PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — In his final tuneup before the season opener, Jake Peavy's swing looked better than his sinker.
The San Diego Padres ace and reigning NL Cy Young Award winner allowed four runs on four hits over three innings in a 12-7 loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. He struck out five and walked one. He hit a solo homer in the third inning.
Peavy said the 50-pitch outing was his best of the spring. He's scheduled to start against the Houston Astros at Petco Park on Monday night.
"I felt real good," Peavy said. "It was definitely the best I've thrown all spring command-wise. My body felt good and my arm felt good. I'm ready to go and excited."
Peavy went 19-7 with a 2.54 ERA and 240 strikeouts in unanimously winning the Cy Young last year.
San Diego's Brian Giles hit a 430-foot homer and singled, and Kevin Kouzmanoff and Khalil Greene each had two hits.
Michael Young was 3-for-5 with three RBIs for Texas and Josh Hamilton, who's hitting .455 this spring, homered and doubled. Hank Blalock also had two hits.
Luis Mendoza, who was selected the Rangers' fifth starter, is likely to miss the start of the season with a blister on his right middle finger. Mendoza, who was 15-4 at Double-A Frisco last year, won't see his turn in the rotation until April 12 and is likely to make a minor league start on April 7.
"We don't expect it to be an issue after a week or so," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "He certainly deserves to make the team … but we're just going to DL him and let it die down."
The Rangers also announced that right-hander Josh Rupe earned a bullpen job. That leaves Robinson Tejada, who is out of minor league options, and Wes Littleton in competition for the remaining job in Texas' bullpen.
Also, the Rangers announced catcher Gerald Laird, who was 2-for-3, the starter and Adam Melhuse the backup after they optioned catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to minor league camp along with reliever Kameron Loe.
The Padres also made a move, acquiring first baseman-outfielder Justin Huber from Kansas City for a player to be named. Huber, who is hitting .346 with seven RBIs this spring, is out of minor league options and will open the season with San Diego.
"He comes with a good bat and has right-handed power," manager Bud Black said. "He gives us a nice weapon."
The Padres paved the way for Huber's arrival by optioning infielder Luis Rodriguez to Triple-A Portland. Rodriguez was hitting .387 this spring.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.