Cole Hamels and Andrew Cashner each had something to prove on Friday night.
Consider it done.
Hamels and Cashner combined for a three-hitter as the Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 3-0 on Friday night.
After allowing four runs and retiring only one batter in his first spring "A" game start, Hamels allowed only one run in each of his next two starts.
Hamels grudgingly allowed Kansas City three hits, all singles, walked none and faced only 20 batters in six innings. He struck out four and threw 45 strikes among 69 pitches.
"It's nice to get a healthy spring training out of the way," Hamels said, "and then go into the season with something to build on. I thought it went pretty well, especially the last two games."
Texas manager Jeff Banister liked what he saw.
"The last time before the lights go on for real, we saw Cole Hamels tonight. The two-seam fastball was electric. The changeup was a really good pitch for him. The cutter was back in play."
Cashner pitched in an "A" game for the first time this spring. Returning from right biceps soreness, he walked one, struck out one and faced the minimum of nine batters in three innings to earn a save. He threw 30 pitches, 18 strikes.
Then Cashner went to the bullpen to throw some more.
"Excited about having him back out on the field," Banister said. "There's a lot of feel-good, I believe, for him."
No Royals runner advanced past first base.
Elvis Andrus had two hits, including an RBI double during a three-run second inning against Royals starter Ian Kennedy.
Four of Texas' first five batters in the second inning hit safely. Ryan Rua drove in the first run with a single. After Andrus doubled, Carlos Gomez hit a sacrifice fly for the third run.
Six Kansas City relievers blanked the Rangers on two singles in six innings.
Royals: After pitching 12 scoreless innings in his final two starts in Arizona, Kennedy allowed three runs and five hits in two innings. He is scheduled to start on Wednesday at Minnesota.
Rangers: Hamels reduced his spring ERA from 5.79 to 3.52. His first regular-season start would be at home on Wednesday vs. defending American League champion Cleveland.
RANGERS, GEE WORKING ON DEAL
The Rangers and RHP Dillon Gee are working out details of a new major league contract. It would put him on the 40-man roster and enable the team to option him to Triple-A Round Rock without having to pay him the $2 million bonus called for in his minor league deal. He could return when Texas first needs a fifth starter on April 15.
Texas manager Jeff Banister said the season-opening rotation would be Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, Hamels and A.J. Griffin.
Royals: RF Jorge Soler (strained oblique) remained out, and could begin the season on the disabled list.
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre (tight right calf) ran on Friday, and the Rangers will wait to see how he feels before making a roster move. . RHP Tyson Ross, recovering from surgery to relieve Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, is scheduled to pitch a simulated game on Saturday.
The Royals and Rangers finish their exhibition schedule on Saturday afternoon in Arlington. RHP Jason Hammel and LHP Jason Vargas will pitch for Kansas City. Texas will start non-roster RHP Allen Webster.