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Rangers 7, Reds 2

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SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP)

Bronson Arroyo was pretty sure he avoided a serious injury.

Arroyo left his start in the sixth inning Sunday after getting hit on his pitching hand by David Murphy's line drive during Cincinnati's 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Back in the Reds' clubhouse, Arroyo had his right hand in a bandage but was optimistic he wouldn't miss a start. X-rays at Surprise Stadium did not detect a break.

''I thought my knuckle had exploded, but none of it is broke,'' Arroyo said. ''I'll pitch. I've got some work to do. It's just going to be a few more hours in the training room.''

Arroyo, who has won 12 or more games in four of the past five seasons, is penciled in as the team's No. 3 starter.

''He hit it right on the screws,'' Arroyo said. ''My hand was just dangling down and it ricocheted off my left forearm and left a mark over there. I knew the game was over for me for the day. Regular season, it may have been a different story. Getting hit that hard, I needed to get some treatment.''

Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker feared the worst as he rushed to the mound.

''I could hear it,'' Baker said. ''The first thing is you have bad visions and stuff. He told me it was broken when I first went out there.''

Baker said ''so far'' the medical reports were good, but pointed out, ''there are so many small bones in your hand.''

''You just hate it happens this late in the spring or ever,'' Baker said. ''But if we bit a bullet then that's probably one of the most fortunate things that happened to us so far this year.''

The 36-year-old Arroyo intends to make his next exhibition start.

''I'll be all right,'' he said. ''Just as long as it doesn't swell so ridiculous that it starts to affect the middle finger, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be fine. He got me real nice.''

It was the second straight day a Reds starting pitcher was sent for X-rays. Mat Latos left in the sixth inning Saturday when Geovany Soto's comebacker struck his left ankle. X-rays were negative.

''We've got to get out of here healthy,'' Baker said.

Arroyo was charged with three runs and nine hits in 5 1-3 innings. He took the loss.

''It's funny, I was just having a conversation with (Logan) Ondrusek and (J.J.) Hoover down in the tunnel,'' Arroyo said. ''I'm almost tempted in spring training at this point in my career to just throw heaters on the inner half and not leave them out over the plate to not give guys a chance to do that to me.

''(Lance) Berkman already hit a missile back at me and so did (Craig) Gentry. The last inning I wanted to get some work in. I was throwing as hard as I could at max effort because I wanted to get a little sore and finish up in the bullpen.''

Instead, he finished in the trainer's room.

Berkman went 2 for 2 with a home run and three RBIs. Gentry tripled in the first and scored on Berkman's sacrifice fly. Berkman homered into the Rangers' bullpen beyond the right-field fence after Gentry singled in the fourth.

Alexi Ogando pitched six scoreless innings for Texas. Ogando, set to be a starter this season after spending last year in the bullpen, limited the Reds to three hits. He walked one and struck out five, throwing 56 strikes in 82 pitches.

''It's really hard to figure out which one is the best outing, but it is one of the better ones I had in spring training,'' Ogando through a translator. ''I just focused on pitch-by-pitch and focusing on my slider and throwing strikes down in the zone.

''You work day-in and day-out and try to have the best results. It was really great to have this outing before the season starts.''

Joe Nathan replaced Ogando and worked a spotless seventh, striking out two. Cory Burns struck out the side in a perfect ninth.

NOTES: Reds third base coach Mark Berry told the team he has been diagnosed with cancer on his tonsils and neck lymph nodes. Berry, 50, returned Wednesday to Cincinnati to have a biopsy, which came back positive. ... The Rangers claimed LHP Brad Mills off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. Mills won his only start for the Angels last season, throwing five scoreless innings against Baltimore. He went 5-10 with a 5.86 ERA for Triple-A Salt Lake. ... The Rangers assigned RHP Johan Yan, non-roster invitee, to minor league camp.

Tagged: Angels, Rangers, Reds, Rays, Lance Berkman, Bronson Arroyo, Craig Gentry, Alexi Ogando

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