Hamels sharp with 5 K's in final spring tuneup

Hamels sharp with 5 K's in final spring tuneup

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels was sharp in his last start of the spring, allowing one run in five innings in a 5-1 victory over the Royals on Wednesday at Surprise Stadium.

The Rangers won all five games between the clubs this spring.

"It was just being able to establish my fastball early and keeping it down in the zone," Hamels said. "I feel very good and confident with what I was able to do, especially today. Getting that four-seam fastball in the bottom half of the zone to get those groundouts.

"It's nice to at least have some quick innings and get everything under control. You're trying to mimic that adrenaline you're going to get during the season."

Royals starter Ian Kennedy allowed two runs in three innings before leaving with tightness in his left hamstring. Kennedy, the No. 2 starter, left after striking out the side in the third.

"It's just really precautionary," manager Ned Yost said. "He felt a little bit of tightness or cramping there the inning before and we said, 'If you feel anything at all when you go back out, let's shut it down.'"

Yost said he will wait for 24-48 hours to see if they have to adjust the rotation.

Hamels gave up two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five. He needed just 61 pitches to get through five innings in his final outing before Monday's Opening Day start against the Mariners.

Delino DeShields hit two triples for the Rangers and scored two runs, and Justin Ruggiano hit his third home run of the spring.

Royals closer Wade Davis followed Kennedy and pitched a scoreless fourth. Davis has allowed one run in nine innings this spring. Relievers Joakim Soria and Kelvin Hererra also pitched scoreless innings.

Christian Colon's RBI single got the Royals on the board in the second inning.

Up next for Royals: After their final off-day of the spring on Thursday, the Royals return to action on Friday for a two-game exhibition series with the D-backs in Phoenix. On Friday at 8:40 p.m. CT, right-handers Chris Young and Chien-Ming Wang, and left-hander Danny Duffy, are slated to see action at Chase Field. Watch the action live on MLB.TV.

Up next for Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis will start on Friday at 7:05 p.m. CT in an exhibition against the Indians in Arlington. Catcher Bryan Holaday will join the Rangers for his first game since being acquired from the Tigers on Tuesday. The Rangers expect to have most of their regulars in the lineup including Ian Desmond, who will get his first chance at playing left field at Globe Life Park. Listen to the live action on Gameday Audio.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.