PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) - Joe Nathan's first spring outing was great. His second one went downhill in a hurry.
Nathan surrendered a three-run homer to Miguel Olivo in the sixth inning and the Texas Rangers lost 6-4 to the Seattle Mariners on Monday.
Olivo, who brought a.154 batting average into the game, connected on a 1-1 pitch from Nathan to put the Mariners in front 4-2, and designated hitter Jesus Montero added a two-run double in the seventh inning.
Nathan, who signed with the Rangers over the winter and is expected to close this season, gave up two hits, walked two and struck out one while recording three outs. He worked a scoreless inning in his spring debut.
``Didn't get it down,' Texas manager Ron Washington said of the pitch to Olivo. ``Hung a slider to Olivo . just had trouble commanding it down in the zone.'
Top prospect Vinnie Catricala homered in the third inning for Seattle. Montero is batting .389 this spring with three doubles and is tied for the team lead with eight RBIs.
Rangers starter Matt Harrison allowed three hits, struck out two and walked none in three innings.
``I thought I threw the ball pretty well,' said Harrison, who is competing for a spot at the back end of the rotation. ``That one at-bat where he hit the home run, I'm kind of kicking myself, because I had him 0-2 and put him back in the count.'
Nelson Cruz homered in the second inning for Texas, and Michael Young added a two-out RBI double in the fourth. David Murphy also homered for the Rangers.
``Good swing, feel good,' Cruz said.
Mariners starter Blake Beavan gave up three hits, struck out two and walked none in five innings.
``Always good to face one of the best teams in baseball, one of the best lineups in baseball,' the right-hander said. ``It's hard to say you enjoy pitching against a team like that, but (winning) makes you enjoy it more.'
Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan and second baseman Munenori Kawasaki collided on a fielder's choice in the sixth inning, but shook off any discomfort and finished the inning.
``They're fine. Miscommunication on multiple levels there,' Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. ``That's one of those plays that you like to see happen with a couple of guys that haven't played together in spring training, so it doesn't happen again.'
NOTES: The Mariners have scheduled their third ``B' game of spring training in addition to the regular slate of exhibition games for Thursday morning against the Chicago White Sox. Closer Brandon League is scheduled to appear in that game, plus Tuesday's exhibition against Milwaukee. Seattle opens the regular season on March 28 against Oakland in Tokyo. ... Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler (lower back stiffness) and 1B Mike Napoli (left groin soreness) remain day to day. ... Rangers OF Craig Gentry played for the first time since Saturday, when he felt tightness in his left hamstring. ... Washington said Young is slated for the fifth spot in the order between Adrian Beltre and Cruz, as was the case Monday. ... Celebrated RHP Yu Darvish, a major signing from Japan, makes his second spring training start Tuesday for the Rangers.
The Associated Press News Service
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