Tyler Mahle’s last tuneup before the regular season begins was not one that he will clip and save in his scrapbook.
The Cincinnati Reds 23-year-old righthanded rookie, No. 3 in the rotation, was a batting practice pitcher Monday night in Arlington, Tex., against the Texas Rangers.
In four innings, Mahle gave up six runs, 10 hits, didn’t record a strikeout and gave up a bundle of loud outs.
The Reds were playing one of the few teams with a worse spring training record than themselves — the Rangers were 8-and-22 to Cincinnati’s 10-18-2.
But the Rangers scored a 6-5 victory, making the six runs they scored against Mahle in the first four inning hold up.
Mahle had been the best and most consistent starter for the Reds all spring, but on this night he was an easy target for the Rangers.
They scored three runs in the first inning, an inning started by a bunt single from Delino DeShields Jr. Before the inning ended, Mahle had given up three runs and four hits, including a mammoth two-run home run to center field by Noram Mazaro.
The Reds came back to take a 4-3 lead, scoring one in the second on Jose Peralta’s infield out RBI, and three in the third on a bases-loaded three-run triple by Scooter Gennett.
Mahle, though, didn’t take advantage of the rescue. He gave up tharee more in the bottom of the third on a run-scoring double by former Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and another tape measure home run, this one to right field by Roughed Odor.
Only one more run would be scored in this one and that came in the sixth when Reds left fielder Adam Duvall hit his first home run of the spring, cutting the Texas lead to 6-5.
The Reds made an mild effort to score in the ninth inning against Jesse Chavez, the ninth pitcher of the night used by Texas manager Jeff Bannister.
Rosell Herrara singled to open the ninth and took second on a wild pitch, putting the tying run at second with no outs.
But Brandon Dixon struck out, Cliff Pennington flied to left and Phillip Ervin lined to center to end it.
The Reds gathered only six hits, two after the third inning, in their next-to-last exhibition game before the season opener against Washington Thursday in Great American Ball Park. Gennett owned two of the six hits.
After Mahle, the Reds bullpen shut down the Rangers for four innings on no runs and one hit.
In order, it was Wandy Peralta (2 2/3 innings, no runs, no hits, one walk, four strikeouts), Kevin Quackenbush (2/3, no runs, one hit, no walks, one strikeout) and Jared Hughes (2/3, no runs, no hits, no walks, one strikeout).