Rangers Start Strong But Can’t Sink The Mariners

By Stewart McKenzie, CBS 11 News

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.

141177434 Rangers Start Strong But Cant Sink The Mariners

Nelson Cruz #17 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout during a spring training baseball game against Cleveland Indians at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2012 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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.

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