Non-roster right-hander Derek Lowe made it more likely that he will make the opening day roster at least in the role of long reliever-spot starter.

Lowe, starting in place of Darvish, shut out Kansas City for three innings, one inning longer than scheduled. Lowe showed improved command of the sinker, his best pitch, and had four groundball outs.

This was Lowe’s second appearance in four days. He has five scoreless innings with five hits allowed. Lowe insisted he is not surprised at doing well despite a late start. He joined the club March 6.

“I’d have never come here if I couldn’t be competitive,” Lowe said. “Why waste my time and their time?”

Lowe has 156 wins in 377 career major-league starts. He downplayed the possibility of being a late entrant in the fifth-starter derby. Lowe threw 47 pitches against the Royals. Most starters are in the 75-pitch range at this stage of camp.

“I think you’re asking a little much,” Lowe said of being in the opening day rotation. “I said all along I just wanted an opportunity to compete for a job. I’m fighting and clawing for any role.”