04/02/12 10:39 PM ET
Hamilton, Beltre homer vs. Round Rock
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
Hamilton showed his power stroke is rounding into form with Friday's Opening Day game against the White Sox approaching. He hammered a two-run third-inning homer off the roof of the maintenance barn in center field.
It wasn't a regular-season home run, but Hamilton was pleased with himself. It was his first homer of the spring, as he was kept in the yard during Cactus League play.
"It felt good," Hamilton said. "It was good to finally stay through a ball to center field. That's where you want your swing to be. Not trying to create it."
Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland each hit home runs on a night in which the wind was blowing out. Beltre also hit his first homer of the spring, a three-run shot to left-center field in the top of the first for a 3-0 lead.
"Beltre is picking it up," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He's making good contact."
Derek Holland started for the Rangers and went three innings, allowing a two-run home run to Express second baseman Yangervis Solarte. Holland threw 78 pitches -- 54 for strikes -- which was a high total for three innings, but it was good to see his pitch count get up, Washington said.
Holland said afterward that he is ready for Saturday's start against the White Sox, as he follows Colby Lewis, who will start Opening Day. Holland thought his sinker was effective.
"I'm ready to go for sure, despite the home runs," Holland said. "I thought everything was good. I left a couple of pitches up for strikes. That's part of getting ready for the season."
Up next: Left-hander Matt Harrison pitches for the Rangers against Mexico City at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. CT. Rolando Valdez will start for Mexico City. Harrison went 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts this Spring Training.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.