at Surprise, Ariz.
Monday, March 8
Angels at the plate: The visitors wasted little time against Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy as the first four hitters reached base to start the game. Two of them -- shortstop Erick Aybar and second baseman Macier Izturis -- scored on base hits by left fielder Juan Rivera and first baseman Kendry Morales for an early 2-0 lead. Morales, who was playing in his first Cactus League game this year, and Rivera finished with two hits and two RBIs each. In the third inning, catcher Mike Napoli hit a solo home run, his second home run of Spring Training, to give his team a 3-0 lead. Third baseman Brandon Wood also hit a solo home run as part of a four-run fifth inning to extend the Angels' lead to 7-2. Cory Aldridge homered in the ninth.
Rangers at the plate: Left fielder Josh Hamilton, who is recovering from a bruised left shoulder, showed progress, making his Cactus League debut with a pair of singles up the middle and a run scored. The outfielder, who had been sidelined since he fell on the shoulder during the first full-squad workout on Feb. 24, finished 2-for-3. Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero also shined, going 1-for-2 and with a run. Third baseman Michael Young had one hit in three at-bats and right fielder David Murphy hit an RBI triple in the sixth.
Angels on the mound: Starter Ervin Santana looked sharp, allowing only one hit -- a single by Hamilton in the first -- in two scoreless innings of work. The Dominican right-hander threw 28 pitches, 17 for strikes. Matt Palmer followed and allowed two runs on three hits in his two innings. Palmer struck out one batter in the 31-pitch outing. Jason Bulger relieved Palmer and allowed one hit in one scoreless inning in a solid afternoon on the mound for the visitors.
Rangers on the mound: It was a slow start for McCarthy as he gave up two earned runs on four hits in two innings. The right-hander struck out two batters and issued one walk in the 46-pitch outing. He threw 28 strikes. Colby Lewis relieved McCarthy and struck out two batters in two innings. The right-hander's lone blemish in the 26-pitch effort was Wood's home run.
Cactus League records: Angels 1-2-1; Rangers 1-3Up next: Rich Harden looks to build on his solid first start of Spring Training when he takes the hill against his former Oakland teammates at Phoenix Municipal Stadium at 2:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday. In his Texas debut last week, Harden pitched two innings of one-hit ball as the Rangers cruised past the Royals, 13-3. The long-term goals for the Rangers and Harden are 200 innings and 30 starts. The goal short-term is keeping him healthy.
Hideki Matsui will make his Angels debut as their designated hitter on Tuesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium against the Padres. Joel Pineiro, who yielded one run in two innings in his Cactus League debut, will stretch it out another inning when he faces San Diego's Chris Young. Matsui hopes to impress manager Mike Scioscia enough with his outfield skills to get some playing time in left field by the end of Spring Training, but the focus early on will be getting his bat ready and making sure he's able to run in quick bursts out of the batter's box and on the bases. Brian Fuentes, Anthony Ortega, Francisco Rodriguez and Bobby Mosebach are due to follow Pineiro.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.