Kouzmanoff's three-run homer powers Rangers
Lewis tosses five scoreless innings, needs just 72 pitches in his final spring start
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Colby Lewis of the Rangers and Erasmo Ramirez of the Mariners were both excellent in their final starts in Arizona and now wait to see what's next for them.
Lewis pitched five scoreless innings on 72 pitches while Ramirez allowed just one run over five-plus in the Rangers 5-3 victory over the Mariners at Surprise Stadium. Kevin Kouzmanoff put the Rangers ahead with a three-run home run in the sixth. Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak had a two-run home run off reliever Daniel McCutchen.
Lewis, who hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since July 18, 2012 while recovering from flexor tendon surgery and hip replacement, allowed four hits and a walk while striking out three. His next outing will be an exhibition game between Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco on Monday. Lewis will likely throw 90 pitches and could soon be an option at the Major League level.
Ramirez is trying to win the No. 2 spot in the Mariners' rotation and matched Lewis with five scoreless innings. He left after giving up a leadoff single to Adam Rosales in the sixth. Charlie Furbush took over and gave up a couple of one-out singles that brought home a run charged to Ramirez. Kouzmanoff followed with his second home run of the spring.
Brad Miller, trying to win a job at shortstop, was 1-for-2 with a walk and is hitting .439 for the spring. Nick Franklin, also in the hunt to be the starting shortstop, was 2-for-3 while playing second base. Robinson Cano was 0-for-3 while being used at designated hitter and is hitting .435.
Up next: Tanner Scheppers is scheduled to pitch against the Quintana Roo from the Mexican League at 7:05 p.m. Thursday in Arlington. Scheppers is scheduled to pitch just one inning in preparation for his Opening Day start against the Phillies on Monday.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.