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Shields makes spring debut for Royals

PEORIA, Ariz. — Former Ray James Shields made his spring training debut for the Royals on Thursday, and it went by so quickly he wound up in the bullpen to increase his pitch count.

Shields threw nine of 13 pitches for strikes in the first inning of a 5-4 win over the Padres.

"It's funny. There's just something about a guy who's your No. 1 guy," manager Ned Yost said. "There's just a special aura, and it was there when he was out on the mound. "

Obtained in December as part of a six-player trade that sent top prospect Wil Myers to the Rays, Shields relied on fastballs and changeups, with his velocity topping out at 94 mph. He got a groundout, flyout and strikeout well under his 30-pitch limit.

"We wanted to keep things simple, really take our time with this thing," Shields, 31, said.

A's: Brett Anderson was announced as the opening day starter, then allowed one hit over two scoreless innings in a loss to the Cubs. Manager Bob Melvin gave him the news a day earlier. "It sounded like he wanted to hug, but I am not going to jump up and down and things like that," Anderson said.

Cardinals: Outfielder Carlos Beltran and starting pitcher Jake Westbrook limped to the clubhouse moments apart against the Marlins. Beltran had a bruised little toe on his right foot after being hit by a pitch, and Westbrook had a bruised left leg after being hit by a grounder. Beltran's X-rays were negative, but he was unsure whether it would affect his plans to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

Giants: Outfielder Andres Torres won't play for Puerto Rico in the WBC and will be out for at least a week because he strained an oblique taking a swing.

Mariners: Jon Garland, who had rotator cuff surgery in 2011 and complications last season, pitched for the first time in nearly 20 months. "It felt good to get out there for a true game situation," said Garland, who allowed a hit and walked one in one inning.

Mets: Reliever Pedro Feliciano was cleared to resume baseball activity while wearing a heart monitor. Feliciano, 36, has a rare genetic condition called left ventricular noncompaction. It results from the failure of myocardial development from birth.

Rangers: Shortstop Elvis Andrus did not play after spending nine hours this week getting a tattoo on his left arm, from elbow to shoulder, and experiencing discomfort. Andrus got a likeness of his late father, Emilo, who died in 1996.

WBC: With a lineup boasting power hitter Lee Seung-yeop and no major-leaguers, South Korea is viewed as the Group B favorite in the opening round, which starts today in Taiwan. Host Taiwan, which has former Yankee Chien-Ming Wang, is expected to compete with Andruw Jones and the Netherlands for the second spot in the four-team group.

Shields makes spring debut for Royals 02/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 28, 2013 9:43pm]
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