Harden has mixed outing as Rangers, A's tie

PHOENIX (AP) — Rich Harden breezed through the first two innings but never finished the third in his second outing with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday.

Harden gave up four runs on two hits in 2 2-3 innings. He struck out four, walked three and threw a wild pitch in the Rangers' 8-8 tie with a split-squad of Oakland Athletics.

"I felt really good early, the first couple of innings," Harden said. "If I can repeat how I felt the first couple of innings, mechanically be consistent, then I can be consistent throwing strikes and hitting spots."

After walking Ryan Sweeney, and a visit to the mound, Harden gave up Kevin Kouzmanoff's three-run home run that cleared the billboards in left field. He was taken out afterward.

"In the third inning, I just started getting a little quick and opened up a little early," Harden said. "I was getting behind hitters and missing some spots. My arm felt good, just need to build up the arm strength and conditioning, and make some pitches."

It was Harden's second start of the spring. He gave up an unearned run and one hit over two innings against the Royals on Thursday.

Max Stassi, the A's 18-year-old catcher, also homered for the A's. He left the game in the ninth after getting hit in the right knee with a foul ball.

"It got half-skin and half-shin guard," said Stassi, who expects to report to minor-league camp Wednesday. "My knee just locked up and I couldn't move it. I had fun today though. A lot of good things happened and I got my feet wet."

David Murphy hit a three-run double, Julio Borbon had two hits and drove in two runs and both Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler added two hits for the Rangers. Josh Hamilton, in his second game back, tripled in three at-bats and is 3 for 6 since returning from a bruised left shoulder.

A's starter Trevor Cahill lasted two innings, allowing three runs on four hits. He walked one and struck out three.

"It got a little cold and I couldn't feel things at first," Cahill said. "Pitchers don't like rain delays but it's good experience. You just don't expect to experience it here."

Eric Patterson added two hits for the A's.

NOTES: Rangers C Jarrod Saltalamacchia was scratched from the starting lineup as a precaution because of soreness related to his surgically repaired right (throwing) shoulder. A team doctor evaluated Saltamacchia Tuesday morning. The soreness is likely the result of scar tissue and isn't considered serious. ... A's RHP Justin Duchscherer threw a 33-pitch bullpen sesssion as he continues to recover from a medical procedure that eased pain in his back. ... The game was delayed 45 minutes due to heavy rain. ... A's RHP Joey Devine threw a 30-pitch bullpen session but will be shut down for an extra day or two because of tendinitis in his arm.