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Lincecum gets to work with bullpen session

Hamels bounces back in 2nd spring start, remembers Freak's debut
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Tim Lincecum threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Thursday, his first since officially joining the Rangers. The outing comes exactly three weeks before the Rangers open the season against the Astros.

The Rangers are not going to push Lincecum to be ready by Opening Day.

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Tim Lincecum threw a 35-pitch bullpen session Thursday, his first since officially joining the Rangers. The outing comes exactly three weeks before the Rangers open the season against the Astros.

The Rangers are not going to push Lincecum to be ready by Opening Day.

View Full Game Coverage

Spring Training information

"I'm preparing for that but if I don't, I'm not going to kick myself in the [tail]," Lincecum said. "I'm taking it a day at a time and these guys are giving me the leeway."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Lincecum has been throwing off an indoor mound back home in the Seattle area. But Thursday was the first time off an outdoor dirt mound. He will likely throw two or three more bullpen sessions before graduating to live batting practice at some point next week.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail watched Lincecum's session and said the delivery was smoother than he remembered. Lincecum is keeping it simple by pitching out of the stretch rather than the windup as he transitions into a reliever for the first time in his career.

"He threw all his pitches," Brocail said. "It looked like he was ready for just a normal bullpen."

Tweet from @Rangers: Tim is ready to work. #RangersST pic.twitter.com/T4BqfoejfQ

Hamels better in second start

Cole Hamels bounced back from a rough first start by allowing one run in 3 2/3 innings of the Rangers' 5-4 victory over the split-squad White Sox on Thursday. Hamels allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings in his Cactus League debut against the Giants.

This time he allowed four hits, including two triples, walked one and struck out four.

"A lot better," Hamels said. "I was able to command my off-speed pitches. That's pretty good but I still have to focus on establishing the fastball early. I wasn't able to do that. I was getting behind too many guys with the fastball, especially when I was trying to go in on them. That will be something I will be focusing on in the next week."

Video: CWS@TEX: Hamels on his solid start vs. White Sox

Hamels on Lincecum's debut

Lincecum made his Major League debut for the Giants on May 6, 2007, against the Phillies and allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings. He had a no-decision in an 8-5 loss. The winning pitcher was Cole Hamels.

"Yeah, I remember it," Hamels said. "He was throwing 101. Going into San Francisco, there is always a good crowd but he was one of the top prospects in the game. When you have that hype, there is pretty good energy in the crowd. He came out throwing 101, that's pretty exciting and intimidating. I was throwing as hard as I could just to keep the radar gun close."

Hamels and Lincecum faced each other three times overall in the National League. The Phillies beat the Giants in the other two games although neither starter was involved in the decision. The last time Hamels and Lincecum faced each other was April 28, 2010.

"The last time we were teammates was the 2011 All-Star Game in Arizona," Hamels said. "It's good to be in the same clubhouse."

Rangers beat

Rougned Odor struck out twice in two at-bats Thursday before drawing a walk in his last plate appearance. He is hitless in his last 11 at-bats over four games, during which he has five strikeouts and has one walk. In his first five games, Odor was 3-for-10 with four walks and one strikeout.

Delino DeShields is 7-for-14 with two walks in his last five games and is hitting .381 for the spring.

• Catcher Juan Centeno had a leadoff home run in the third inning Thursday off White Sox pitcher James Shields. Centeno has five Major League home runs in 289 at-bats in his career. He has just five in 1,729 Minor League games.

Destin Hood had four hits in a "B" game Tuesday and followed that up with his first Cactus League home run Thursday against White Sox pitcher Juan Minaya.

Doug Fister will pitch in a simulated game Friday in Surprise. It is Fister's day to pitch, but the Rangers want to start Matt Bush in the Cactus League game against the Reds in Goodyear.

• Left-hander Martin Perez, recovering from a broken radial bone in his right elbow, had no issues throwing live batting practice Wednesday. Perez recovered nicely Thursday, and he could throw in a Minor League game Monday.

Up next

Bush pitches against the Reds at 7:05 p.m. CT Friday in Goodyear. This will be Bush's second start and third outing of the spring as he tries to show he can transition from a reliever to a starter. He has allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings so far this spring.

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.

Texas Rangers, Cole Hamels, Tim Lincecum