PEORIA, Ariz. (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas looked to be on track early in their 9th Spring Training game of 2012. The Rangers battled the Seattle Mariners on a picture-perfect day in Peoria, Arizona.
Nelson Cruz gave the Rangers faithful something to cheer about early in the game. He launched a Cruz missile about 400 feet to left-center field in the second inning to give Texas a 1-0 lead. It was Cruz’s first homer this Spring.
Starting pitcher Matt Harrison rolled through the first two innings, striking out two and getting 6 first pitch strikes against 7 batters.
Harrison hit a rough patch in the 3rd when he gave up a lead-off solo home run to Vinnie Catricala. Later in the inning, Harrison gave up back-to-back singles to Chone Figgins and Brendan Ryan before getting Jesus Montero on an inning-ending ground ball.
The Rangers responded in the 4th. Mariners starting pitcher Blake Beavan hit Adrian Beltre. Michael Young brought Beltre home with a double to put the Rangers up 2-1.
Matt Harrison left after 3 innings giving up 1 run and 2 K’s on 51 pitches. Yoshinori Tateyama and Mark Lowe got Texas through the 4th and 5th.
Off-season acquisition Joe Nathan came in for the 6th. The Rangers new closer had pitched in only one game this Spring.
Today’s outing was not his best. Nathan threw 8 straight balls to Ichiro and Montero. David Murphy briefly saved Nathan when he threw out Ichiro at home trying to score from second on a single by Mike Carp.
The next batter, Miguel Olivo, took Nathan deep to left field for a 3 run home run.
The Mariners were up 4-2 at that point. Seattle went on to win 6-4 in front of a crowd of 8,917 people at Peoria Sports Complex.
The Rangers record this Spring is 3-6.
Now, the attention turns to tomorrow. Heralded Rangers acquisition Yu Darvish makes his second Spring Training game start. Texas takes on the Cleveland Indians at 3:05 P.M. Texas time, tomorrow.