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03/18/08 7:05 PM ET

Leading role: Kinsler lifts Rangers

Texas second baseman has three hits in leadoff spot

at Surprise, Ariz.
Tuesday, March 18

Rangers at the plate: Ian Kinsler continues to show why he is the right choice to be the Texas leadoff hitter, going 3-for-4. He scored after leading off the first inning with a single, and he had an RBI single in the second. Marlon Byrd and Hank Blalock both had RBI doubles. Adam Melhuse drilled a three-run homer in the eighth.

Athletics at the plate: Daric Barton hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning in a lefty vs. lefty matchup against Bill White. It was his third homer of the spring. Chris Denorfia scored the A's first run in the third inning when he led off with a double and came around on a couple of grounders by Brooks Conrad and Gregorio Petit.

Rangers on the mound: Luis Mendoza became the first Rangers pitcher to go five innings in a Cactus League game, holding the Athletics to one run on two hits. He did not walk a batter. Kameron Loe pitched a scoreless seventh in relief.

Athletics on the mound: Oakland starter Justin Duchscherer, in just his second start of the spring, allowed four runs in four innings. Three of the four runs came across after two outs. He walked two batters, and both cost him runs.

Cactus League records: Athletics 15-6; Rangers 11-8.

Up next for the Rangers: Texas is off on Wednesday, but Kason Gabbard will pitch in a Minor League game. The Rangers will play at 3:05 p.m. CT on Thursday against the Diamondbacks in Tucson, Ariz. Kevin Millwood, who has been dealing with a strained hamstring, is scheduled to make his first Cactus League start.

Up next for the Athletics: The A's have two split-squad games on Wednesday. When they are done, they will head to Japan for a week. They play the Angels in Phoenix, with Rich Harden pitching against Ervin Santana. The other squad will be in Mesa, Ariz., to play the Cubs. Joe Blanton gets the start for Oakland.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.