Bruce Chen may have a leg up in the battle for the No. 5 spot in the rotation for the Kansas City Royals.

Bruce Chen may have a leg up in the battle for the No. 5 spot in the rotation for the Kansas City Royals.

Max Ramirez singled home Lorenzo Cain in the seventh inning for the go-ahead run as the Royals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 to improve to 5-0-1 this spring.

Cain, who walked and stole second, made his first appearance after missing the first five games with a hand injury.

Royals starter Luke Hochevar walked three and gave up two runs and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Chen, competing with Hochevar for the fifth spot in the rotation, pitched two spotless innings.

Hochevar threw only 20 strikes in 38 pitches.

“It was just the two-seamer was sinking just below the zone,” Hochevar said. “It's a small adjustment and we can make that with no problem. It was the action I wanted. That was the pitch I fell behind with a little bit and that I wasn't commanding that much. That's a feel pitch and that will come.”

Said manager Ned Yost: “Luke's command was off, behind on a lot of hitters, but his stuff was pretty impressive.”

Royals shortstop Elliot Johnson was removed after the sixth inning with a bruised left knee when Carlos Gomez slid into his leg while he started a double play.

“It's more a precautionary thing,” Yost said. “He was fighting to stay in the game, but this early let's get some ice on it.”

Royals notes: Royals LF Alex Gordon returned after missing the previous two games with lower back stiffness. ... RHP James Shields, who was acquired from Tampa Bay in a seven-player trade in December, makes his Royals spring training debut Thursday against San Diego.