SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Joe Saunders was happy to trade getting knocked around a little over being hit with a line drive.
Five days after taking a hard shot off his left shin, Saunders gave up three runs and eight hits in three innings of the Diamondbacks' 8-6 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
``The only thing I was a little frustrated with was my fastball command,' Saunders said. ``I tried not to fall too far behind in counts. When I did, they knew a fastball was coming and they jumped all over it.'
Saunders lasted only two outs and ten pitches on Monday against Cleveland when he got hit. He initially looked to be in for another short outing against the Rangers, who led off the game with three straight hits to take a 2-0 lead after the first.
``I didn't get knocked out of the game with a line drive, so that was positive,' he said.
Ian Kinsler doubled for the second time and scored on David Murphy's second single of the game to make it 3-0 in the second.
``I threw some good ones (fastballs) but when I didn't they hit them where we weren't,' said Saunders, who has yielded six runs on 14 hits in 5 2-3 innings this spring.
Rangers starter Scott Feldman went 4 2-3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. He retired 11 of the first 12 hitters he faced before six of his final nine reached base.
Jason Kubel had a triple and a homer off Feldman, then added a second home run off Koji Uehara in the fifth and finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
``I did a good job of hanging some pitches for him,' Feldman said.
Kubel, who signed a two-year, $15-million deal with the Diamondbacks, entered the game with four hits in 25 at_bats.
``Clearly it's been a slow start but the last five days or so it's been coming around,' Kubel said. ``It's just how things have gone. I've either hit the ball too high or too low and right at somebody. It's nice to hit some balls hard and have them be hits.'
Kinsler, one of a handful of regulars who did not join the Rangers split squad for a two-game weekend series in Las Vegas, was 3 for 4 with the two doubles and a sixth-inning home run.
NOTES: Rangers C Mike Napoli, coming off a left groin strain, started at designated hitter for the second straight game and went 0 for 2 with a walk and an RBI. . RHP Sam Demel, who has nursed tightness in his right forearm for the past two weeks, threw a scoreless seventh in his first appearance since March 3. . There has not been a rainout in the Cactus League since 2010. Sunday's weather forecast: 100 percent chance of rain overnight and a 80 chance in the afternoon.
The Associated Press News Service
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