Long ball gives Ely first spring lumps

Long ball gives Ely first spring lumps

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton unloaded his first home run of the spring, hitting a three-run shot in the third inning of the Rangers' 5-4 victory over the Dodgers at Surprise Stadium on Monday.

Hamilton's homer came off Dodgers pitcher John Ely, who is trying to earn a job in the rotation after both Vicente Padilla (forearm surgery) and Jon Garland (strained oblique) went down with injuries. Ely had pitched six scoreless innings in three previous outings before allowing four runs against the Rangers.

Hamilton unlocked a 1-1 game when he crushed a 1-0 fastball deep over both the right-field fence and the Rangers' bullpen. He entered the game hitting .250 (8-for-32) with a double, triple and two RBIs before going 1-for-3 to move his mark to .257.

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Neftali Feliz got the start and went four innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk with five strikeouts. He threw 59 pitches, 36 for strikes.

Marcus Thames, facing a team he played briefly for in 2003, had an RBI double while being used as the Dodgers' designated hitter. That gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Texas tied it in the bottom of the second on a two-out single by Nelson Cruz and a double by David Murphy.

The Dodgers did not bring any of their regular position players to Surprise, giving them a day off following four split-squad games over the weekend. Sunday's game was played in Las Vegas against the Cubs.

Up next: Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando will take the hill when the Rangers face the Dodgers again at 1:05 p.m. PT on Tuesday at Camelback Ranch. National League rules will be used, and Holland and Ogando are both scheduled to pitch four innings. So they both should get a chance to hit. Ogando had a single in his only at-bat last year in Interleague Play, while Holland was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. Fans can listen live to exclusive free webcasts at texasrangers.com and dodgers.com. David Bush, Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes will pitch in a "B" game against the Royals on the Kansas City side of the Surprise complex.

Most Dodgers regulars are expected to return on Tuesday. Clayton Kershaw gets the start with Hong-Chih Kuo going in relief. It will be only the second spring appearance for Kuo, whose game action is being rationed to protect his brittle elbow. So far, he has had no discomfort. Manager Don Mattingly has said he hopes to get seven innings from his regulars, although second baseman Juan Uribe is expected to play less than that as a precautionary measure after feeling stiff over the weekend.