It’s early in spring training and manager Ron Washington understands that.
That’s why he isn’t too concerned over an ill-executed infield play or the Rangers early offensive struggles with runners in scoring position, as they fell 9-1 to the Rockies on Monday afternoon at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
More important are the pitching performances at this point. Martin Perez shined in two perfect innings, while Justin Grimm gave up three runs in the third and Neil Ramirez was tagged for five runs in the eighth.
“You’re not going to make a very good living up in the zone,” Grimm said. “I rebounded well the next inning.”
Grimm gave up RBI hits to DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki in the third, but worked around a two-out walk in a scoreless fourth.
Grimm and Perez are candidates for the Rangers fifth spot in the rotation, but Grimm doesn’t see it as a head-to-head competition.
“Not at all,” Grimm said. “He’s going to do what he’s going to do, and I’ve got to focus on what I got to do. At the end of the day, we’re on the same team.”
Joe Ortiz and Johan Yan threw scoreless innings in their relief appearances, but Ramirez struggled in his spring debut by giving up two homers in his inning of work.
Offensively, the Rangers got their single run on an Ian Kinsler sacrifice fly to score Leonys Martin in the sixth. They finished 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position.
“We’re behind offensively, but we’ll catch up,” Washington said. “I figure by the time we reach March 4 or 5.”