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Culberson notches three hits, including first homer

Morales gives up unearned run, fans five over three frames in Rockies' win

Culberson notches three hits, including first homer

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A pair of pitchers vying for rotation spots this spring squared off against each other Wednesday at Surprise Stadium, with both Rangers right-hander Tommy Hanson and Rockies lefty Franklin Morales starting off shaky before settling down later in their outings.

When both starters were already long gone, the Rockies pulled away late in the afternoon to down the Rangers, 8-2.

Signed to a one-year deal just last month, Hanson made his Rangers debut Wednesday, surrendering two runs on five hits while striking out three in three innings of work. Meanwhile, Morales allowed one unearned run on three hits while punching out five in his three frames.

The Rockies got the scoring started in the first when Charlie Culberson picked on a belt-high fastball from Hanson and deposited it over the left-field wall for a solo homer. Later in the frame, Wilin Rosario smacked an RBI double down the left-field line to put his club ahead, 2-0.

In the bottom of the frame, Morales threw errantly to first base to try to pickoff Shin-Soo Choo, who singled moments before and scurried all the way to third on the error. Prince Fielder capitalized on the miscue by delivering an RBI single up the middle two batters later.

That would be all the offense either team would get off the opposing starter though as Hanson and Morales each turned in clean innings in the second and third.

The score remained frozen at 2-1 before the Rockies erupted for six runs in the seventh, highlighted by a Paul Janish two-out two RBI single. Rangers lefty Neal Cotts was charged with all six runs.

Up next: The Rockies will meet the Brewers in Phoenix, with righty Jordan Lyles making his second start of the spring at 1:05 p.m. MT on Thursday in a game that will air on MLB.TV. Acquired from the Astros during the offseason, Lyles will be making his second Cactus League start. He went two innings and gave up two runs (one earned) against the Reds in his debut. Lyles is working on delivery issues that he hopes will give him consistency.

Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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