What it means: Texas dropped below .500 and lost three in a row (not counting split-squad games) for the first time since Feb. 25-27.
Rotation rounds out: Manager Ron Washington announced after Wednesday's game that Alexi Ogando is his No. 3 starter and Derek Holland is the No. 4. Holland will start the home opener April 5 against the Angels, but Washington said that did not play into his decision at all.
Mills thrills: Newcomer Brad Mills pitched well in his Rangers debut, allowing one run on four hits with one walk and one strikeout in four innings against his former team. The left-hander was added Sunday as a waiver claim from the Angels.
Life after Hamilton: Washington had a good quote today when asked about the Rangers' future without Josh Hamilton, who left the team as a free agent during the offseason.
"Reggie Jackson left the New York Yankees, and they went on to win a World Series. Roger Clemens left Boston, and they went on to win a World Series," Washington said. "Hamilton is in Jackson's class for what he did for us and with what Clemens did for the Red Sox. This [Hamilton's departure] doesn't stop what we have to do between the lines."
Tepesch outing: Fifth starter Nick Tepesch pitched well in a minor league game for Round Rock (Triple-A) against Tucson (Padres Triple-A) today in Surprise. In six innings, Tepesch allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts, and threw 92 pitches. He gave up a home run to lead off the game; the other run scored after an error in the second inning. Tepesch handled being named the Rangers' fifth starter with the same poise he showed all spring. "It feels good, but I've still got a lot of hard work ahead of me," Tepesch said. "I still have a couple more starts to do my thing. It's just the beginning of the hard work. I've got to keep after it."
Speed threat: A.J. Pierzynski put up a good outing in his final Arizona spring game of 2013 by going 2-for-2 with a single and double. He added a stolen base, which is a rarity for the catcher. During his 15-year MLB career (12 full seasons), Pierzynski has 13 career stolen bases. His last one came during the 2010 season when he tied a career high with three.
Rule 5 updates: RHP Coty Woods, whom the Rangers acquired in the Rule 5 draft Dec. 6, was returned to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. Texas had a 72-hour window beginning Tuesday to work out a trade with Colorado to keep him but couldn't get a deal done. Woods owned a 2.61 ERA (3 ER in 10 1/3 IP) with 10 strikeouts in 10 relief appearances.
The Cleveland Indians returned first baseman Chris McGuiness to Texas on Wednesday after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft in December. McGuiness has been assigned outright to Round Rock (Triple-A). Both players had to be on the major league Opening Day roster of the drafting teams or be offered back to their former organizations.
Kirkman update: RHP Michael Kirkman, who was the original starter for today's game, pitched just one inning of relief after allowing three runs on three hits and walking one. He was slated to go two or three innings but compiled a high pitch count after facing seven batters during the sixth inning.
Texas red: Forbes released its annual list of valuations for Major League Baseball's franchises. The report also listed the six teams believed to have lost money, including the Rangers. They join the New York Mets, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Florida Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays. If teams such as Texas, Toronto and Los Angeles, which all have lucrative local television deals, are losing money, the rest of the league is sunk. Of course, the report should be looked at with a wary eye, as creative accounting is always a consideration.
Baker is back: Utility man Jeff Baker returned after missing three games with a sinus infection. Baker, who earned a bench spot with the Rangers as a non-roster invitee, went 1-for-3.
Najera first pitch: Former NBA forward Eduardo Najera will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Thursday’s exhibition game between the Rangers and the Mexico City Red Devils of the Triple-A Mexican League at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Najera was just the second native of Mexico to ever play in the NBA when he made his debut with the Mavericks in 2000. He played from 2000 to '12 with five teams, including two stints with the Mavericks (2000-04; 2010). Najera currently is the coach of the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.
What's next? Texas has a pair of games scheduled for Thursday. One contest will see the Rangers play the Arizona Diamondbacks at 3:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium. RHP Jerad Eickhoff (1st A outing) will start for Texas. RHP Trevor Cahill (1-1, 2.63 ERA) will start for Arizona. Texas will play only minor leaguers in the game.
In the other game, Texas will host the Mexico City Red Devils for an exhibition contest at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington at 7:05 p.m. CT. RHP Yu Darvish (1-1, 1.98) will start for Texas. RHP David Reyes will take the mound for Mexico City.
Texas will wrap up its spring training schedule with games Friday and Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio.