David Murphy’s two-run single highlighted a four-run fifth inning against Zach Greinke, and the Texas Rangers defeated the Kansas City Royals 7-2 on Friday night.
Rookie Elvis Andrus led off the fifth with a bunt single, and the Rangers later loaded the bases. Josh Hamilton’s RBI groundout—his 27th RBI of the spring—Hank Blalock’s sacrifice fly, and Murphy’s two-run single gave Texas a 4-2 lead.
Greinke, Kansas City’s No. 2 starter who was making his eighth start of the spring, allowed four runs and six hits in five innings to fall to 3-3 with a 9.21 ERA.
Rangers starter Vicente Padilla left after two innings because of slight stiffness in his right forearm.
Padilla allowed one run and two hits in his final spring tuneup. Padilla was originally scheduled for a four-inning stint, but he left after two as a precaution. Padilla, who led the team with 14 wins last season, is projected as Texas’ No. 2 starter.
He’s scheduled to start Wednesday night against Cleveland in the Rangers’ second regular-season game after Kevin Millwood draws Monday’s opening-day assignment against the Indians.
Manager Ron Washington expressed confidence that Padilla would make that start.
“When the bell rings, he’ll be ready to go,” Washington said. “I don’t have any concerns about that.”
Padilla threw seven innings in a minor league game on Monday, and he normally pitches on five days rest. Padilla thinks the lack of an extra day off might have caused the stiffness.
“It had been four days and I’d been throwing a lot,” Padilla said. “It feels good. I’m ready to go.”
Brandon McCarthy, projected as the Rangers’ No. 3 starter, pitched the next four innings, allowing one run and three hits to improve to 4-0 in the spring.
Andruw Jones’ two-run double in the seventh extended Texas’ lead to 6-2.