|Kason Gabbard throws 4 perfect innings for Rangers before struggling in 5th|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 29 March 2008 14:01|
Penciled in as Texas' No. 4 starter this season, Gabbard pitched four perfect innings Saturday before getting knocked around in the fifth as the Rangers lost 7-2 to their Double-A affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders.
The left-hander allowed four runs and four hits in the fifth and then went one more inning, completing a 96-pitch outing. He preferred to think about the five shutout innings he threw instead of the messy one.
``I finished strong,'' Gabbard said. ``I ran into a little trouble in the fifth, but I made good pitches today and I'm happy with the outcome.''
Ian Kinsler homered for the Rangers, who set their opening-day roster. Now they take on the task of attempting to escape the AL West cellar, a spot they've occupied in five of the previous eight seasons.
Texas got down to the 25-man limit by designating right-hander Robinson Tejeda and outfielder Nelson Cruz for assignment, and optioning right-hander Wes Littleton to Triple-A Oklahoma.
``We got a lot of things done this spring,'' manager Ron Washington said. ``Now it's time to go to work. We're healthy, that's a key, our rotation is in order, our bullpen is in order. We're breaking with the best we've got right now.''
The game did not count toward the Rangers' final exhibition record. Texas completed Cactus League play at 17-11.
Scott Feldman, who pitched in 73 games in relief for the Rangers over the last three seasons, got the start for the RoughRiders. The Rangers are trying to convert Feldman into a starter, and he gave up one run and four hits in five innings to earn the victory.
Right after the game, the Rangers left for their charter flight to Seattle, where they'll have a workout on Sunday in anticipation of Monday's season opener.
Notes: RHP Dustin Nippert, acquired Friday in a trade with Arizona, will join the Rangers in Seattle. ... Washington said Tejeda failed to make the roster as a reliever because he was ``inconsistent with his control.''