Alfaro, Beltre help Rangers overcome Ranaudo's exit

Prospect has double, triple; third baseman homers

Alfaro, Beltre help Rangers overcome Ranaudo's exit

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Rookie catcher Jorge Alfaro had a double and a triple as the Rangers won for the fifth time in seven games by beating the White Sox, 7-3, at Surprise Stadium on Thursday.

Alfaro, ranked No. 45 among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects, was 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. He is now 4-for-11 in the Cactus League.

"He is a fun kid to watch," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "A lot of energy behind the plate. I wanted to get him a start in a Major League game and he played well today."

The White Sox brought a split squad to Surprise, but it included veteran catcher Geovany Soto. He was with the Rangers the past three years and is now with the White Sox on a Minor League contract.

Soto is trying to win a backup job behind Tyler Flowers and went 1-for-2 with a run scored. The hit came during a three-run second inning against Rangers starter Anthony Ranaudo.

"I feel great, I feel healthy," Soto said. "I'm really happy to be out there playing. I'm here to play ball. I'm getting the opportunity to play and I have to make the most of it."

Rookie outfielder Courtney Hawkins had two hits, including an RBI double, and Carlos Sanchez had a two-run single for the White Sox. Adrian Beltre hit his first home run of the spring for the Rangers. Nate Schierholtz added a two-out, two-run single in the eighth.

Ranaudo left after throwing 44 pitches because of some discomfort in his right elbow. But the situation is not considered serious and he doesn't expect to miss his next start.

Nick Tepesch, another candidate for the rotation, took the mound for the Rangers in the fourth and pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and a walk.

White Sox rookie pitcher Francelis Montas made his first start of the spring and allowed one run in two-plus innings. His fastball was registering 98 mph.

Up next: Michael Choice and Ryan Rua will both be in the starting lineup when the Rangers play the Giants in Scottsdale on Friday. Choice and Rua are among the candidates to be the Rangers' starting left fielder. Nick Martinez, Ross Detwiler and Neftali Feliz are all scheduled to pitch in a game that starts at 3:05 p.m. CT and can be heard live on a free exclusive audio webcast.

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.