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March 08, 2013

Lefties fare well before Rangers, Brewers postponed by rain

Jeff Beliveau and Michael Kirkman tossed two scoreless innings apiece, and the Rangers got a pair of two-out RBI singles in the fourth inning before the rain hit and never went away against Milwaukee.
 
The Rangers had a game at Maryvale Baseball Park postponed for a third straight spring. The stats won't count, but players and coaches always say that spring stats don't count anyway.
 
The game, which was called after an 18-minute rain delay with the Rangers leading 2-0, will not be made up. The pitchers who were unable to pitch will either be skipped or made available for the split-squad games today against Oakland and San Diego.
 
Kirkman continued to build upon a strong start to spring training and is looking more and more certain for the bullpen on Opening Day. The left-hander has allowed three hits in six scoreless Cactus League innings and also hasn't walked a batter.
 
"That's what I'm working on," Kirkman said. "In my second inning I got behind three straight guys but came back with a strike. "I'm just staying within my mechanics."
 
The Rangers told Kirkman before camp opened that they wanted him to seize a job. They have no complaints so far.
 
"Spring isn't over yet," Kirkman said. "I've still got a long way to go and a lot of progress to make."
 
Beliveau, also a lefty, hasn't allowed a run in five spring innings. The Rangers have four lefty bullpen candidates who haven't allowed a run in 20 innings.
 
"They've all been throwing the ball well," manager Ron Washington said. "They really have."

-- Jeff Wilson

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