MESA, Ariz. (AP) – The Texas Rangers’ 6-2 win over a Chicago Cubs’ split squad on Tuesday was notable for pitchers leaving the game early.
Texas starter Neftali Feliz came out after three shutout innings because of shoulder stiffness. Cubs closer Carlos Marmol got just two outs because of a cramp in his pitching hand.
“I feel normal. That’s a good thing,” Marmol said. “I wasn’t scared.”
He pointed to the palm of his hand at the base of his index and middle fingers, saying the cramp started at the fingers and went into the hand.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Marmol told him he had had the condition during spring training in previous years, and said the pitcher wanted to remain in the game.
“At least it’s not an elbow or forearm,” Sveum said.
Feliz, a right-hander switching from closer to starter, allowed two hits, struck out two and walked one. He left the ballpark early and was not available for comment. Feliz was to be re-evaluated Wednesday.
Ryan Dempster gave up two runs and four hits in six innings, the longest outing for a Cubs pitcher this year. He allowed Dustin Brown’s two-run, opposite-field homer to right in the second.
“It was nice to go out and get some extended time. I was able to execute,” said Dempster, a possible opening-day starter.
Sveum liked what he saw of Dempster.
“He had great fastball command,” Sveum said. “When he has his command, up, down, away, he can be really tough. There are not too many people who work harder. It’s impressive, the work ethic, the drive that he has.”
Blake DeWitt hit a run-scoring triple in the fourth against left-hander Neal Cotts, and Reed Johnson hit a sacrifice fly.
Engel Beltre walked with the bases loaded in the eighth and Conor Jackson had an RBI single. Leonys Martin hit a two-run homer in the ninth.
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