Derek Lowe shakes off rust, goes two shutout innings

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Derek Lowe made his Texas Rangers and spring debut Friday, scattering two hits and walking one in two scoreless innings.

Lowe was predictably a little rusty. He hadn't pitched in a game since last October and only signed his minor-league deal with Texas on March 6. He escaped close calls in both innings he pitched but came out unscathed.

"It was nice for him to get out there, face some hitters and get the juices flowing," manager Ron Washington said after the Rangers' 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants. "He made a really good first impression. He did well."

Lowe allowed a leadoff single to Andres Torres, who stole second to get into scoring position with no one out. Right fielder Craig Gentry bailed Lowe out of the jam, catching a Marco Scutaro line drive and firing a bullet to third that easily beat a tagging Torres by a few steps. The double play wiped out the scoring threat.

Lowe was faced with runners at first and third with one out in the second inning, but a groundout and fly out kept the game scoreless.

"To get out of the situation in the second inning is encouraging," Lowe said. "The first inning was a little rough until the line-drive double play to right field.

"In the second inning I made more competitive pitches. I felt like I had a little more command of where the ball was going, so I could be a little more aggressive."

Lowe was brought into camp to compete for a role in the Rangers bullpen. Prior to his start, the 39-year old had pitched in the bullpen and live batting practice during camp, but this was his first chance to show his new team what he can do in a game situation.

"You can't do as much as you'd like with live BP. You have to get out there in live competition to do it," Lowe said. "I was joking around earlier that nine days ago I was throwing batting practice to my nine-year-old's little league team. Seriously though, you have to put up zeros in spring training. This is a competition."