at Goodyear, Ariz.
Saturday, March 13
Rangers at the plate: The Rangers have now won three games in a row and first baseman Chris Davis continues to have a fine Spring Training. The first baseman picked up another hit to raise his batting average to .522 in Cactus League play. He's not the only productive player this spring. Elvis Andrus is hitting .280 and Pedro Borbon is hitting .333. David Murphy drove in two runs to raise his batting average to .333 and Nelson Cruz went 1-for-4 with one RBI. Cruz is hitting .421. Overall, the Rangers collected 12 hits in the victory.Indians at the plate: The Rangers pitching proved to be too much for the Indians lineup as Cleveland was handed its first loss of Cactus League play this year. Lou Marson helped his case in the competition for the starting catcher's job with a single. Carlos Rivera and Lonnie Chisenhall also picked up a hit each in the defeat.
Rangers on the mound: The Rangers shined on the mound Saturday starting with Brandon McCarthy. The right-hander continued in his bid to earn a spot on the pitching staff as he gave up three hits in three scoreless innings. He walked one batter and struck out three to lower his ERA to 3.60. Veteran Darren Oliver relieved McCarthy with one shutout inning and Luis Mendoza followed with three scoreless innings of his own.Indians on the mound: Justin Masterson was masterful on the mound against Texas, giving up one unearned run on three hits while striking out six in 3 2/3 innings. He credited a steady dose of changeups, his fastball and good command of his sinker for the effective outing. Masterson now sports a 1.29 ERA this spring. Mike Gosling followed Masterson and was charged with one run on three hits in 1 1/3 innings. Worth noting: Masterson was in such a nice pitching groove in the second inning that he started ignoring baserunners, and Rangers first baseman Chris Davis made him pay for it with a stolen base that caught everybody in the stadium by surprise.
A stolen base by Davis is a rarity. He did not steal a base last season and stole only one base in 2008. He stole a career-high seven bases in the Minor Leagues in 2007.
Masterson later admitted that he was not surprised the Rangers stole the base because he didn't mix up his rhythm and was concentrating solely on hitters.Cactus League records: Rangers 4-4-1; Indians 5-1-2 Up next: The Indians will get the opportunity to see several pitchers Sunday with a pair of games against the Padres and the Reds. Aaron Laffey will start for the Tribe against San Diego's Chris Young in Peoria at 3:05 CT for the Padres. Hector Rondon, Jamey Wright, Jeanmar Gomez are also scheduled to pitch against the Padres. Kelvin DeLaCruz will start against Cincinnati's Aaron Harang at the Reds complex at 10 a.m. in a "B" game. Jenson Lewis, Joe Smith, Chris Perez and Zach Putnam are also scheduled to pitch against the Reds.
Kerry Wood was scheduled to pitch Saturday but was held out because of arm soreness. Indians manager Manny Acta said Wood will "be out for a spell" and it's "normal Spring Training stuff."
The Rangers are on television for the first time this spring when they host the Diamondbacks at 3:05 p.m. CT in Surprise. Colby Lewis pitches for the Rangers and the game will be shown in North Texas on KXTA Ch. 21 and on MLB.TV. The Rangers have a record nine games being shown on television from Arizona this spring. The Rangers will also have a split-squad playing in Glendale against the Dodgers with Derek Holland on the mound.
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less