3/24/2013 6:33 P.M. ET
Berkman's homer backs Ogando's scoreless start
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Alexi Ogando pitched six scoreless innings and Lance Berkman hit his second home run of the spring to carry the Rangers to a 7-2 victory over the Reds at Surprise Stadium on Sunday.
Bronson Arroyo took the loss for the Reds and had to leave the game in the sixth inning when he got hit on the right hand by a line drive off the bat of David Murphy. X-rays on the hand were negative. Arroyo allowed three runs on nine hits and now has a 3.71 ERA on the spring.
Ogando allowed three hits and one walk while striking out five. He threw 82 pitches and lowered his spring ERA to 2.95. Opponents are hitting .215 off him.
"It was one of the better ones this spring," Ogando said. "I just focused pitch by pitch, focused on my slider and keeping the ball down, focusing on every pitch. You work day in and day out to have the best result and it's really great to have this kind of outing before [the end of] Spring Training."
Berkman was 2-for-2 with three RBIs while playing first base for only the second time this spring. He had a sacrifice fly in the first inning to drive home Craig Gentry, who had reached on a one-out triple. Gentry singled to lead off the fourth and Berkman followed with a two-run home run to right-center field.
The Rangers, with a scoreless inning from Joe Nathan, had a 3-0 lead after seven innings. The Reds scored two in the eighth off of reliever Nate Robertson. The big hit in the inning was a run-scoring double by backup catcher Miguel Olivo.
Up next: Derek Holland pitches for the Rangers against the Padres at 3:05 p.m. CT Monday in Peoria. This is the first of two starts Holland will make against the Padres this week. He is expected to pitch against them in San Antonio on Friday. That will set him up to pitch the home opener against the Angels on April 5. The game can be heard live on Gameday Audio.
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.