Searching for positives

Michael Young steps aside of Hank Blalock

Jamey Wright makes his case for the starting rotation and Ramon Vazquez voices his opinion for a bench job as the Rangers drop their second game of the spring.

SEATTLE (10) AT TEXAS (3)

 SEATTLE          AB  R  H BI  TEXAS            AB  R  H BI
 I Suzuki cf       3  0  0  0  K Lofton cf       2  0  0  0
 A Jones cf        0  1  0  0  M Byrd cf         2  0  1  1
 J Reed lf         3  0  0  0  F Catalanotto lf  3  0  0  0
 W Balentien lf    2  1  0  0  T Donovan lf      2  0  2  0
 W Bloomquist 3b   3  0  0  0  M Young ss        3  0  1  0
 M Morse 3b        1  1  0  1  M Kata ss         2  0  0  0
 R Sexson dh       2  0  0  0  S Sosa dh         3  0  1  0
 T Torcato pr-dh   2  2  2  3  J Arias ph-dh     1  0  0  0
 B Broussard rf    2  1  1  1  H Blalock 3b      3  0  0  0
 M Wilson rf       2  0  0  0  D Meyer 3b        1  0  1  0
 B LaHair 1b       3  2  1  1  N Cruz rf         3  0  0  0
 J Burke c         3  0  2  2  V Diaz rf         1  0  0  0
 M Garciaparra pr- 1  1  1  0  J Sandberg 1b     3  1  1  0
 O Navarro 2b      2  0  1  1  G Laird c         1  1  0  0
 R Rivera c        1  0  1  0  K Richardson c    1  0  0  0
 R Ordonez ss      2  0  0  0  R Vazquez 2b      3  1  1  2
 G Dawkins ss      2  1  0  0  D Relaford 2b     1  0  0  0
 TOTALS           34 10  9  9  TOTALS           35  3  8  3

 SEATTLE                   020 001 106 -- 10
 TEXAS                     000 000 300 --  3

 E--M Morse, R Vazquez, D Meyer. DP--SEATTLE 1.
 LOB--SEATTLE 8, TEXAS 9. 2B--B Broussard. 3B--R
 Vazquez. CS--V Diaz. S--R Ordonez.
                                   IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR
  SEATTLE
 H Ramirez (W,1-0)                  3   0   0   0   2   1   0
 J Mateo                            1   0   0   0   0   1   0
 A Rhodes                           1   0   0   0   1   1   0
 E O'Flaherty                       1   2   0   0   0   1   0
 J Huber                            1   4   3   3   1   1   0
 J Lehr (S,1)                       2   2   0   0   0   1   0
  TEXAS
 J Wright (L,0-1)                   2   1   2   0   1   1   0
 A Otsuka                           1   0   0   0   0   1   0
 E Volquez                          2   0   0   0   2   0   0
 T Diamond                          1   3   2   2   2   1   0
 W Eyre                             2   1   0   0   1   2   0
 C Wilson                         1-3   1   5   4   3   0   0
 S Rowe                           2-3   3   1   1   0   1   0

 HBP--R Rivera by S Rowe. SO--SEA: M Wilson 2, I
 Suzuki, W Bloomquist, J Reed, W Balentien. TEX: J
 Sandberg 2, M Young, S Sosa, N Cruz, K Lofton.
 BB--SEA: A Jones 2, B LaHair 2, R Sexson, B
 Broussard, O Navarro, M Garciaparra, M Morse. TEX:
 G Laird 2, K Lofton, J Sandberg. T--3:04.
 A--3,908.


The Good

While yesterday there was more good to talk about than anything else, today was quite the opposite. But there were a few bright spots to point out in what otherwise was a disappointing exhibition game:

Non-roster invitee Jamey Wright started the game this afternoon and while he won't have fantasy baseball players everywhere racing to their computers, he was definitely serviceable. Wright began the game with a strikeout of Ichiro and went two innings allowing one hit and giving up two runs (both unearned thanks to a Ramon Vazquez error).

Akinori Otsuka put together the only 1-2-3 inning for Rangers pitching and Willie Eyre, trying to win a job in the bullpen, bailed Thomas Diamond out of trouble in the seventh to earn a well-deserved pat on the back.

Ramon Vazquez delivered a two run triple past a diving Wladimir Balentien in left field for Seattle to break the goose egg and put the Rangers on the board in their half of the seventh.

The Bad

Out of the designated hitter role, Sammy Sosa had a less than stellar performance again. He did have a single, but Sosa ended up going 1 for 3 on the day with another strikeout - his third in 12 at-bats this spring.

Edinson Volquez came in to pitch in the fifth inning and scuffled with his control again. Although he didn't allow a hit or a run, he walked two and alternated between falling behind and getting ahead of hitters.

While we're on the topic of control issues: It doesn't matter if it's during spring training or a Sunday afternoon in the middle of June, Rangers pitching allowed nine walks today which is an absolutely unacceptable amount free passes for a team to give up.

The Ugly

After improving by leaps and bounds over the past two years, C.J. Wilson is one of the last guys you'd expect to see out there scuffling in any sort of situation. Today, however, just wasn't his day.

Wilson, who's recently been quoted as toying around with the gyro ball of Daisuke Matsuzaka fame, was only able to record one out before being removed from the game. An error on a sac bunt didn't help his cause much, but he struggled with his control and in just one-third of an inning allowed five runs to score while walking three.

Notable

After his only inning of work, Akinori Otsuka left the ballpark to have some emergency dental work. He should be fine and back working out with the team in a day or so.

Kudos to M's centerfielder Adam Jones, who recently made the shift from the infield to outfield, for a leaping grab off a shot to the wall by Hank Blalock to save at least two runs from scoring in the sixth.

Eric Gagne joined John Rheinecker on the list of guys hampered by back spasms. Gagne hasn't seen any in-game action yet but threw off the mound with Rheinecker this afternoon.

Tomorrow in Surprise, the Rangers host the Diamondbacks with John Koronka getting the start. In the morning "B" game, Kevin Millwood will get the start against the Royals.

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