It wasn't a pretty start to the Cactus League season for the Royals on Wednesday at Surprise Stadium. Royals starting pitcher Horacio Ramirez, fresh off a free agent contract that guarantees him $1.8 million, couldn't get out of the first inning. Mark Teahen, well, he looked like a guy that is re-learning how to play second base and had a very shaky game. And Yasuhiko Yabuta picked up where he left off last season by allowing at least one run per outing.
Mix all of that together and you have the Rangers whipping up on the Royals, 12-7. Not all went wrong for Trey Hillman's squad though.
Newly acquired slugger Mike Jacobs belted a 3-run homer - his first in a Royals uniform - in the third inning with the Royals trailing 9-1. Later, Mitch Maier - who is vying for a spot on the team as the fourth outfielder - drilled a two-run dinger in the ninth.
The damage had already been done. The Rangers scored six times off of seven hits in the first against Ramirez. Despite the late-inning comeback, the 9-1 lead Texas built by the second inning proved too much.
"You never want to get hit around like that," Ramirez said. "But I’ll take it for what it is. I’ve just got to tighten the screws a little bit."
Teahen committed two errors, and he looked like a guy with some jitters at second. He threw an out away early in the first and failed to turn a potential inning-ending double play. There were a couple of other plays where he seemingly started late on the ball and failed to make the play. One of those misplays resulted in another error.
Still, it's only the first outing of the spring for these guys, so Hillman isn't sweating it.
"We didn’t win, but I saw some good things," he said. "I saw some good swings. I saw some great takes. More walks than strikeouts. We just didn’t pitch well. The errors, obviously, affected the early innings."
Teahen, known as guy who likes to crack a joke now and then, managed to make light of the performance at his new(est) position.
"There’s no point of peaking in the first game," he cracked.