Archive for Sunday, March 4, 2007

Sosa back in swing of things

Slugger collects first hit of spring as Rangers rock Royals’ Perez

March 4, 2007


— Sammy Sosa got his first hit of spring training, and Kenny Lofton and Ian Kinsler each had a run-scoring double to help the Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-5, on Saturday.

Sosa went 1-for-3 with a single and a strikeout in his first "A" game for the Rangers, who rocked Royals starter Odalis Perez for five hits and four runs in 11â3 innings.

The rough outing for Perez, who could be Kansas City's No. 2 starter this season, didn't bother manager Buddy Bell.

"He got his work in and threw strikes," Bell said. "Everything worked as expected, and I was looking for that."

Batting as the designated hitter, Sosa got his first hit on a single to left-center in the first inning. On Friday, the 38-year-old former NL MVP was 0-for-3 and struck out twice during a "B" game that marked his first action in his comeback attempt after sitting out last season.

Sosa is expected to play right field against the Royals on Sunday.

Rangers starter Vicente Padilla allowed two hits in two innings, including a solo home run to Mark Teahen. John Buck also homered for Kansas City, off reliever Rick Bauer.

With Sosa in the lineup Saturday, Kinsler batted second after hitting ninth in the Rangers' spring training opener Friday. In the second inning, Kinsler doubled to score Lofton, who was on second after his double that scored Brad Wilkerson. Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock each had a run-scoring single for the Rangers.

Andres Blanco led the Royals with three hits. Billy Butler added a double and a single.

Notes: Kansas City 2B Mark Grudzielanek was taken for a precautionary MRI to check out his sore knee.


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