Phoenix Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run double in the first inning on the first pitch he saw this spring, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Kansas City Royals, 7-6, on Saturday.
The third baseman made his first start since having surgery in early January to remove a polyp from his colon. Ramirez went 2-for-2 with a walk and scored a run in his spring debut.
Marco Estrada, making his third start of the spring for the Brewers, gave up three runs and seven hits in 31⁄3 innings.
Royals right fielder Norichika Aoki, facing the team that traded him during the offseason, had a two-run single in the third inning. Second baseman Christian Colon was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke challenged that catcher Martin Maldonado was hit by an 0-2 pitch from John Lamb in the first inning that was called a ball by umpire Allen Bailey.
Within a minute it was determined that the replay was inconclusive.
Shields to start opener
Surprise, Ariz. — James Shields and Jason Vargas will start the Royals’ first two games of the season at Detroit.
Manager Ned Yost announced opening starters Saturday and says Wade Davis is no longer a candidate for a spot in the rotation.
Davis made 24 starts before being sent to the bullpen last season. Yost says the decision on Davis was made after Luke Hochevar was lost for the season to reconstructive elbow surgery.
Yost says left-hander Danny Duffy and rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura are the remaining candidates to fill out the rotation.
Jeremy Guthrie, who led the Royals with 15 victories last year, will start the home opener on April 4 against the Chicago White Sox.