Ramirez has solid start for Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Horacio Ramirez took a step toward claiming 1 of the final two slots in the Kansas City rotation, throwing five solid innings in the Royals' 8-5 loss to the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Ramirez is the Royals' only left-handed rotation candidate. He gave up four runs, one unearned, and four hits before giving way to the bullpen.

The Rangers scored three runs in the ninth off reliever Roman Colon.

Ramirez, who's been struggling with a blister on his left index finger, was battered for nine runs and 10 hits - including three homers - in two innings in his previous start against the Los Angeles Angels.

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