Colby Lewis allowed a two-run homer in the first inning, and Kansas City scored four times against Michael Kirkman in the fifth to roll past Texas in the Cactus League opener for both teams.
The crowd of 7,158 at Surprise Stadium was an Opening Day record.
Billy Butler swatted an 0-2 fastball from Lewis over the 379-sign in left-center field. Lewis said it was the only mistake he made while throwing 28 pitches/20 strikes.
“If I feel over 35 starts like I felt today, it’s going to be a pretty good year,” Lewis said from Phoenix International Raceway, where he dashed off to after his outing. “I felt like I threw the ball pretty good overall. I just didn’t execute a fastball to Billy Butler.”
Kirkman is one of eight left-handers in big-league camp vying for a spot in the bullpen. Two of the five hits he allowed in the fifth were to lefty hitters, though Alex Gordon’s RBI single was a broke-bat blooper.
Ian Kinsler also committed the second of his two errors at second base during the rally against Kirkman, who pitched a 1-2-3 sixth.
“I don’t think it was rough,” manager Ron Washington said. “I thought he made some good pitches. They didn’t hit him hard, and he went back out there in the second inning and threw strikes.”
Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer in the fifth inning for the only run Rangers run.
-- Jeff Wilson