Sports

Rangers start spring with 11-7 win over Royals, Darvish strikes out 4 and Fielder homers

  • Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish (11), of Japan, delivers to the Kansas City Royals in the second inning of an exhibition baseball game on Thursday Feb. 27, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish (11), of Japan, delivers to the Kansas City Royals in the second inning of an exhibition baseball game on Thursday Feb. 27, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Texas Rangers' Prince Fielder watches the flight of his home run over the right field fence off a pitch from Kansas City Royals' Danny Duffy in the third inning of an exhibition baseball game on Thursday Feb. 27, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Texas Rangers' Prince Fielder watches the flight of his home run over the right field fence off a pitch from Kansas City Royals' Danny Duffy in the third inning of an exhibition baseball game on Thursday Feb. 27, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish, of Japan, watches as he gets Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez to swing at a pitch for a strike in the second inning of an exhibition baseball, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish, of Japan, watches as he gets Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez to swing at a pitch for a strike in the second inning of an exhibition baseball, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)  (The Associated Press)

Yu Darvish struck out four in two innings of the spring opener for Texas, and Prince Fielder hit a towering solo homer as the Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 11-7 on Thursday.

Darvish, who led the majors with 277 strikeouts and was second in the AL Cy Young Award voting last season, threw 23 of 29 pitches for strikes.

The Rangers struggled at times last year to score runs behind Darvish, who was the first pitcher since 1989 to have four 1-0 losses in the same season. They led 4-0 before Darvish threw his last pitch in the Cactus League opener.

Fielder, acquired in a trade from Detroit for Ian Kinsler, pulled a homer over the Rangers bullpen, well beyond the 350-foot sign on the right field fence.