Surprise, Ariz. Paul Bako is happy just to be playing again. Bako homered twice and had four RBIs on Thursday in the Kansas City Royals' 12-4 victory over a Texas Rangers split squad.
The career .239 hitter, best known as the longtime personal catcher for Greg Maddux, missed all but 13 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season because of a knee injury.
"It was just one of those days for the home runs," Bako said. "The best part was feeling like a player again instead of a rehab patient."
Bako's three-run homer in the second inning, his first of spring training, helped the Royals open a 4-0 lead. Kevin Mench made it 4-1 in the bottom half with his third home run of the spring.
Bako added a solo shot as the Royals scored five runs in the fourth. Doug Mientkiewicz, who went 3-for-3, added a two-run single in the inning.
Phil Nevin hit his fourth homer of spring training for Texas, a three-run drive.