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.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.