Adrian Beltre hit his first homer of the spring Thursday, and Leonys Martin drove in three runs as the Rangers’ offense came to life against former teammate Mark Lowe in an 11-11 tie with the Dodgers.
The starting lineup produced seven runs, but bullpen candidate Josh Lindblom surrendered a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth as the Dodgers rallied. The bullpen allowed eight runs, including three apiece allowed by relief candidates Evan Meek and Lindblom.
The offense likes where it's at as it prepares for the regular season.
“It’s hard to come out of the chute and score eight runs a game,” said left fielder David Murphy, who had two hits. “It takes awhile to get going. The truth is you look at spring training for a veteran team, and guys know they have time to perform.”
Beltre’s homer followed an RBI double by Murphy and was part of a five-run fifth inning. Four of the runs came against Lowe, a Rangers pitcher the past three seasons who is in Dodgers camp on a minor-league deal.
“I’m just working on my swing right now,” Beltre said. “I’m tracking the ball, but I’m not seeing it well. Hopefully that will come sooner than later.”
Randy Wells made his third appearance in the competition to be the No. 5 starter. He wasn’t as effective as Robbie Ross, another candidate, was Wednesday, but he kept the Rangers within striking distance by allowing three runs on six hits in four innings.
That’s the minimum expectation manager Ron Washington has of his pitchers, who aren’t exactly Cy Young from Day One either.
“I’m almost there,” Wells said. “Everything is magnified with everyone competing for that job. But it’s still spring training, and if you get better every time out, that’s the name of the game.”
-- Jeff Wilson