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02/27/08 5:14 PM ET

Hochevar impresses in spring opener

Touted prospect shines in Royals' loss to Rangers

at Surprise, Ariz.
Wednesday, February 27

Rangers at the plate: David Murphy, a left-handed hitter, started even with a left-hander on the mound and lined a run-scoring double in the second. Josh Hamilton had a two-run double in the fifth. Taylor Teagarden hit a home run in the seventh inning.

Royals at the plate: Billy Butler had a single and a walk in his two plate appearances. He had a single to lead off the fourth and scored on singles by Shane Costa and Tony Pena Jr.

Rangers on the mound: A.J. Murray and Luis Mendoza both pitched two scoreless innings. Murray, starting in place of Brandon McCarthy, walked two and struck out two. Mendoza retired five straight hitters before Alex Gordon singled off him. Gordon was then thrown out trying to steal by catcher Gerald Laird.

Royals on the mound: Starter John Bale allowed one run in two innings. He was replaced by Luke Hochevar, who retired six straight hitters. Brian Lawrence gave up two runs in the fifth.

Cactus League records: Rangers 1-0; Royals 0-1.

Up next: The Rangers travel to Tempe, Ariz., on Thursday at 4:05 p.m. CT to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, with left-hander Kason Gabbard on the mound. The Royals have an intrasquad game on Thursday and then travel to Peoria, Ariz., on Friday at 2:05 p.m. CT to play the Padres. Gil Meche makes his first start of the spring.

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