Rangers 10, Indians 0

Lance Berkman knows he has rust. He’s not sure how much.

Berkman singled, walked and scored two runs in his Rangers’
spring training debut, a 10-0 win over the Cleveland Indians on
Thursday that gave Texas its first exhibition victory this year
after an 0-5 start.

Limited to 32 games last year with St. Louis and coming off a
pair of knee operations, Berkman was held out of the first six
exhibition games because of a strained right calf.

”I’m about where you would expect after having not played last
year and just having one game,” he said. ”I saw the ball well. My
timing is obviously not there yet. It was good to get the first one
out of the way. Hopefully, I’ll get into a rhythm of playing, the
timing will come and everything will stay together and I’ll be in
good shape going into the season.”

A six-time All-Star, Berkman had just 81 at-bats last
season.

”It’s the least number of at-bats I’ve had my entire life,”
Berkman said. ”And probably half of those were under duress and I
didn’t have my legs under me. If two weeks from now I still feel
like this, I’ll say, yeah, there is more rust that needs to come
off. It’s not unusual to feel a little behind and trying to catch
up to the fastball. The game is fast. You need your nervous system
to kind of get acclimated to it.”

Berkman isn’t worried about his run production.

”Obviously at some point you’re not going to have it,” he
said. ”I don’t think that happens at 37 necessarily. I certainly
don’t feel like I did when I was 25 or 26. That doesn’t mean I
can’t be competitive and be the same kind of hitter. I’m not that
worried about it.”

Winner Derek Holland, in his last start before joining the U.S.
for the World Baseball Classic, allowed three hits, struck out two
and walked none in four innings.

”My main focus is always being with Texas,” Holland said.
”This is a temporary leave. I get to represent the country,
something you dream about. At the same time, you’ve got to remember
I’m playing for Texas at all times.”

Jeff Baker had three of the Rangers’ 18 hits, and Jurickson
Profar hit a two-run triple in the second inning.

In his second outing for the Indians, Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up
a two-run homer to Mitch Moreland. Dice-K, Cleveland’s third
pitcher, allowed four hits in two innings.

An 18-game winner in 2008 with Boston who had elbow surgery in
2011, Matsuzaka signed a minor league contract on Feb. 13 with the
Indians and is competing for one of two vacancies in the rotation.
He pitched two hitless innings against Cincinnati in his Indians’
exhibition debut.

”Condition-wise I didn’t feel as good as I did during my first
outing,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. ”I was hoping to
hold them to zeros, but I was unable to do that. I’m trying out a
few different routines as I prepare for each outing. My routine was
a little different from my first outing.”

Rookie Trevor Bauer pitched two perfect innings, but the Rangers
hit four other pitchers hard.

”It’s just one of those days you’re glad it’s spring
training,” new Indians manager Terry Francona said.