3/23/2013 8:00 P.M. ET
Red-hot Elvis backs Yu's strong effort
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Several hitters having excellent springs continued to stay hot on Saturday afternoon as the Rangers beat the Reds by a 6-2 score.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus extended his hitting streak to 13 games by leading off the game with a double to right field against Reds starter Mat Latos. In the top of the fifth with one on in a 1-1 tie, Andrus lifted a 1-1 pitch off of the batters' eye in center field for a two-run homer to put Texas ahead.
"Right now, I'm feeling good at the plate. It's only Spring Training, but everything is going well," Andrus said. "I wish I could carry this into the regular season."
In an interesting sequence during the bottom of the first, Rangers righty Yu Darvish froze Joey Votto with an 0-1 slow curveball for a strike. Darvish tried another curve in a 1-2 count, but Votto hit the daylights out of this offering deep to right field and beyond the back of the ballpark concourse for his third homer of the spring. Votto also turned and said something to catcher Geovany Soto while Darvish smiled as the solo shot gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead.
Votto playfully motioned to shush the crowd on his way back to the dugout.
"I was just fooling with the crowd," Votto said. "It's Spring Training and we're having fun, there's nothing really to it."
Votto is batting .359 (14-for-39) this spring with 10 RBIs.
Against Latos in the fourth, Mitch Moreland led off by hitting a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field for his team-leading fourth long ball of spring.
Moreland is 16-for-31 (.516) in his last 11 games.
In the bottom of the fifth, Todd Frazier led off by hitting an 0-2 Darvish pitch over the left-field fence for his fourth homer of spring, which is tied for the team lead. Frazier is hitting .333 (10-for-30) over his last 11 games
Latos gave up three singles in the sixth, including an RBI hit lined off of his left foot by Soto with two outs. Latos limped around the mound for a couple of moments before exiting. He later went to a hospital for X-rays that came back negative.
Over his 5 2/3 innings, Latos allowed four runs and nine hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Darvish completed five innings and gave up two runs on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
Up next: Right-hander Alexi Ogando pitches for the Rangers at 3:05 p.m. CT on Sunday against the Reds in Surprise. Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre will also be back in the lineup after getting a day off on Saturday. Robbie Ross will pitch in relief for the first time since the Rangers announced he is moving back to the bullpen.