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March 28, 2012

Wrapping up Rangers 7-6 victory over Royals

Plenty to cover in the Rangers' 7-6 victory over Kansas City, including Julio Borbon seeing his stock slide in what might have seemed to be a harmless situation.

First up, though, is Derek Holland, who allowed six runs on nine hits, including two long home runs, over five innings in his final Cactus League start, and Nelson Cruz, who had to leave early after being hit by a pitch in his right hand.

Cruz was said to be day-to-day. He exited after striking out in the fifth inning. He was hit by Luke Hochevar in the third inning on a pitch that manager Ron Washington said grazed his knuckles. The Rangers' x-ray machine is on the way back to Texas, so Cruz did not have x-rays. He will go to an area hospital Thursday if his hand is still sore.

"I just got him out of there," said Washington, who doesn't believe the injury is serious.

Holland allowed homers to Lorenzo Cain in the first and Billy Butler in the third. The Butler homer appeared to exit Surprise Stadium in left field. Holland said Butler caught a sinker, a pitch that Holland continues to work on as he nears Opening Day.

"He crushed the ball," Holland said. "I think it went 800 feet."

Said Washington: "I don't know if it went 800 feet, but it sounded like it was shot out of a cannon."

The Rangers trailed throughout but rallied for a run in the ninth and scored the go-ahead tally in the 10th on a double by Matt Kata, who went to third on an error.

Borbon, who is competing for a roster spot as the Rangers' center fielder, was the next batter, and he missed two chances for an insurance run on a squeeze play. That didn't sit well with Washington, who said Borbon is in a group that practices bunting every day.

"The first time that can happen," Washington said. "The second time there's no excuse. There's no excuse for not bunting. That's their job. If they can't do that ... ."

-- Jeff Wilson



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