2/28/2013 5:48 P.M. ET
Bauer impresses after Tribe's early struggles
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If the Rangers go on any six-game winless streaks during the regular season, don't expect manager Ron Washington to remedy it by inserting Lance Berkman into the leadoff spot.
But, hey, it worked Thursday.
The Rangers ended their winless Spring Training by jumping all over the Indians pitching staff in a 10-0 victory, with Berkman leading off in his first game for Texas after missing much of the spring with a mild right-calf strain.
Zach McAllister, a favorite for a back-end spot in the Tribe's rotation, Vinnie Pestano, a reliever for Team USA in the approcahing World Baseball Classic and Daisuke Matsuzaka, a non-roster invitee hoping to earn a rotation spot, all struggled early. The Rangers led, 9-0, by the end of the fourth, before top prospect and rotation hopeful Trevor Bauer entered in the sixth and retired every batter he faced over two frames.
"It was just way too many pitches over the middle of the plate," Indians manager Terry Francona said of McAllister's outing. "For the most part, we had three or four guys kind of like that today. It wasn't the ability to throw strikes. It was really just giving them a lot of pitches over the middle of the plate, letting them get extended. It's one of those days where you're glad it's Spring Training."
Berkman, who signed with Texas during the offseason after playing in just 32 games with St. Louis last year, went 1-for-2 out of the leadoff spot. He drew a nine-pitch walk in the first, singled to right in the second and fouled out in the third, scoring two runs.
McAllister struggled big-time in the second inning, allowing six hits -- all of them well-struck. His final line showed five runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout. Pestano and Matsuzaka followed suit.
"He looked solid," Francona said of Matsuzaka. "He just left that one pitch [on Mitch Moreland's home run] right over the middle of the plate. I think it was a cutter. It just caught too much of the plate."
Meanwhile, Rangers starter Derek Holland tossed four scoreless frames, striking out two.
Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus was scratched from Thursday's game with sensitivity in his left arm stemming from a tattoo he had finished Wednesday. Baseball's top prospect, Jurickson Profar, took his place in the lineup and responded with a two-run triple, scoring when the throw to third by Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis flew into the stands.
Ryan Raburn and Lonnie Chisenhall each went 2-for-3, continuing separately solid springs. Raburn is on a torrid stretch thus far, with eight hits in 12 at-bats. Chisenall is 4-for-10.
Up next for Indians: Tribe sinkerballer Justin Masterson and White Sox lefty Chris Sale are each scheduled to take the mound on Friday in a preview of the team's regular-season American League Central rivalry. Rotation hopefuls Scott Kazmir and David Huff, along with All-Star closer Chris Perez and bullpen candidate Matt Capps, are also slated to pitch at Goodyear Ballpark for the Indians in the 3:05 p.m. ET Cactus League contest.