Andruw Jones is starting to find his hitting groove at a good time.
Jones homered and doubled in his only at-bats of the Texas Rangers' intrasquad game Tuesday afternoon, the team's final tuneup before Wednesday's Cactus League opener.
"We've been working on things to get the bad habits out of my swing and getting on a good pace," said Jones, who is trying to find a spot in an already crowded Texas outfield.
Jones, who hit .158 with three homers in an injury-riddled 2008 season, is with the Rangers on a $500,000 minor league contract that includes a chance to earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses.
But first, he has to make the team.
"I'm happy to see him swinging the bat and happy to see him running around playing defense," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Tomorrow we start for real and we'll see how things go."
The Rangers said Kris Benson, signed to a minor league contract on Saturday, will start against the Royals instead of left-hander Matt Harrison.
The 34-year-old Benson has not pitched in the major leagues since 2006 and was 1-4 in 11 starts for the Phillies' Triple-A team in Lehigh Valley last season before he was released in August.
Harrison, 9-3 as a rookie last season, had been tabbed as the starter last week but Washington said pitching coach Mike Maddux feels Benson's more prepared to pitch two innings at the start than Harrison.
Harrison will be the first reliever out of the Rangers' bullpen.
"Matt's still in the rotation," Washington said. "I'm not trying to make a story out of what we're doing. Mike's doing a good job of getting these guys together and I think this is what he feels will let him do what he wants to do. I'm with him."
Notes:@ Coach Jackie Moore's squad beat Washington's regulars 4-1 in the five-inning game. ... Travis Metcalf also homered, David Murphy doubled off the top of the wall, and Michael Young and Jared Saltalamacchia each singled. ... RHP Vicente Padilla allowed one run and two hits in his inning of work. RHP Luis Mendoza allowed three runs on three hits in an inning. ... RHP Neftali Perez was the only pitcher who didn't record an out. He allowed a run on a single, an error and two walks _ the second with the bases loaded _ and the coaches called the inning with the bases loaded.
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