The first of three split squad games for the Texas Rangers went about as well as you’d expect with a full slate of minor league pitchers going against the Seattle Mariners’ lineup filled mostly with regulars. The Mariners won 7-1 at the Peoria Sports Complex on Friday afternoon. Texas has split squad games on Saturday and March 24.
Pitching: Minor league left-hander Victor Payano allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk in two innings. Solo homers in the second by Franklin Gutierrez and in the third by Nelson Cruz gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead. Frank Lopez, who pitched the next 2 1/3 innings, didn’t fare much better against most of the Mariners regulars. Lopez allowed three runs on four hits and a walk. Pedro Payano (not related) held Seattle to two hits over 2 2/3 scoreless innings before Jose Valdespina pitched the eighth.
Hitting: Prince Fielder, Ian Desmond and minor leaguer Leody Taveras each doubled to make up half of the hits. Desmond’s double to the left-center gap scored the Rangers’ lone run in the third. Fielder doubled with an opposite-field hit down the third-base line with two outs in the first.
Notable: Catcher Brett Nicholas threw out Ketel Marte trying to steal second to end the second inning ... Odor made an error when he bobbled the pickup on a grounder behind second base ... Leodys Taveras, 17, is the youngest player in the Rangers organization. He was signed in July 2015 out of the Dominican Republic. He’s the nephew of former Astros outfielder Willy Taveras.
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Rangers at Diamondbacks
3:05 p.m. Saturday
RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez vs. RHP Zack Greinke