The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 6, 2013

Royals clamp down vs. A’s

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar are competing for the final spot in the Royals’ rotation. The loser might not be with the organization for too long.

A multitude of scouts watched the pair each throw three sharp innings in an 8-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday remain undefeated.

The Royals are listening to trade offers for both.

Chen allowed one run on two hits and walked none. Hochevar pitched three scoreless innings, but yielded three hits and walked one. He finished strong, striking out the final three batters.

“Even though we are fighting for a fifth spot in spring training, I think it is an all-year battle for the fifth spot,” Chen said. “You can win it, but then you can lose it in a matter of two months. In reality, whoever wins it, wins it, but it is going like to be an audition every time that person goes out.”

Chen will make $4.5 million this year, while Hochevar will earn $4.56 million.

Nationals 7, Astros 1: Rafael Soriano threw a scoreless inning of relief in his debut with Washington and the Nationals beat the Houston Astros 7-1 Tuesday.

Soriano signed a two-year, $28 million contract in January to become the Nationals new closer. The right-hander faced three batters in the seventh and struck out one.

Houston’s J.D. Martinez reached base against Soriano, but pinch-runner Brandon Barnes was thrown out trying to steal.

Danny Espinosa had two hits and two RBIs for Washington. Chad Tracy also drove in two runs.

Dan Haren gave up a run in three innings in his second spring start.

Braves 2, Yankees 0: Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla says he is fine after getting hit by a pitch in the back of the neck during the sixth inning of the Braves’ 2-0 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.

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