Norris helps Padres stay red-hot vs. Rangers

Norris helps Padres stay red-hot vs. Rangers

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Catcher Derek Norris left his mark all over the box score as he led the Padres to a 17-5 win over Rangers on Tuesday afternoon in Cactus League action at Peoria Stadium.

Norris went 2-for-4 with a monster home run and four RBIs to raise his spring average to .344. On defense, he threw out a pair of runners trying to steal.

Over their last three spring games, the Padres have scored 37 runs on 53 hits, and they scored at least one run in seven of eight innings against the Rangers.

"I think the guys are starting to swing better, especially guys we are going to rely on this year, getting more comfortable in the box," manager Andy Green said. "Sometimes what they're asked to do early in camp, probably had their wheels turning a little, it was stuff they hadn't been exposed to with [hitting coach] Alan [Zinter] and now it seems like those guys are really buying in and we're seeing results."

Norris' two-run double

Norris' one mistake came in the first when he committed an error trying to catch a Robinson Chirinos popup, but Norris promptly caught Chirinos stealing to end the frame.

Norris nabs Chirinos

Rougned Odor continued to hit at a torrid pace for the Rangers as his first-inning RBI double was his sixth hit in his last 11 at-bats. Odor promptly stole third, his third stolen base of the spring, and scored on Mitch Moreland's sacrifice fly.

Odor's RBI double

Elvis Andrus also had a good day at the plate. The shortstop went 2-for-2 with a walk and is now hitting .385 this spring. Andrus has also reached base in 15 of his 31 plate appearances with 10 hits, four walks and a hit by pitch.

"That's what I'm looking for, go up there at-bat by at-bat and have a plan," Andrus said. "Sometimes in the at-bat, I'm aggressive and sometimes, I'm trying to go deep in the count. It depends on the situation. So far I feel good about my plan."

Texas' 2-0 lead didn't last long as the Padres hammered starter Colby Lewis, who gave up nine runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Norris tied the score with a two-run homer, his first of the spring, in the first and Jabari Blash, the Padres' No. 16 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, gave San Diego the lead with a solo blast leading off the second.

Blash's solo shot

The Padres kept piling on as Norris drove in another pair of runs with a double and Alexei Ramirez contributed a sacrifice fly in the third. In the fourth, starter Andrew Cashner helped himself with an RBI double.

After surrendering two runs in the first, Cashner found his rhythm. The right-hander went six innings, struck out four and gave up two runs on seven hits.

"I think he had a lot of sink today," Green said. "He had a good feel for his changeup, he's still kind of battling his slider a little bit, it's not where he wants it to be. I don't think it's where it'll be in the season, but I think by and large it was a very good outing for him."

Cashner's six solid innings

Up next for Rangers: Rookie right-hander Matt Bush is among the pitchers scheduled to face the Cubs on Wednesday at 3:05 p.m. CT in Surprise. Derek Holland will start the game with Bush to follow him. Bush was signed as a Minor League free agent in the offseason after spending over three years in Florida prisons. Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre are also expected to be the lineup for a game that can be seen live on MLB.TV.

Up next for Padres: Left-hander Drew Pomeranz, one of several pitchers fighting for the final two spots in the rotation, will make his first start of the spring on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. PT against the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Pomeranz has fared well out of the bullpen this spring, but he got hit hard in his last outing, surrendering four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. Listen live to an exclusive free webcast on padres.com.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.