- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Pedro Ciriaco and Hanser Alberto both tripled and drove in three runs and a Texas Rangers split squad earned a 12-1 win over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.

Drew Stubbs added a hit and RBI and starter A.J. Griffin allowed a run and four hits and struck out four in five innings.

Ciriaco, Alberto, Stubbs and Griffin are all trying to win spots on the Rangers roster. Ciriaco and Alberto are competing against each other for a backup infielder job and both have hit well in spring training.

“Can’t say enough about both of them,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “I don’t think Ciriaco has made an out all spring, it seems like. He has, but he continues to swing the bat well. He’s played good defense.

“Alberto the same. I think what he did at the end of the (last) year for us, playing in the playoffs, his energy has not stopped. He’s played premium defense all over the infield for us.”

Griffin, trying to make the Rangers rotation, got some measure of satisfaction, pitching well against his former team. Griffin missed 2014 and all of 2015 because of an injury.

“I was building up the pitch count in spring training. I got up to five innings. I feel pretty good,” Griffin said. “That’s exciting stuff, being able to go out there and qualify for a win. Like I said, I’ll just keep on working and just doing my best to make good pitches as much as I can.”

Oakland’s Khris Davis hit a solo home run in the second inning off Griffin.

Ian Desmond had two hits and Ryan Rua drove in two runs for the Rangers.

A’s starter Felix Doubront went four innings and gave up seven runs and seven hits. He walked three and struck out two.

“I changed my game plan a little bit and then my mechanics started to change,” Doubront said. “It’s frustrating because I was feeling really good. But after the fourth inning, it changed a little bit. Besides that, I think all the pitches were there. That happens. It’s spring and we’ll fix that.”

GRAY THROWS MINOR LEAGUE GAME

A’s pitcher Sonny Gray threw into the seventh inning in a minor-league game on Thursday, in lieu of a major league start on his day to take the mound. Gray has made three major-league starts and has allowed eight earned runs and 15 hits over 12 2-3 innings. He’s got one more outing before opening day.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: Griffin took a hard comebacker off his left lower leg in the bottom of the first inning. He was checked by a trainer and threw a couple of pitches to see how he felt, but remained in the game. “It’s not too bad. It got mostly meat,” he said. … OF Delino DeShields who left Tuesday’s game against San Diego with right biceps soreness, is day to day and hasn’t played since.

Athletics: OF Josh Reddick fouled a couple of pitches off his ankle and foot in the sixth inning, got a look from a trainer and stayed in the game. … OF Sam Fuld will miss the rest of spring training with a sprained left shoulder.

STARTING TIME

Rangers: Banister was pleased with Griffin’s performance. “Spotted his fastball well, made one pitch with his breaking ball, left it up, hit for a home run. But for the most part, he was able to maneuver his pitches around to get his outs,” Banister said.

Athletics: Doubront has said he’s more comfortable as a starting pitcher, though he could end up as a long reliever on opening day. He had allowed only two runs and eight hits over his previous three outings.

“I was throwing the fastball most of the time,” he said. “I was feeling good throwing it. Good life. But I didn’t make that good pitch to get them out.”

UP NEXT

Rangers: Cole Hamels, selected as the opening day starter for the Rangers, faces Tyson Ross and the San Diego Padres on Friday night.

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea will pitch in the major league game Friday against the Los Angeles Angels and Jered Weaver with LHP Rich Hill, continuing his tuneup for the regular season rotation, will go Friday in a minor-league game. Hill’s next outing after that will be Oakland’s last game in Arizona on March 30.

“We think it’s a good idea to get him up six times, make sure we can get him up six or seven times and get his pitch count in. And then he’ll pitch in a regular game, which will be against the Diamondbacks here,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

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