2/28/2013 5:30 P.M. ET
Berkman leads way as Profar impresses vs. Tribe
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If the Rangers go on any six-game winless streaks during the regular season, don't expect manager Ron Washington to remedy it by inserting Lance Berkman into the leadoff spot.
But, hey, it worked Thursday.
The Rangers ended their winless Spring Training by jumping all over the Indians pitching staff in a 10-0 victory, with Berkman leading off in his first game for Texas after missing much of the spring with a mild right-calf strain.
Zach McAllister, a favorite for a back-end spot in the Tribe's rotation, Vinnie Pestano, a reliever for Team USA in the approcahing World Baseball Classic and Daisuke Matsuzaka, a non-roster invitee hoping to earn a rotation spot, all struggled early. The Rangers led, 9-0, by the end of the fourth, before top prospect and rotation hopeful Trevor Bauer entered in the sixth and retired every batter he faced over two frames.
Berkman, who signed with Texas during the offseason after playing in just 32 games with St. Louis last year, went 1-for-2 out of the leadoff spot. He drew a nine-pitch walk in the first, singled to right in the second and fouled out in the third, scoring two runs.
"I felt how you'd expect to feel not having played last year and just having one game," Berkman said. "But I felt pretty good. My timing's obviously not there yet."
McAllister struggled big-time in the second inning, allowing six hits -- all of them well-struck. His final line showed five runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout. Pestano and Matsuzaka followed suit.
Meanwhile, Rangers starter Derek Holland tossed four scoreless frames, striking out two.
Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus was scratched from Thursday's game with sensitivity in his left arm stemming from a tattoo he had finished Wednesday. Baseball's top prospect, Jurickson Profar, took his place in the lineup and responded with a two-run triple, scoring when the throw to third by Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis flew into the stands.
Ryan Raburn and Lonnie Chisenhall each went 2-for-3, continuing separately solid springs. Raburn is on a torrid stretch thus far, with eight hits in 12 at-bats. Chisenall is 4-for-10.
Up next for Rangers: Locked in a battle for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, Randy Wells gets the ball for Texas in a 2:05 CT start against the Mariners in Peoria, Ariz. Shortstop Elvis Andrus returns for what will be one of his final starts for Texas before he heads to the World Baseball Classic to play for Venezuela.