Jurickson Profar has yet to play in the field, but his bat isn’t behind schedule.
The Rangers second baseman had two hits, including a first-pitch grand slam that fueled a six-run sixth inning as Texas defeated San Diego 8-4 on Thursday at Peoria Stadium.
Elvis Andrus, Prince Fielder and Michael Choice each went 2 for 4. Fielder singled in a run in the first and led off the sixth with a double, the first of three consecutive hits to start the inning for the Rangers. Fielder has four RBIs this spring.
Alexi Ogando and Jose Contreras combined to allow one unearned run in three innings each. Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz each threw a hitless inning before the Padres’ Tommy Medica hit a three-run homer against Cory Burns in the ninth.
Profar has only been used as a designated hitter this spring while he recovers from shoulder tendinitis. He’s batting .364 with 9 RBIs. Manager Ron Washington said he expects to use Profar at second base soon after March 15.
“Once we can get him out there to about 190 feet where he can throw and keep the ball with velocity on it, we’ll get him out there,” he said. “At least he’s throwing in the drills now and that’s a good thing.”
Washington isn’t concerned about Profar missing the first two weeks of infield work.
“He’s getting the at-bats, he’s getting the repetitions of ground balls and turning double plays and feeds and all the different balls you can get being out there in that infield,” he said. “When his throwing gets to the point where we can start putting him in ball games, he’ll look like he never missed.”
Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760
Rangers at Dodgers
2:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch, Glendale, Ariz.
Radio: Webcast on TexasRangers.com
Rangers probable pitchers: LHP Martin Perez, LHP Michael Kirkman, LHP Pedro Figueroa, RHP Wilmer Font, RHP Lisalverto Bonilla
Dodgers probable pitchers: RHP Zach Lee, RHP Brian Wilson, RHP Kenley Jansen, RHP Chris Perez, LHP J.P. Howell, RHP Brandon League