Mathis may have strengthened his shot

Mathis may have strengthened his shot

ATHLETICS 6, RANGERS 3
at Surprise, Ariz.
Friday, March 26

Rangers at the plate: Nelson Cruz entered the game second in the Cactus League in RBIs and singled home a run in the first inning. He now has 16 RBIs in 17 games. Josh Hamilton had a first-inning single and has reached base in 12 of 13 games played this spring.

Athletics at the plate: Catcher Anthony Recker hit his second home run of the spring in the second inning. He is the sixth Athletics player with two home runs. No player has more than two. Ryan Sweeney had an RBI double in the first and scored on a single by Jack Cust. Sweeney has 14 hits in his past 35 at-bats, a .400 average over his past 12 games. Jake Fox put the game out of reach with a three-run homer in the ninth.

Rangers on the mound: Doug Mathis may have the inside track on a spot in the bullpen and helped his chances with 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Athletics. He now has a 3.86 ERA for the spring and could end up joining Dustin Nippert as one of the two long relievers in the bullpen. Chris Ray struck out two in a scoreless eighth.

2010 Spring Training - null
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Athletics on the mound: Vin Mazzaro, trying to keep up in the fifth-starter competition, went four innings and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks. He struck out one. One of the runs came home on a balk and he now has a 6.28 ERA for the spring.

Worth noting: Rangers first baseman Chris Davis left the game after three innings feeling fatigued. The Rangers reported no physical issues with him, just general fatigue. He was 0-for-2 in the game.

Cactus League records: Rangers 6-14; Athletics 11-11-2

Up next: Right-handed starter Justin Duchscherer and the A's make the trek to Surprise on Saturday to take on the host Royals beginning at 1 p.m. PT. Duchscherer, slated to make just his second spring start since recovering from a nerve ablation procedure, is expected to throw around 75 pitches -- 15 more than he tossed in his first start against the Mariners on Monday, when he posted four scoreless innings while scattering four hits and a walk.  

C.J. Wilson pitches and hits for the Rangers when they play the Brewers at 3:05 p.m. CT on Saturday in the Phoenix neighborhood of Maryvale. The designated hitter will not be used so Wilson will get to swing the bat for the second straight start. He was 1-for-2 with a double in his last start against the Giants in Scottsdale. The game will be broadcast by KRLD 1080 AM.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.