Choo homers as Perez fights pitch count vs. Giants
Rangers starter allows run over three innings; Soto, Rios return to action
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong bounced back from a terrible outing in his previous start with five strong innings in a 4-4 tie with the Rangers at Surprise Stadium on Thursday night.
Rangers starter Martin Perez allowed just one run in three innings but threw 63 pitches, including 35 in the third. He allowed three hits and two walks and struck out two. Michael Kirkman followed him to the mound and allowed three runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He threw 67 pitches over three innings.
Vogelsong was much more economical. He threw 73 pitches over five innings while allowing just one run. Shin-Soo Choo hit his first home run of the spring, off Vogelsong, but the Rangers managed just four hits overall against him. Vogelsong walked one and struck out three. In his previous start against the Mariners, Vogelsong allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings.
"The command wasn't as good as I really wanted it to be, but it was nice kind of working some deep counts, and I think that kind of helped me get into my rhythm a little bit," Vogelsong said. "All in all, I'm pretty happy with it."
Giants catcher Andrew Susac hit a solo homer and added an RBI single, while shortstop Brandon Crawford was 2-for-4 after being 3-for-23 coming into the game. Geovany Soto caught four innings for the Rangers in his first start of the Cactus League after undergoing ankle surgery Feb. 22. Alex Rios, who had been sidelined since March 4 with a strained intercoastal muscle, was 1-for-2 with a single and stole a base.
"I wanted to swing at game speed and see how it felt," Rios said. "It felt fine. Everything is good."
The crowd of 10,545 was the eighth largest for a Cactus League game in Surprise since the complex opened in 2003.
Up next: Choo will be in the lineup Friday when the Rangers play the Reds at 9:05 p.m. CT in Goodyear. Choo played with the Reds last season and will be honored before the game as the 2013 winner of the Ernie Lombardi Award as the team's Most Valuable Player. Choo signed with the Rangers in the offseason.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.