Young's three hits lead Rangers' rout of Reds

Young's three hits lead Rangers' rout of Reds

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Michael Young had three hits as the Rangers flexed their muscles against Reds starter Jeff Francis in a 12-2 victory at Surprise Stadium on Monday night.

Young is now hitting .441 for the spring. The Rangers starting lineup scored 12 runs on 13 hits through five innings before calling it a night. Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz each had two hits.

Francis, trying to make the Reds rotation, gave up 11 runs in three-plus innings as his spring ERA jumped from 2.77 to 8.44. He retired the side in order in the first before Kinsler led off the second with his fourth home run of the spring.

"It was one of those days," Francis said. "I've had them before and I'll have them again. That's a good hitting team. You can't leave the ball over the middle of the plate like I did."

Rangers starter Scott Feldman was outstanding in his six scoreless innings of work. He allowed three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out nine. He retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced. He threw 79 pitches and lowered his spring ERA to 3.15. He is the first Rangers pitcher to go six innings in a Cactus League game and leads the staff with 20 innings pitched.

"It's been a good spring," Feldman said. "Everything has been how I expected. My arm strength is coming around. Everybody goes through a dead arm period but I'm past that and I was able to command most of my stuff tonight."

Joe Nathan followed Feldman to the mound and retired the side in order. He struck out two and retired the other on a tapper back to the mound.

Mike Adams turned in a scoreless eighth, and Mark Lowe was one pitch from completing the shutout when Juan Francisco put the Reds on the board with a two-run homer.

"We need to see more of that," Baker said of Francisco's homer. "He has not had a very good spring."

Up next, Rangers: The Rangers will use left-handed relievers Robbie Ross, Neal Cotts and Michael Kirkman in their Cactus League game against the Padres at 3:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday against the Padres in Surprise Stadium. All three are competing for a spot in the bullpen. The Rangers are going to pitch Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz and Joe Nathan in Minor League games on Tuesday night against the Royals.

Up next, Reds: Left-handed reliever Sean Marshall is scheduled to pitch for the Reds at 4:05 p.m. ET against the Cubs in Goodyear. Marshall, who will pitch behind starter Matt Latos, is a leading candidate to be the Reds' closer now that Ryan Madson is sidelined for the year because of an elbow injury. Latos is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA this spring.

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.