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Monday, February 28, 2011
Surprise six: Monday camp recap

By Jeff Caplan

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The bats came alive in the Texas Rangers' 12-11 win in the rematch over the Kansas City Royals on Monday. Now Texas hits the road for nearby Peoria and 2:05 p.m. game Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners.

Here's the six big story lines from Monday's day at camp:

1. Right-hander Colby Lewis looked good in his first Cactus League start, giving up only a two-out walk in two innings of work. He threw 33 pitches, 16 for strikes, and struck out one. It was quite the turnaround after giving five runs in an intrasquad game. "Pretty good, pretty good," manager Ron Washington said. "Just getting his work and getting through it conveniently."

2. Center fielder Julio Borbon has mixed solid hitting with spotty fielding, committing two errors in two games. He misplayed a fly ball Sunday and let a ball skip under his glove in Monday's game. Rangers manager Ron Washington gave Borbon his full backing, saying: "He's my center fielder." Borbon has two doubles and three hits in the two Cactus League games.

3. Michael Young made the first appearance of his career at first base in Monday's game. He had just one opportunity, a slow hopper that he easily scooped up and tagged the bag. Young played third base on Sunday and is expected to move to second base on Wednesday after taking Tuesday off. Young got his bat in action Monday with a double and triple. "No surprises today. Everything was pretty routine," Young said. "A little unusual, sure. I mean it's the first time I've been there, at least in a game situation. So, yeah, it was a little unusual."

4. The competition for the open spots in the starting rotation is beginning to heat up. Hopeful Michael Kirkman got off to a rough start Monday, giving up three runs on three hits in his first inning of work. Matt Harrison is set to start Tuesday's game, Tommy Hunter will start Wednesday and Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz will get two innings in Thursday's split-squad games. Tanner Scheppers pitched a solid inning in Sunday's game.

5. Acquired to hit against left-handed pitching, Mike Napoli got the job done Monday with a single and home run off separate lefties. He blasted a two-run homer in the five-run fourth inning. On Sunday in the ninth inning against righty Kevin Pucetas, Napoli went first-pitch swinging and popped it up to shallow right to end the game, a 4-2 Royals win.

6. The good news kept coming for right-hander Brandon Webb on Monday. A day after a successful bullpen session off the mound, Webb reported that he felt good and is on schedule for another session on Tuesday. Webb declared the first session a major step in the right direction as he makes progress toward making an appearance at some point in a Cactus League game.