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Laird, Sosa lumber up in slugfest

Laird, Sosa lumber up in slugfest

at Tucson, Ariz.
Thursday, March 15

Rangers at the plate: Sammy Sosa launched his third home run of the spring in the fourth inning off Edgar Gonzalez, a blast that cleared the lawn beyond the left-field wall. Catcher Gerald Laird was 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs. Left fielder Marlon Byrd left the game in the first inning after fouling a Gonzalez pitch off his right hand. Jason Botts finished off Byrd's at-bat, swinging at one pitch to pick up the strikeout.

Diamondbacks at the plate: Veteran Tony Clark hit a grand slam in a 10-run sixth inning, his first homer of the spring. Shortstop Alberto Callaspo and second baseman Orlando Hudson were each 2-for-4.

Rangers on the mound: Just two of the five runs scored on starter Robinson Tejeda were earned. He pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and two walks and striking out two. Josh Rupe got the loss and gave up eight earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, including five hits and four walks.

Diamondbacks on the mound: Gonzalez allowed all four of his earned runs in the fourth, where he did not retire a batter before being pulled. He allowed seven hits and struck out five in three-plus innings of work. Casey Daigle, who had not allowed a run in five innings this spring, saw his ERA balloon to 7.50 by allowing five earned runs, four hits and two walks in one inning. Brandon Medders may have been most promising, striking out three in two scoreless innings and picking up the win. Tony Pena picked up his second save of the spring.

Cactus League records: Rangers, 8-6; Diamondbacks, 10-5.

Up next: Enrique Gonzalez gets to make his push for the final spot in the rotation with a start Friday against Oakland in Phoenix. He is expected to go four innings, and Dana Eveland, also in the five-man battle for the D-backs' fifth spot, is scheduled to throw three innings, with Jorge Julio and D.J. Carrasco also slated for action. Joe Blanton, Huston Street, Alan Embree, Kiko Calero, Jay Witasick and Mike Mitchell will be on the mound for the A's. For Texas, right-hander Jamey Wright will start Friday against San Diego righty Clay Hensley.

Geoff Grammer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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