Reaction: Colby Lewis gets his work in
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Colby Lewis' next start in a Texas Rangers uniform will be Friday afternoon as he climbs on top of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington mound for opening day.
"Four years ago if you'd asked me if I was going to start opening day in the big leagues, I'd have said that was crazy," Lewis said, adding that starting that game is a big deal for his career. "I feel very blessed. I feel blessed to have a beautiful family that backs me and supports me. That's a big key to my success."
Lewis threw his final spring start under sunny skies Sunday, giving up two runs on five hits with one walk, four strikeouts and a hit batter in four innings in the Rangers' 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres. He gave up a long home run to right field to Jesus Guzman with one out in the fourth.
Lewis allowed just one hit -- a one-out double to John Baker in the third -- in his first three innings. But he gave up four straight hits in the fourth and the Padres scored two runs. He threw just over 60 pitches. He did issue a walk and hit a batter in the first.
"I felt like I made some good pitches," Lewis said. "My fastball was a little inconsistent in the first, but I felt like I gathered it back."
Lewis was pleased that after he loaded the bases with one out that he threw a nice slider to Jason Bartlett, who hit into a fielder's choice that was nearly a double play.
Lewis will follow his normal routine between starts so that he's prepared to start against the Chicago White Sox at 1:05 p.m. on Friday.
Rangers win six of seven: The Rangers will take a little momentum back home after winning six of the last seven Cactus League games. That coincides with the regulars playing longer as well.
"We're playing baseball like you want to at the right time," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not how you start, it's how you finish. We finished the way we wanted to finish."
Beltre back and delivers: Adrian Beltre didn't play in a few games with a stiff back, but was in the lineup Sunday and made his presence felt quickly. He doubled in the first inning to score the first run of the game (Elvis Andrus) and singled in the second inning before Beltre, like most of the regulars, was taken out of the game. He finished the spring with a team-high 13 RBIs.
Profar's day: Jurickson Profar came in to pinch run for Andrus in the second and got some quality playing time at short in the final spring game. Profar hit a single in the seventh and then tried to steal second base, but was thrown out (it was a double play as Dusty Brown struck out).
Scoreless innings: Robbie Ross, who is in the big league bullpen, and Mark Lowe, who appears likely to be there as well with the possibility of Yoshinori Tateyama starting the season on the DL, both pitched scoreless innings. Ross didn't allow a hit and had a strikeout. Lowe gave up one hit and also had a strikeout.
Feldman in relief: Scott Feldman came in after Lewis left as he pitched for a second straight game as he slides into his relief role. He gave up no runs on one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Feldman wanted to throw back-to-back before leaving Arizona to see how his arm felt.
Ogando gives up HR: Matt Clark hit a long home run to right field off Alexi Ogando in the eighth. The wind was blowing out to right field and Clark's ball landed halfway up the berm. Ogando got the next three batters he faced.
Cruz K's twice: Nelson Cruz ended spring with strikeouts in his final two at-bats. He hit .236 this spring with 14 strikeouts, though he did have nine RBIs. He hit just one home run, but as a team the Rangers hit only 25 homers this spring. Ian Kinsler hit five of them.
Murphy to start Opening Day?: Manager Ron Washington indicated earlier Sunday that he had not made any decisions on his opening day outfield, but it certainly appears that Murphy will be in left field despite lefty John Danks on the mound for the White Sox. Murphy had a single in his first at-bat Sunday to drive in two runs and had a productive spring at the plate, hitting .327 with 12 RBIs. Murphy hit just .215 against left-handed pitchers in 2011, but hit lefties better this spring and is focused on that in 2012.
Great catch: Engel Beltre ended Sunday's game with a nice diving grab in foul territory down the right field line. He got a big cheer from those still in attendance.
Nathan nails down save: Joe Nathan came in to a two-run ballgame and got the job done, getting all three hitters he faced -- two outs in the air and a strikeout.
"It was nice to get him out there in that spot," Washington said. "He threw the ball well."
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.