ARLINGTON, Texas -- Lefty starter Matt Harrison recovered from a rocky first inning to have a decent performance in his final tune-up outing.
Harrison, who had a 1.69 ERA in 16 Cactus League innings, needed 20 pitches to get out of the first. He allowed two singles -- a chopper over the mound and a line drive up the middle -- and a run on a hard-hit sacrifice fly in the frame.
The only other hit that Harrison allowed in the Rangers’ win over the Mexico City Diablos Rojos was an RBI single in the fourth. Michael Young couldn’t make the play diving to his left, but it probably would have been an out if Gold Glover Adrian Beltre was at third base. The run was unearned because the baserunner reached when Double-A outfielder Engel Beltre dropped a routine fly ball to shallow right.
Harrison struck out five and didn’t allow any walks. He threw 69 pitches in four innings, 46 of which were strikes.
“I’m glad to finish on a good note before the season starts up,” said Harrison, who had a breakthrough season with a 14-9 record and 3.39 ERA in 2011. “I had a little bit of trouble in the first inning trying to find my command, but after that I was able to settle in and get some quick outs and get ahead of guys. Pretty comfortable with how the day went.”
Healthy Hamilton: Josh Hamilton showed no indications that his groin, which tightened up near the end of spring training, is still bothering him.
Hamilton hit a bullet to the right-center gap for a double in the first inning and looked good sprinting to second. He also had no problem tracking down a fly ball fairly deep in the gap in the top of the third. He finished 2-for-3 with two runs.
“I really wanted to try to steal third but decided I better not, just in case, you know,” said Hamilton, who is still getting treatment on the groin but called that a precautionary measure. “I didn’t want to push it. But everything feels good.”
Young keeps raking: Michael Young hit what should have had a home run in the first inning, blasting a shot that ricocheted off the concrete wall over the 404-foot sign in center field. The umpires ruled it an RBI double despite a brief protest by Rangers manager Ron Washington.
“If this was Friday, it’d matter,” Young said. “Not now.”
Young went 2-for-2 with another RBI double, a laser beam down the third-base line. The outing was a continuation of Young’s spectacular spring. He hit .423 in Cactus League games.
Painful outing for Adams: Right-handed set-up man Mike Adams faced only two batters, allowing a double and getting an ouch-inducing out.
Mexico City’s Oscar Robles hit a sharp grounder up the middle that ricocheted off Adams’ left calf to first baseman Mike Olt, who stepped on the bag to get the out. After consulting with Washington and head athletic trainer Jamie Reed, Adams walked off the field.
Kinsler goes deep again: Ian Kinsler homered for the sixth time in 14 games. He led off the bottom of the fourth by driving an 0-1 pitch an estimated 398 feet into the visitors’ bullpen past the left-center field fence. Kinsler also came a couple of feet away from homering to straightaway center field in the first inning.
Nathan strikes out side: Closer Joe Nathan’s first inning of work went as well as possible. He struck out the side in the fifth, needing only 11 pitches to get through the inning. Nathan threw seven fastballs, all clocked between 91 and 93 mph.
Nathan gave up a single and an unearned run in the next inning. He left with two outs after minor league third baseman Christian Valenzuela’s throwing error extended the inning and allowed the run to score.