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March 15, 2012

Wrapping up the Texas Rangers' 11-7 loss to the Oakland Athletics

The Texas Rangers have lost six of their last eight Cactus League games. They had a chance to win Thursday's game with a 7-6 lead in the ninth and two outs, but Brad Hawpe misplayed a grounder that allowed the tying run to score. The next batter, Derek Norris, hit a grand slam to put Oakland ahead for good.

A few notes from the game:

* The Rangers' regulars had nice offensive days. Ian Kinsler went 2 for 3 with a home run, Adrian Beltre had an RBI single and Nelson Cruz had a three-run double.

* Martin Perez struggled in his second start. He allowed four of the first five batters he faced to reach base, but minimized damage by allowing only two runs over two innings. He needed 58 pitches to get through those innings, though. Perez said he is working on not being too anxious when he gets on the mound.

* Neil Ramirez, another top pitching prospect in the organization, also struggled with his command. He allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout over two-plus innings. Ramirez said he needs to work on keeping the ball down in the strike zone.

* One bright spot was left-hander Ben Snyder who worked two scoreless innings, allowing one hit. Mike Maddux said Snyder had a good downhill angle on his fastball that can be effective against both right-and-left-handed batters.

* The Rangers have now lost six of their last eight Cactus League games, going 1-6-1. Although it's spring training, they'd like to win a few more.

-- Drew Davison

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