03/23/11 7:18 PM ET
Harrison pitches well as Texas gives up big lead
Blanks D-backs before shaky sixth; Branyan bites Rhodes, Ogando
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
2010 Spring Training - Texas Rangers
News & Features
- Borbon makes Rangers' roster -- for now
- Worth noting
- Holland sharp in Rangers' second Alamodome win
- Young relief corps could be key to Rangers' bullpen
- Rangers rally after Ogando's sharp outing
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
"The last inning, I wish I could erase that," Harrison said. "The first five innings, I was getting ahead and staying ahead. I just got out of my rhythm and mechanics. I finally got back in the zone, made some good pitches and got out of it."
Overall, though, it was a strong performance for Harrison. He is competing with left-handers Michael Kirkman and Derek Holland for the final two spots in the Rangers' rotation and now has a 3.79 ERA on the spring."I was very happy with the first five innings," Harrison said. "I would like to continue that into the next game."
Harrison left with a 7-4 lead. The D-backs then loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against Rhodes. That brought up Branyan and, in a lefty vs. lefty matchup, he went deep to left-center to put the D-backs ahead.David Murphy had a two-run single in the Rangers' seven-run rally and now has a 10-game hitting streak. Willie Bloomquist was 2-for-3 for the D-backs and is hitting .411 for the spring. Rangers up next: Neftali Feliz will make his fifth appearance and fourth start of the spring when he pitches against the Padres at 8:05 p.m. CT on Thursday in Surprise. Feliz has a 1.93 ERA this spring, while opponents are hitting .222 off him. He is making a strong bid for the Rangers' rotation, but the possibility remains he could end up back in the bullpen. The game will be shown live on MLB.TV and back to Texas on TXA21. The Rangers have a split-squad doubleheader, with Tommy Hunter pitching in the first game at 3:05 p.m. against the Reds in Goodyear, also live on MLB.TV.
D-backs up next: The D-backs return to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on Thursday afternoon to take on the A's at 1:10 p.m. MST. Left-hander Joe Saunders will take the ball for the D-backs. It will be a big start for the veteran, who does not have a spot in the rotation locked up yet, according to manager Kirk Gibson.
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.