at Surprise, Ariz.
Sunday, March 14
Rangers at the plate: Josh Hamilton's daughter, Julia, turned nine on Sunday. Hamilton promised her at breakfast that he would hit a home run for her, and he did just that. Hamilton hit his first home run of the spring with a two-run shot in the first inning. He also had a double in the third in going 2-for-3 on the day. He is 8-for-17 in the Cactus League after having to deal with a bruised left shoulder earlier in the month.D-backs at the plate: Justin Upton was 3-for-4 with a three-run home run. He has three home runs and recorded 13 RBIs in just eight games. Rusty Ryal hit his third home run in nine games with a two-run home run in the fourth inning.
D-backs on the mound: Billy Buckner, a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, gave up the two-run home run to Hamilton but otherwise had a solid outing. He allowed two runs on three hits, walked two and struck out three. He used the outing to try to work on his changeup.Worth noting: Left-handed pitcher Kasey Kiker has pitched in four games for the Rangers, including one "B" game and has yet to give up a run. Kiker, the Rangers' No. 1 pick in 2006, has pitched a total of three innings. Cactus League records: Rangers 4-5; D-backs 5-5 Up next: The Rangers play their first night game of the season when they host the Giants at 8:05 p.m. CT on Monday in Surprise. The game will be broadcast back home on FOX Sports Southwest and KRLD 1080 AM. Rich Harden pitches for the Rangers, followed by Darren O'Day and Doug Mathis. Top prospect Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to pitch for the Giants.
The D-backs return to Tucson, Ariz., on Monday to take on the Mariners. The game will feature a marquee pitching matchup of Dan Haren against Cliff Lee. For Haren, this will be his third start of the spring. The right-hander, who will start on Opening Day for the D-backs, has been sharp thus far, not allowing a run in 4 2/3 spring innings. Lee will be making his second Cactus League start and is expected to go at least four innings and throw around 60-65 pitches.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.