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Around the Cactus League

Colorado Rockies: Right-hander Aaron Cook, who is one of three
pitchers competing for the Opening Day assignment, has been working
on a four-seam fastball and he had great immediate success with it
when he rung up White Sox DH Jim Thome with a man on third base and
one out in the first inning.

"That situation, a guy on third base, less than two outs, you're looking more to get a guy to punch out or hit a weak fly ball into the infield," said Cook, whose sinker might otherwise induce a ground ball that could score the run. "It's something I'm going to try to incorporate more."

Cook is vying for the No. 1 job in the rotation vacated by the
trade of Jason Jennings to Houston over the winter. Other
candidates are Jeff Francis and newcomer Rodrigo Lopez.

Brad Hawpe had three hits: a two-run double off Buehrle, and a
double and a single against Jon Garland.

Matt Holiday went 2-for-3 with a single and a two-run
homer, while Garrett Atkins and Javy Lopez had two hits apiece.

Elsewhere in the Grapefruit League:

Arizona Diamondbacks: Enrique Gonzalez, one of a handful of
candidates for the fifth spot in the Arizona rotation, struck out
four in two innings in a Diamondbacks' intrasquad game on a chilly,
windy Wednesday afternoon.

The 24-year-old right-hander allowed one run on one hit. He
walked one.

Overall, manager Bob Melvin said, it was "kind of a mixed bag"
in terms of pitching performance.

The game featured mostly players destined for the minor leagues
to start the season, the next wave of youngsters behind the touted
group that has advanced to the major league club.

Seattle Mariners: Jose Guillen's reconstructed throwing elbow is doing well,
following ligament-replacement surgery that ended his season with
Washington last July.

He extended his throwing range to 140 feet on
Wednesday and said the plan is for him to be in right field for
exhibition games in late March. Until then, he will be a designated
hitter, starting Thursday in a charity exhibition against San
Diego.

"The ball is just jumping out of my arm. It's so scary,"
Guillen said.

Texas Rangers: Manager Ron Washington said performance this spring will
determine who gets the No. 5 spot in the rotation. To make sure everybody gets a
fair chance, he has already scheduled four "B" games to go along
with the regular Cactus League games.

In the spring opener Friday against Kansas City, Kameron Loe is
scheduled to start with John Koronka and Edinson Volquez, a highly touted prospect, to follow him. Bruce Chen is
expected to pitch Sunday while Jamey Wright's first appearance apparently
won't come before Tuesday. John Rheinecker has been bothered by back
spasms.

"The bottom line is that everyone will get quality innings,"
Washington said. "Loe starting [first] just works out that way."

Loe spent this winter working out in Texas under the direction
of a team strength coach, instead of alone at home in Los Angeles
again.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.