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Denorfia's two-homer game not enough at Alamodome

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SAN ANTONIO -- The longest Spring Training in franchise history came to a close Saturday for the Padres, who fell to the Rangers, 5-2, before a crowd of 40,569 at the Alamodome.

After playing 36 exhibition games, the team flies to New York for Opening Day on Monday against the Mets at Citi Field -- and the regular season, by all accounts, can't get here fast enough.

"It's always a good time of year when Game 1 is around the corner," said Padres pitcher Jason Marquis.

Marquis, the No. 4 starter in the Padres' rotation, got the start in the second game of a two-game series against the Rangers in the first professional baseball games played at the Alamodome.

Marquis walked four and allowed two runs in the first inning but didn't allow another run until Rangers' Leury Garcia hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning.

"I felt pretty good, actually," Marquis said. "The ball moves differently than in Arizona so it took a while to get a different release point on the sinker."

All told, Marquis allowed five runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings with six walks and three strikeouts in his final tuneup before he makes his first start on Friday at Coors Field against the Rockies.

"You just saw some balls in and around the strike zone," Padres manager Bud Black said of Marquis. "He wasn't as good as he'll be in the regular season."

The Padres are hoping that Chris Denorfia will be, especially after he accounted for both of the team's runs with solo home runs in the fifth inning and the eighth inning.

Denorfia, who played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic earlier this month, said his biggest take from the weekend was getting that feel for the regular season -- especially playing in front of a bigger crowd, which wouldn't happen in Arizona.

"It was nice to play in front of a big crowd and get a feel again for what the regular season is like," said Denorfia. "We were able to get out of here healthy, which is important. I think we can call it a success."

The Padres' relief work was good on Saturday, as Tyson Ross -- the No. 5 starter -- threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings, Andrew Cashner retired the only batter he faced and Donn Roach continued his strong spring with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

Roach, who will start the opener on Thursday for the Padres' Double-A affiliate here in San Antonio, did not allow a hit, struck out two and got five groundball outs. Just what a sinkerballer wants.

"The scouting reports on him were right, he's got a legitimate sinker," Black said of Roach, who finished the spring with a 1.93 ERA. "I like the delivery. He's got a nice arm and spins the ball well."

The Padres hit five home runs in the cozy confines of the Alamodome, as Will Venable, Jedd Gyorko and Jonathan Galvez each hit home runs in Friday's 5-4 loss. The Rangers had the one home run by Garcia in the weekend series.

Now it's on to New York and the start of the regular season.

"I'm lucky to get through another Opening Day. … The longer I'm in this game, the more I appreciate it," Black said. "I think our guys are, too."

Up next: In two words: Opening Day. The Padres are off on Sunday before the regular-season opener on Monday against the Mets at Citi Field. Right-hander Edinson Volquez gets the start, his third Opening Day start (Reds in 2011, Padres in '12). The Padres like that Volquez was pitching in high-pressure situations earlier this spring for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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