SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) – Derek Holland thought he pitched pretty well, even though his line didn’t look so good.
Holland yielded two-run homers by Lorenzo Cain and Billy Butler, but the Texas Rangers rallied for a 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals in 10 innings on Wednesday night.
“Just a couple of pitches got away from me,” Holland said. “I’m still working on some things. At the same time, you’ve got to tip your hat to Billy Butler. He crushed the ball like 800 feet.
“I thought I had command of all my off-speed pitches and that’s the main thing. I’ve been throwing my sinker a lot this whole spring, just trying to make sure I get the feel for it both inside and outside. That was the pitch Butler got, wrong situation. That’s what he’s here for. They get paid for that.”
Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz left with a bruised right hand after he was hit by a pitch from Luke Hochevar in the third inning. The 2011 ALCS MVP is day to day.
Cruz hit 29 homers last year but was sidelined for 29 games because of a strained left hamstring and strained right quadriceps muscle.
Cain went deep with two out in the first. Butler connected in the third.
Holland allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Hochevar got off to a strong start, striking out the side in the first and retiring his first five batters overall. He allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings.
“I think early on, obviously, I’m going to go out and try to establish my fastball,” Hochevar said. “I think I stayed with it a little too long before I started mixing. When they start sitting on one speed, I got hit around there just because they were looking one speed. That’s all I was giving them.
“Once I started mixing it and starting throwing my curveball and changeup and keeping them off balance I felt like I settled in. I got into some better pitching counts.”
Eric Hosmer went 3 for 4 for the Royals, raising his average to .397, and drove in his Cactus League-leading 23rd run.
Minor leaguer Matt Kata doubled home the winning run in the 10th.
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