Athletics 15

(10-12, 3-8 away)

Rangers 9

(6-14, 3-6 home)

    3:05 PM ET, March 22, 2005

    Surprise Stadium, Surprise, Arizona 

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    OAK 007200033 15 - -
    TEX 510110001 9 - -

    Oakland 15, Texas 9

    SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Once Rich Harden stopped tipping his pitches, his outing went much more smoothly.

    Harden gave up five runs in the first inning, then allowed just two over the next three to help the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 15-9 Tuesday.

    "One of the coaches told me I was tipping my pitches and that he could read every pitch in the first inning," Harden said. "I made some mechanical adjustments and calmed down to the point where I felt pretty good when I came out after the fourth. It's little things like that you have to figure out, and I'd rather do it here."

    Harden is the A's likely No. 2 starter behind Barry Zito, now that Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder are no longer with the club.

    "I was frustrated early, but I made some good pitches and that helped ease the pain a little," Harden said. "It gave me something to build on."

    Nick Regilio didn't fare much better as a replacement for scheduled Rangers starter Kenny Rogers, who was held out with the flu.

    The A's rallied from a 6-0 deficit by sending 10 batters to the plate in the third inning. Eric Byrnes had a run-scoring triple, Bobby Kielty and Adam Melhuse each had RBI singles and Dan Johnson had a two-run double. Keith Ginter gave Oakland a 7-6 lead with a two-run homer.

    Rogers, an All-Star in 2004 with an 18-9 record, has appeared in only two games this spring and is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA. The 40-year-old left-hander still hopes he's in the running to pitch on opening day.

    Rangers manager Buck Showalter will wait another week before announcing his starter.

    "Kenny has had a rough spring, but the whole team has," Showalter said. "We have 13 players with the flu. Everybody knows it's time to put things together for the regular season."

    Texas batted around in the first inning to jump out to a 5-0 lead. Harden threw two wild pitches in the inning.

    Adrian Gonzalez's two-run double and Gary Matthews Jr.'s run-scoring triple highlighted the inning. Michael Young added an RBI triple to make it 6-0 in the second.

    Game notes

    Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira left the game before the start of the second inning after being hit above his right elbow by Harden's pitch in the first. Teixeira was diagnosed with a bruise and worked out after icing the injury. There were no plans for X-rays. ... Texas closer Francisco Cordero is scheduled to pitch in his first "A" game of the spring Thursday against Kansas City. The right-hander has been slowed by a sore shoulder. ... The A's returned Rule 5 draft selection Tyler Johnson to the St. Louis Cardinals. The LHP appeared in four games this spring, posting a 10.80 ERA in 3 1-3 innings. Oakland has 37 players in camp. ... The Rangers and A's will complete their home-and-home series Wednesday with a night game at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Texas RHP Chris Young will face RHP Dan Haren.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press