SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Minor needed just 48 pitches to get through four scoreless innings against the Athletics on Saturday. He allowed one hit and did not walk a batter in the Rangers' 8-2 victory.This economy of pitches would do wonders for Minor in his transition from reliever to starter.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Minor needed just 48 pitches to get through four scoreless innings against the Athletics on Saturday. He allowed one hit and did not walk a batter in the Rangers' 8-2 victory.
This economy of pitches would do wonders for Minor in his transition from reliever to starter. Minor had allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in his previous two starts.
"I think anybody wants to get quick outs and today I just kept throwing fastballs, and they kept mis-hitting them, so I just stuck with it," Minor said. "I tried to throw some breaking balls in there, but they weren't very good. But changeup was good, slider was OK, so just stuck with the fastball."
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Minor is the first Rangers pitcher to throw four complete innings this spring.
"I think it's encouraging for [manager Jeff Banister] and [pitching coach Doug Brocail] and those guys, but also myself," Minor said. "I felt pretty good 'til the end. Just because I've sucked so much lately that I haven't gotten to that point, so I didn't really know how I was going to feel. But I felt pretty good today."
Moore works against Minor Leaguers
The Rangers had Matt Moore do his work in a Minor League intrasquad game, working against a lineup that included top prospect Leody Taveras. Moore went 3 2/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits in a game played on one of the back fields. He struck out seven and walked just one while throwing 68 pitches.
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"You want to take it seriously, otherwise you are going to embarrass yourself," Moore said.
Moore took it seriously. The outing ended with a walk and Moore showed his frustration with some loudly spoken choice words, for which he was later apologetic.
"Probably more of a lack of self control right there, knowing that I'm on a backfield with people watching, I should've probably kept my cool a little better," Moore said. "I'm always trying to do my best and trying to impose whatever my game plan is on that guy regardless of who it is. That's where some of the frustration goes when I'm not controlling the things I'm good at."
Robinson shows glove work
One of the highlights in the Rangers' 6-3 loss to the Reds on Friday night was the defensive work of Drew Robinson in left field. Robinson went to the wall twice to make terrific catches to take away extra-base hits.
Robinson got turned around in the first on Joey Votto's deep drive, but made the adjustment and the catch. In the third, he raced to the wall and snagged a long drive by Jose Peraza.
"The second one was an extraordinary catch," Banister said.
"That's a good word," Robinson said with a smile. "It was the first time this spring I had to deal with the wall. It's good to be able to do that."
• Joe Palumbo, one of the Rangers' top pitching prospects who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, has started throwing off the front of the mound rather than being limited to flat ground. The Rangers are hoping for full recovery by mid-June.
• Shortstop Elvis Andrus was 2-for-2 with his first home run on Saturday and is 6-for-12 overall this spring.
• Rougned Odor snapped an 0-for-12 streak with a leadoff single in the first.
The Rangers face the Angels Sunday in Tempe at 3:10 p.m. CT. Bartolo Colon will make third spring start for Texas, with JC Ramirez pitching for Los Angeles. Fans can watch live on MLB.TV.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.