Texas Rangers: Nick Martinez Solid in 8-4 Loss to Arizona

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Sep 7, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Nick Martinez (22) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Nick Martinez (22) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Rangers lose, but see improvement from young pitching staff. Right now the Rangers record isn’t pretty, but the offense continues to be successful. If there is one big positive to take away from this game, it is Nick Martinez.

The fifth spot in the Texas Rangers rotation is going to be a battle all Spring Training. Starter Nick Martinez is making a strong bid early for that rotation spot. He pitched two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 8-4 loss against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

According to T.R. Sullivan, Martinez was working mainly on his fastball command in Tuesday’s game. He allowed one single, but it was erased on a double play. T.R. Sullivan spoke with Martinez after the game about what went right for him in Tuesday’s game.

"“I was able to attack the zone and get ahead of hitters,” Martinez said. “I felt good out there and stayed in my mechanics. I was able to get early contact and trust the defense. That was big today.”"

The 26-year-old struggled heavily with the Rangers in 2016. Martinez went 2-3 5.59 ERA in 12 games (five starts) and allowed 24 earned runs. He walked 19 batters in just 38.2 innings of work, and clearly lost command of his pitches.

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The outing on Tuesday is an encouraging sign that Martinez has found his command. Martinez has worked in the bullpen with Texas as well, but wants to prove himself as a starting pitcher.

On the offensive side, outfielder Jared Hoying hit his first home run of the spring. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy added two hits, but it wasn’t enough as the Texas falls for the fourth time this spring.

Martin Perez will get the start for the Rangers on Wednesday. This will be his second start of the spring, and his last before he joins the World Baseball Classic.

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