GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Randy Wells will have a chance to prove experience counts for something in the competition for the fifth rotation spot when he makes his third spring start for the Texas Rangers (4-7-1) against the Los Angeles Dodgers (4-6-2).
Wells has allowed nine baserunners in four innings through his first two starts, but he has displayed that veteran guile by allowing only one earned run in each outing.
With 86 career starts during five major league seasons, Wells owns by far the most MLB starts among all the competitors. With Martin Perez injured and Robbie Ross the only other competitor to distinguish himself so far, a strong four-inning outing from Wells could help separate him from most of the pack.
"You can't let pressure get to you. You can't have one bad outing and think it's over," Wells said. "I think the more you get wrapped up on who the fifth starter is going to be, the worse off you are."
Wells said he struggled with his changeup during his last start, which led him to leaving pitches high and making his fastball more predictable and hittable. Manager Ron Washington said that is one thing he will be watching when Wells takes to the hill this afternoon.
"The last time out he didn't have his changeup, and that is is weapon," Washington said. "If he has that, he should get through his four innings with no problem."
Other game notes:
Newly-signed RHP Derek Lowe is expected to be in uniform and work out at camp Friday.
DH Lance Berkman will get the day off. Washington said he originally thought about playing Berkman but decided to give him today off and then play him two in a row before another day off. Berkman could sit though if bad weather leads to a sloppy field Friday.
Rangers in WBC update: Derek Holland got the start for Team USA on Wednesday in an exhibition game and allowed one earned run on four hits with three strikeouts in three innings. Engel Beltre tripled and scored two runs for Spain yesterday. Elvis Andrus went 2-for-4 with a run scored for Venezuela on Tuesday. Leury Garcia and Nelson Cruz went 0-for-2 for the Dominican Republic in an exhibition against the New York Yankees yesterday.
The Rangers have won consecutive games for the first time this spring. Both victories were come-from-behind, one-run decisions.