Cuthbert's two-run single in ninth rallies Royals past Rangers

Game-winning hit comes with two outs as K.C. wins second straight

Cuthbert's two-run single in ninth rallies Royals past Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Cheslor Cuthbert, a third-base prospect, drove in the winning runs with a sharp two-run single to left with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as the Royals rallied past the Rangers, 5-4, on Thursday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.

"It's just a Spring Training game but it felt really, really good," Cuthbert said. "I was very happy for our team. I was just looking for a pitch to drive a little and I got a hanging slider."

Cuthbert said it was probably his third or fourth walk-off hit of his professional career.

Rangers starter Yu Darvish left after one inning with what a Rangers official described as tightness in his right triceps. The Rangers said Darvish would be re-evaluated on Friday.

Darvish gave up a leadoff single to shortstop Alcides Escobar, then retired the next three hitters, including a strikeout of designated hitter Kendrys Morales. Darvish, who was slated to throw 35 pitches, threw 12 pitches, 10 for strikes.

The Rangers took the lead 1-0 in the second inning when Jared Hoying beat out a swinging bunt and later scored on a single by Robinson Chirinos.

In the third, the Rangers nicked Royals right-handed prospect Miguel Almonte for two runs, thanks to a fly ball to left by Ryan Rua that Royals' outfielder Reymond Fuentes lost in the sun and missed by 30 feet. It was scored a triple.

Almonte, though, showed off a terrific curve and a fastball that touched 98 mph. He struck out the side in his one inning of work.

The Royals got on the board in the fourth on consecutive singles from Jarrod Dyson, Eric Hosmer and Morales. Jorge Bonifacio later singled in Hosmer, who barely beat the throw to home plate.

Former Royals' outfielder Carlos Peguero ripped a run-scoring double to right for the Rangers in the sixth, making it 4-2.

Left-hander Brian Flynn, fighting for a possible spot in the bullpen for the Royals, threw the first two innings and gave up three hits and a run.

Up next: The Royals' likely Opening Day starter, Yordano Ventura, will take the mound as they travel to Goodyear to face the division-rival Indians in a 2:05 (CT) start. The Royals also will get a look at veteran left-hander Franklin Morales, who is in the running for one of the final bullpen spots. The game can be heard on gameday audio.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.