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03/18/10 12:58 AM ET

Cruz leads Rangers' power surge

Slugger belts two home runs; Hamilton, Davis also go deep

at Peoria, Ariz.
Wednesday, March 17

Rangers at the plate: Texas was home run happy Wednesday night, blasting four long balls into the Peoria night. Nelson Cruz had a big night, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and blasting two home runs to right-center field. Josh Hamilton also homered in a 1-for-3 night, and Chris Davis added a blast to left-center. He went 2-for-3. Leadoff hitter Julio Borbon went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Mariners at the plate: Seattle was kept relatively quiet at the plate Wednesday night, but Ichiro Suzuki had an RBI single, a stolen base and a walk. Chone Figgins had a walk and a base hit, Jack Wilson doubled and scored and Casey Kotchman added a single.

Rangers on the mound: Righty Scott Feldman started the game for Texas and pitched well, going four innings and giving up one run on three hits while striking out four batters and walking two. Darren Oliver pitched two scoreless innings of relief, giving up one hit while striking out two. Dustin Nippert pitched a perfect frame, striking out two.

Mariners on the mound: Starter Ian Snell had his longest outing of the spring, going four innings and giving up three runs on six hits, two of them homers, while striking out five and walking a batter. He threw 57 pitches, 42 of which were strikes. Closer David Aardsma had a rough go of it, giving up four runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning, including a homer. Brandon League's first pitch of the game was hit for a home run. He gave up one run and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings of work. Kanekoa Texeira looked impressive in 1 1/3 innings of relief, not allowing a run and striking out three.

Worth noting: Mariners left fielder Milton Bradley was ejected by home-plate umpire Dan Bellino in the third inning for appearing to protest a called third strike by dropping his bat. He was replaced by Ryan Langerhans. Rangers center fielder Borbon continued to answer questions about his defensive ability when he robbed Figgins of a hit in the third inning, diving to snare a sinking line drive in a highlight-reel play.

Cactus League records: Rangers 5-8-1; Mariners 5-8-1.

Up next: The Mariners stay home in Peoria on Thursday and face the Colorado Rockies in a 1:05 p.m. PT start that will be televised on MLB.TV. Lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith gets his third start of the spring, his last outing coming March 12 when he gave up three runs on four hits in two innings against Kansas City. Rowland-Smith is slated to be followed by righties Mark Lowe, Sean White, David Pauley and Chad Cordero. Right-hander Jason Hammel is scheduled to start for the Rockies.

The Rangers host the Brewers at 8 p.m. CT on Thursday in Surprise, Ariz., with the game being broadcast on MLB.TV. Tommy Hunter and Matt Harrison pitch for the Rangers. Hunter continues to have the inside track on the fourth spot in the rotation, while Harrison is competing against C.J. Wilson and others for the fifth spot.

Doug Miller is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.