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Thursday, June 14, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Diamondbacks 11, Rangers 3

By Clint Foster



ARLINGTON, Texas-- A sweep eluded the Texas Rangers as they dropped the final game of their three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, 11-3, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday. Some quick thoughts:

What it means: The Rangers took the series against the D-backs, 2-to-1. The loss Thursday drops the Rangers' lead to three games in the AL West as the Angels were idle.

Bats hot early: Unlike Wednesday night's pitching battle, the Rangers and D-backs both got on the board early in Thursday's game. The Rangers scored first when Elvis Andrus doubled and was then driven home by an RBI single from Adrian Beltre in the first inning. The D-backs took the lead in the second inning on a two-run homer from Jason Kubel. Arizona scored again in the third on a two-RBI double from Lyle Overbay with two outs.

The quest continues: Scott Feldman is still searching for his first win of the season. Despite striking out the side in the first inning, the D-backs got up on Feldman early. The score was 5-1 Arizona when Feldman left the game in the sixth inning. Feldman allowed six runs on eight hits (one home run) with no walks and six strikeouts. He is 0-6 on the season. Two of the runs were unearned.

Give me five: Feldman still has yet to complete six innings this year as a starter. He completed five innings for only the second time this season with the first coming in his previous start against San Francisco.

Not-so-merry go round: The Rangers struggled in the sixth inning, allowing the D-backs to bat around. After Feldman gave up back-to-back doubles to start the inning, Tanner Scheppers got one out before Arizona got on a roll. Two singles and a home run later, Scheppers got the second out. The Rangers allowed one more single before Scheppers struck out the ninth batter of the inning, Justin Upton.

Lone Ranger: Andrus carried the Rangers offense for most of the game, hitting a double and single in his first two at bats. He was the only Ranger other than Beltre to have a hit through the first six innings. Andrus finished 2-for-4.

Seventh-inning surge: The Rangers bats finally woke up in the seventh inning. Beltre belted a double to leadoff the inning and then with two outs, David Murphy drove him in with a two-run homer to cut the lead to six. It was Murphy's second home run in three days. Murphy finished 1-for-3 and Beltre finished 2-for-3. Only three Rangers had a hit.

Welcome back: Michael Kirkman saw his first major league action of the season when he pitched one inning in the seventh. The lefty tossed back-to-back strikeouts and allowed one walk. ... Alberto Gonzalez also saw action, making his first appearance at the plate since May 30. He grounded out in his lone at-bat.

Using the pen: Scheppers, Kirkman, Mark Lowe, and Yoshinori Tateyama each pitched an inning. Only Scheppers and Tateyama allowed a hit. Scheppers allowed four hits and three runs, while Tateyama allowed a controversial single that led to a two-run homer in the ninth.

You're outa here: Ian Kinsler was ejected in the bottom of the sixth for arguing a called third strike with home plate umpire Eric Cooper. Kinsler finished 0-for-3 with two fly outs and a strikeout.

Heads up: For the third night in a row, one of Josh Hamilton's bats flew into the Rangers stands. Hamilton's bat shattered in his third at-bat, sending the largest piece of bat shrapnel careening into the first-base stands. It's becoming a good idea for fans to wear a helmet to the Ballpark.

Still not himself: Two days removed from a virus, Nelson Cruz has yet to get things going. He had three straight strikeouts, including his lone at-bat in Wednesday's game and finished Thursday 0-for-3.

Up next: The Rangers begin a three-game series against the rival Houston Astros to finish out this homestand. The first game of the series features RHP Yu Darvish (7-4, 3.72) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (1-2,  5.40) at 7:05 p.m.on ESPN Dallas 103.3FM/TXA-21.