Diamondbacks 9, Rangers 3

Josh Hamilton promised his oldest daughter a home run on her

birthday and delivered Sunday afternoon.

Hamilton hit his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot in

the bottom of the first inning, in the Texas Rangers’ 9-3 loss to

the Arizona Diamondbacks in a split-squad game.

“I forgot about it until I was rounding the bases, then

remembered and was like ‘Yeah! Thank you, Lord!’,” Hamilton

said.

Hamilton had been slowed by a contusion on his left shoulder as

the games started but is starting to find a rhythm now that he’s

returned to the everyday lineup.

“I’ve been fine-tuning things,” Hamilton said. “If it doesn’t

feel good, then I take it to the cage until it feels good. It felt

good today.”

Justin Upton went 3 for 4 with his third home run and Rusty Ryal

also homered for the Diamondbacks, who won their fourth straight.

Upton has driven in 13 runs this spring.

“There may be a dark cloud in the sky but you don’t look at

it,” said Arizona bench coach Kirk Gibson, who managed the split

squad. “He’s maturing nicely.”

Chris Young added an RBI double for Arizona.

Diamondbacks starter Billy Buckner, one of the contenders for

the fifth spot in the Arizona rotation, allowed three hits

including Hamilton’s home run, over four innings with a walk and

three strikeouts.

Buckner is the first Diamondbacks pitcher to throw four innings

so far.

“I was glad to get that fourth in,” Buckner said.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis struggled in his third appearance,

allowing six earned runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings with a walk

and four strikeouts. Lewis retired the first three hitters, but

allowed seven of his last 14 batters to reach base.

“He got through the first inning but then he got his fastball

up,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He’s just got to do

better next time. When they put up nine runs in five innings,

there’s no way you’re coming back from that.”

NOTES: Rangers RHP Warner Madrigal, who has been slowed with

tightness in his right forearm, will have an MRI on Monday. …

Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, who rolled his ankle during

Friday morning workouts, will be out at least a week. … Arizona

shortstop Stephen Drew went 2 for 4 to raise his spring average to

.450 (9 for 20).