Yu Darvish was scratched from his start because of a mild neck strain and Derek Lowe filled in with three scoreless innings, leading the Texas Rangers to an 8-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
The Rangers scratched Darvish, the Japanese star who won 16 games as a rookie, with what the club termed a ''very minor'' neck strain. Darvish said if it was a regular-season game he would have made the start.
Ian Kinsler went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer for Texas.
Lowe, who signed a minor league contract March 6 with the Rangers, yielded three singles, walked one and struck out three against a Royals club that entered the game with a spring training-best .335 batting average.
Ervin Santana, acquired in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Angels, allowed six runs on 10 hits in four innings.