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Berkman Hits First Homer as Ranger

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Infielder Lance Berkman.

    Lance Berkman showed he still has plenty of pop in his bat on Wednesday when he hit his first spring home run, and the first homer in a Rangers uniform against a familiar foe, the Chicago Cubs.

    As a member of the NL Central for his entire career with the Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals, Berkman is plenty familiar with the Cubs, and vice versa, and they had to have been sighing when he went yard on an 0-2 pitch in Wednesday's Cactus League game.

    So far this spring, Berkman is hitting .250 after missing the first couple of weeks of spring training with some calf soreness. He's still trying to get back to 100 percent after msising most of last season with the Cardinals because of a knee injury that eventually required surgery.

    The Rangers are expecting and hoping to see Berkman fill the void in the lineup left by Josh Hamilton, who signed with the Rangers' arch-enemy Los Angeles Angels. Berkman will primarily play designated hitter and hit third in the lineup, Hamilton's old spot.

    While Berkman's spring average of .250 leaves some to be desired, his on-base percentage is exactly where you expect to see a Berkman OBP, well over .400 at .438 as he has drawn four walks and struck out just twice.