Arenado stays hot as Rockies power past Rangers

Arenado stays hot as Rockies power past Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Gerardo Parra and Cristhian Adames hit back-to-back home runs off Rangers pitcher Jeremy Guthrie in the sixth inning and Nolan Arenado had two more hits as the Rockies rallied for a 9-6 Cactus League win on Monday afternoon.

Arenado went 2-for-2 with a walk and increased his spring batting average to .629 (22-for-35).

"It's pretty amazing what he's doing right now," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "He's such a great player, nothing surprises me anymore."

Weiss had given Arenado the option to take Monday's game off and skip the drive across the Valley of the Sun to Surprise, but Arenado wanted to keep raking.

"He wants to make the trip to Surprise," Weiss said. "He's the only everyday player that wants to do that. He chose to play three days in a row and travel to Surprise, and as we all know, that's Nolan."

Parra's two-run blast

Guthrie allowed five runs (three earned) in three innings as he tries to earn a spot as the Rangers' fifth starter. That job is still wide open with two weeks to go before Opening Day.

"I liked the pitches thrown and the mix," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He tried to go inside on a couple of guys and didn't get it in. But I liked the mix of pitches and he got his velocity up to 93. This is something to work with. He's got a wealth of experience but even with experience, he's got to execute pitches."

Rockies starter Chad Bettis, vying to get the Opening Day assignment, went five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits. He did not walk a batter, struck out three and threw 75 pitches. The Rangers scored three off him in the third inning as Rougned Odor capped the rally with a two-out, two-run single.

Odor's solid defense

Rangers starter Martin Perez went 4 1/3 innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Perez threw 73 pitches and has a 4.32 ERA in the Cactus League.

Adames' solo homer

"I feel good," Perez said. "The last couple of innings I was behind in the count. I was trying to stay back with my pitches, but I was opening my shoulder. At the same time, my arm was good. This is the time to work on things and get ready for the season."

Ryan Raburn had two hits for the Rockies, raising his Cactus League average to .273 as he tries to win a spot off the bench.

Desmond's great throw saves run

Josh Morgan added a solo home run in the ninth for Texas.

Morgan's solo blast cuts lead

Up next for the Rockies: In the final game before the Rockies get their first off-day of the spring, Jon Gray will make his fifth appearance and third start of Cactus League play against the Brewers on Tuesday in a 1:10 p.m. MT start. Gray, the team's No. 1 pick (third overall) in the 2013 Draft, has a 3.09 ERA in 11 2/3 innings of work. Right-handers Christian Bergman and Scott Oberg, and lefty Boone Logan also are slated to pitch.

Up next for the Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis will be on the mound when the Rangers play the Padres in Peoria at 3:05 p.m. CT Tuesday. This will be Lewis' third Cactus League outing. First baseman Mitch Moreland is also expected to be in the lineup. Moreland is 4-for-22 at the plate this spring.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.