning and Davis gave up one run after walking the leadoff batter.

"I was happy with Holly and I thought Wade Davis did fine," Yost said.

Louis Coleman, delayed in camp by a jammed middle finger on his pitching hand, gave up a three-run homer, four hits and two walks in the decisive ninth inning.

"Louis is a proven performer. It's his second time out and he's just pitching himself back into shape," Yost said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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