Rangers 5, Giants 2

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Tim Lincecum would prefer to speed up his spring.

The 23-year-old has been slowed by a mildly strained right groin and on Sunday made only his fourth start for the San Francisco Giants, a 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.

"I've been dying for these games to come up," said Lincecum, who allowed two runs on seven hits over a spring-high six innings. "I'm anxious to get the season going."

Lincecum had not appeared in a major league game since March 12, when he allowed four runs on six hits in two innings. He rebounded from that rough outing by giving up two runs over five innings against Class A Stockton on March 17.

He gave up both runs Sunday on Ben Broussard's second home run of the spring but also struck out four straight batters over the third and fourth innings. Lincecum finished with one walk and seven strikeouts.

"Other than the home run, it all felt good," Lincecum said. "My body felt good and my arm felt good. I shouldn't have gotten into so many 3-2 counts but other than that it felt good."

Lincecum is penciled in as the Giants' third starter with his season debut scheduled to come April 2 against Los Angeles.

"Our starters have been doing a good job and he extended that today," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He threw well. It looks like he's on track so that's good news for us."

Michael Young was 3-for-4 with an RBI and Marlon Byrd also homered for the Rangers, who won for the fourth time in five games.

Right-hander Luis Mendoza solidified his position in the Rangers starting rotation with a strong outing, scattering six hits over five scoreless innings. Mendoza walked one, struck out two and threw 43 of his 68 pitches for strikes.

"It feels pretty good," Mendoza said. "I've been throwing strikes, every start I feel stronger and my command of my pitches has been good. I think I can win the job."

Game notes
RHP Kevin Correia was scratched from his scheduled start on Monday and will throw in the bullpen instead. "His shoulder looked a little cranky and he's thrown a lot of pitches already," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. He'll be replaced by either RHP Keiichi Yabu or RHP Nick Pereira, who pitched at Double-A last season. ... Rangers reliever Eddie Guardado, who has had the flu for the last week, threw 17 pitches in a minor league game. Guardado, who was signed as a free agent before the season, will pitch in one or two more minor league games before opening day but will not appear again in a spring game. ... INF Jose Castillo, claimed off waivers by San Francisco on Saturday, made his Giants debut and was 1-for-2 with a double. ... Bochy said RHP Vinnie Chulk (right finger) is a candidate to start the season on the disabled list along with SS Omar Vizquel (left knee). "It's not possible to baby him in our situation," Bochy said. "If he hasn't gotten enough innings it's a possibility." Kevin Frandsen (left Achilles' tendinitis) and Ray Durham (left hamstring strain) could also start the season on the DL.