Kinsler returns with pair of hits in Rangers' loss

Kinsler returns with pair of hits in Rangers' loss

Kinsler returns with pair of hits in Rangers' loss
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- First baseman Todd Helton and catcher Jordan Pacheco combined for five hits, including four doubles, and four RBIs to give the Rockies a 6-1 victory over the Rangers at Surprise Stadium on Wednesday.

Ian Kinsler returned to the Rangers' lineup after missing three games with lower back stiffness and had two hits in three at-bats. He drove in the Rangers' first run in the third inning with a single and is now 5-for-17 on the spring.

Rangers starter Neftali Feliz, making his second start, allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out three in three innings. He retired the first four hitters he faced, including three by strikeout, before allowing five of the next eight hitters to reach base. But he was able to get out of two jams by getting the Rockies to hit into two double plays.

"I felt better this outing than last the last outing," Feliz said. "I felt I had control of all of my pitches and did what I wanted to with them."

Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, trying to win a spot in the rotation, pitched four strong innings. He retired the first eight batters he faced and ended up allowing one run on four hits and a walk. He also struck out two.

"It felt good," Chatwood said. "Early on I was getting ahead of hitters and just kind of not letting them back into counts. Later on I was falling behind but trying to battle back into them -- made some good pitches when I needed to."

Pacheco, trying to win a job as a backup catcher, had three hits and three RBIs. Helton was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.

Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton exited after jamming his right heel chasing down Helton's double into the left-field corner in the second inning. The injury is not considered serious.

The Rockies have won four straight games after a six-game losing streak. The Rangers are 1-5-1 in their last seven games.

Up next for Rockies: Making his third start of the spring, Jhoulys Chacin looks to solidify his standing as the projected No. 2 starter for the Rockies against a Cubs split squad at Salt River Fields. Chacin has pitched five innings this spring, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Boasting a career 3.52 ERA in 68 appearances (53 starts) over three seasons, Chacin is poised to prove he's a top-of-the-rotation right-hander.

Up next for Rangers: Martin Perez, who is ranked 29th on the MLB.Com Top 100 Prospects list and second among Rangers prospects, makes his second start of the spring at 3:05 p.m. CT on Thursday against the Athletics in Surprise. Perez allowed two runs in two innings in his first start against the Dodgers last week. Neil Ramirez, Ben Snyder, Roman Mendez and Jacob Brigham follow him to the mound.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.