SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Even though it was just spring training, Matt Harrison wanted to rebound from a rough opener.
Consider it mission accomplished.
The Texas left-hander, an 18-game winner last season, allowed three hits in three scoreless innings and the Rangers went on to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-1 on Saturday.
“Anytime you have a bad game you want to bounce back as quickly as possible and I was able to do it in my next start,” Harrison said, “so that was a positive note and something I can build on going into my next start.”
In his first spring start last Sunday against Kansas City, Harrison threw 40 pitches in one inning, allowing four runs on six hits against Kansas City.
“Come out and start off your first game like that is a little concerning but I know I can be better than that,” he said. “You know, there were a couple things I needed to fix and got it back on track. I was able to stay close a lot better today and stay on top of the ball. The other day I was getting around and wasn’t consistent with my mechanics.”
Manager Ron Washington said it was just a normal spring training progression for a pitcher.
“Today he had his sinker working,” Washington said. “The first outing he didn’t really have his sinker. He had a good changeup today also, and those are the bread and butter pitches. We know he can spot the fastball but he didn’t have his sinker and he didn’t have his changeup. Today he had both of them.”
Lefty Wade Miley made his first spring start for Arizona, giving up three runs on three hits in two innings, including a solo home run by Craig Gentry. Brandon Allen and Elvis Andrus also homered for Texas. In addition to his homer, Gentry stole two bases and scored three times.
Miley, second in rookie of the year balloting after going 16-11 with a 3.33 ERA for Arizona last season, was not overly concerned with his so-so first start.
Getting back out there and facing hitters again, I was happy with that,” he said. “I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand good. I wasn’t locating the fastball. The breaking stuff was OK. It was something to build off, definitely.”
Nelson Cruz was the only Texas player with more than one hit, going 2 for 4. He had an RBI single off Miley in the first. Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Davidson each went 2 for 2 for Arizona.
Randall Delgado, a candidate for Arizona’s fifth starting spot, gave up a run on three hits in two innings, with one walk. Delgado, who came to the Diamondbacks as part of the trade that sent Justin Upton to Atlanta, had been rocked for five runs on six hits in one inning in his first start spring against Kansas City on Monday. He is battling with left-handers Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin for the last spot in the rotation.
NOTES: Washington has yet to name an opening-day starter. … A sellout crowd of 12,654 watched the game in glorious sunshine at Salt River Fields, the Diamondbacks’ spring home in north Scottsdale. … Arizona 2B Aaron Hill was a late scratch with tightness in his left quad.