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Royals' first-rounder Crow pitches two scoreless

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals got a glimpse of their future Saturday and had to like what they saw.

Aaron Crow, a 2009 first-round pick, and Edgar Osuna, a Rule 5 draft pick from the Atlanta Braves, combined to throw three scoreless innings in their debuts as the Royals defeated the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Crow struck out three in two innings. He allowed one hit, a Chris Davis double in the fourth. Crow threw 17 strikes in 23 pitches, with his fastball at 95-97 mph. He struck out Craig Gentry, the first batter he faced, with a 95 mph fastball.

Crow was not overwhelmed in facing big league hitters for the first time.

"I expect myself to do well," Crow said. "I did about how I expected myself to. I have faith in myself. I know if I locate my pitches, I have a chance to get guys out."

Crow was a 2008 first-round pick of the Washington Nationals after his junior season at Missouri, but did not sign. The Royals picked Crow 12th overall last year, but he did not sign until September. Despite his limited experience, he could be in the majors soon.

"I've got to pull the reins on myself on that," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "It's exciting. I won't deny that. He's had a good camp so far. I think he has learned a lot. We know the stuff is there. We know there's competitiveness. It's a matter of reps and locating a fastball. He did a real nice job of that today."

After Davis' double, Crow retired Toby Hall on a fly to left and struck out Matt Brown.

"It really didn't surprise me how he came back," Hillman said after Davis' hit. "I've seen a lot of good things from him. I'm glad he did what I thought he would do, but I thought he would do what he did."

Royals starter Gil Meche, who was limited to 23 starts last season because of a bad back, threw two scoreless innings.

"I'm happy," Meche said. "No. 1 because I don't have any back problems and two, I felt my velocity was pretty good the first time out and I located some pitches. The second inning didn't exactly go smooth, a hit and a walk. Overall, I am pleased. I haven't pitched since August. To come out of a game for the simple reason we're in spring training and not because I'm hurt is a good feeling."

Osuna, a 22-year-old left-hander, has been primary a starter in the minors, but could open the season in the bullpen. He allowed only a bunt single to Elvis Andrus and then got Craig Gentry to ground into a double play.

"I was really impressed," Hillman said of Osuna. "The change-up played out plus again. It looks like a fastball. It's very effective."

The Rangers committed four errors and both Royals runs were unearned.

"Our offense got help, that's how we got those two runs," Hillman said.

Rangers right-hander Tommy Hunter gave up an unearned run in the first when Jose Guillen, who had doubled scored on Brown;s throwing error. Brian Anderson's ground-rule double in the seventh scored Edwin Bellorin with the other Kansas City run. Bellorin singled after catcher Emerson Frostad dropped a foul pop.

Esteban German scored the only Rangers run. Nelson Payano walked German and Frostad in the seventh. German stole third and scored on Leury Garcia's ground out.