ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Cole Hamels was solid in his final tuneup, tossing six scoreless innings in the Rangers' 3-0 victory over the Royals on Friday night in an exhibition contest at Globe Life Park.Hamels threw just 69 pitches, allowing two hits and striking out four. Over his final 11 spring
ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Cole Hamels was solid in his final tuneup, tossing six scoreless innings in the Rangers' 3-0 victory over the Royals on Friday night in an exhibition contest at Globe Life Park.
Hamels threw just 69 pitches, allowing two hits and striking out four. Over his final 11 spring innings, Hamels yielded one run, five hits and walked just two.
"First and foremost, it's kind of getting in a comfort zone with the game plan and just executing," Hamels said. "I think we've been able to do that the past couple of games. It's nice to finally get a healthy Spring Training out of the way and to go into the season with something to build off of. I think things went really well, particularly the last two games."
Royals starter Ian Kennedy allowed the first three runs of his spring season in the second inning. Ryan Rua started the scoring with an RBI single, while Elvis Andrus and Carlos Gomez added RBIs.
Kennedy had thrown 17 1/3 scoreless innings in four previous starts in Arizona, not counting his appearance against Team Venezuela in early March, and had struck out 19 in his last 15 1/3 innings prior to Friday's outing.
"Now we can stop talking about how I haven't given up a run all spring," Kennedy joked. "I felt great all spring, especially as it got later in camp ... it's good to start the season off getting to mix pitches and feeling good with everything else."
The Rangers sent nine men to the plate in the second, when Kennedy allowed four hits, walked two and needed 32 pitches to get of the inning. He did not return for the third, having thrown 52 pitches.
"Two great pieces of hitting on really good pitches to start the inning off, and then he just kind of struggled with command at that point," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He got to the 50-pitch mark and that's about where we wanted to take him anyway."
Right-hander Andrew Cashner made his first 'A' game appearance for the Rangers, pitching the final three innings and not allowing a hit. Cashner missed the majority of spring with right biceps soreness and will open the season on the disabled list to build innings.
After Kennedy's departure, the Royals' bullpen logged six shutout innings from six relievers, including 1-2-3 frames from Travis Wood, Mike Minor and Joakim Soria.
Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who was scratched from the last two games in Arizona due to tightness in his left side, returned to the lineup and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
Up next for Royals: Watch for free on MLB.TV as right-hander Jason Hammel and lefty Jason Vargas are scheduled to pitch at 1:05 p.m. CT in Saturday's final exhibition contest against the Rangers at Globe Life Park. The Royals will open the regular season on Monday in Minnesota. Hammel and Vargas have each thrown 20 1/3 innings this spring.
Up next for Rangers: Watch for free on MLB.TV as right-hander Carl Webster starts with Anthony Bass also slated to pitch for the Rangers on Saturday in the exhibition finale against Kansas City. Webster, who is 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA this spring, is likely headed for Triple-A Round Rock after the game. That's also where Bass is expected to be in the rotation.
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Anthony Andro is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rangers on Friday.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Royals on Friday.