SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Esteban Loaiza didn't let a little shoulder stiffness get in his way.
Loaiza became the first Oakland pitcher to go six innings this spring, allowing two unearned runs and seven hits in the Athletics' 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.The right-hander struck out two and walked three pitching through the shoulder stiffness."I kept telling myself to hit locations and get people out," Loaiza said. "That's what veteran pitchers do."Oakland's Justin Duchscherer, who had a career high nine saves a year ago while Houston Street was on the disabled list, pitched his first inning of the spring. Duchscherer, who had been sidelined with right triceps tendinitis, struck out one and allowed a hit.Loaiza lowered his spring ERA to 3.21 in 13 innings."He had good command today -- kept the ball down and had good movement and location," A's manager Bob Geren. "A real impressive performance."Brandon McCarthy, slated to be the Rangers' No. 3 starter, allowed five runs and six hits in 2 1-3 innings, but saw some encouraging signs."When you want to work five or six innings, and have to leave in the middle of an inning, it leaves a bitter taste," said McCarthy, picked up in an offseason deal with the White Sox. "I made some bad pitches, but I worked out of some situations too. I didn't come away with a bad feeling."
Travis Buck's home run was Oakland's eighth in the last four games after only 10 total in its first 20 games. ... Sammy Sosa made his eighth start in right field for the Rangers and went 0-for-2, picking up his 15th RBI on a first-inning fielder's choice.