Rapid Reaction: Rangers 6, A's 2
What this means: Texas moves above the .500 mark for the first time this spring -- an impressive feat after the team opened the spring with an 0-5-1 record.
Fast start: The two first-inning runs Texas scored were officially listed as unearned but that is in baseball terms only. Sacrifice flies drove in each run after aggressive baserunning put the first two batters of the game in scoring position. Ian Kinsler reached on a throwing error and capitalized by going from first to third on a ground ball to left by Elvis Andrus. His play forced a throw to third, which was bobbled, and an astute Andrus moved up to second. With two men in scoring position and no one out, the two deep fly balls that followed by Lance Berkman and Adrian Beltre scored the pair for Texas, giving the Rangers an early 2-0 lead.
|Manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Surprise, Ariz., to discuss how the Rangers are looking heading into the 2013 season. |
Nate the great: Nate Robertson pitched his seventh scoreless inning of the spring but almost got dinged up while doing so. With one out in the sixth and a runner at first, a line drive was hit back at the box. Robertson took a half-defensive, half-protective move to knock the ball down in front of him. Despite the close call, he kept his wits and threw the ball to second, leading to an inning-ending double play.
Excellent encore: Andrus has his second strong game since returning from playing in the World Baseball Classic, chipping in a single and double with an RBI. He is 3-for-5 since rejoining the Rangers.
Baker still white hot: Jeff Baker entered the game in the sixth inning and continued his amazing spring at the plate. He singled in his first at-bat, raising his average to a remarkable .546. He entered the game leading the Cactus League in batting average and OBP. If the Rangers don't have room for the veteran utility man on their regular-season roster, it is hard to imagine someone wouldn't give him a shot after his spring performance.
Slowly but surely: Kinsler is gradually coming out of his early spring funk. He went 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. The Rangers second baseman has reached base in eight out of the last 10 and has hits in three straight. He is yet to completely break out, but he is hitting the ball harder and is showing signs of coming around at the plate.
What's next?: Texas travels to Scottsdale Stadium to take on the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants at 3:05 p.m. CT. RHP Derek Lowe (0-0, 0.00) will make his Texas Rangers debut. RHP Matt Cain (1-2, 5.40) is the scheduled starter for the Giants.
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Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss a hypothetical Jurickson Profar for Cliff Lee trade, how he would handle Profar's playing time with the Rangers and more.
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.