Final in 8

Royals 5

(15-13, 8-7 away)

Rangers 8

(17-10, 9-6 home)

    3:05 PM ET, March 27, 2008

    Surprise Stadium, Surprise, Arizona 

    123456789 R H E
    KC 002000102 5 - -
    TEX 20310011 - 8 - -

    Rangers 8, Royals 5

    Associated Press

    SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Hank Blalock and Milton Bradley hit back-to-back homers and the Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5 on Thursday.

    Right-hander Jason Jennings, who missed three months last season with the Houston Astros because of elbow problems, gave up two runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.

    "It's getting there," Jennings said. "It's a slow process as far as that goes but I've been focusing a lot on long toss and getting my arm strength where it needs to be. Physically this is the best I've felt all spring."

    The Rangers used their opening day lineup for the first three innings in their Cactus League finale, and scored five runs in the first two innings. Blalock hit his fourth homer into the Royals' left-field bullpen and Bradley followed with a towering blast, his first of the spring.

    Royals catcher John Buck homered in the third inning off Jennings.

    Jennings walked two and struck out four in his fifth start of the spring.

    "He was good for me," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He ended up only going 5 1-3, but there were a couple of plays we wanted to make that we didn't make. That caused him to throw more pitches."

    Royals starter Mike Maroth went three innings, allowing five runs and six hits with a walk and a strikeout. Maroth, a non-roster invitee who in 2003 became the first pitcher to lose 20 games in more than 20 years, will not be on Kansas City's opening day roster.

    All of the Rangers' starters played three innings except for Bradley, who played five and finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

    Game notes


    Texas won all five meetings against Kansas City. The two teams share the same training complex. ... Royals catcher Miguel Olivo had his five-game suspension reduced to four games by Major League Baseball before the game. Olivo's suspension stems from a fight last year against the New York Mets as a member of the Florida Marlins. Olivo will miss the Royals' opening series against Detroit and will be eligible to return for the second of three games against Minnesota. ... Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the club still may be a day away before making a decision on the final available roster spot. Daniels and Washington are deciding between Wes Littleton and Robinson Tejeda for the final bullpen slot. Littleton is scheduled to pitch against the White Sox on Friday in Oklahoma City. ... Before the game, the Rangers released infielders Chris Shelton and Edgardo Alfonso. Both were non-roster invitees who already had been assigned to Triple-A Oklahoma ... RHP Jason Davis, sent to minor-league camp by Texas on March 21, asked for and was granted his release.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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