Rapid Reaction: Rangers 8, Royals 2
|Lance Berkman joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Surprise, Ariz., to discuss spring training and how he feels better than he expected to heading into the season.
Super-sub: Texas named an emergency starter due to injury for the second consecutive game. Derek Lowe took the hill in place of Yu Darvish, who was scratched with a stiff neck. Lowe pitched three scoreless innings, allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three. His strong outing came on the heels of that of Michael Kirkman, who was equally impressive in relief of Kyle McClellan, who was scratched from Sunday's start due to injury.
Hit parade: Ian Kinsler broke out in a big way, going 3-for-3 with a two-run home run, two runs scored and a pair of singles. He has looked better at the plate of late and appeared due for a game like he had Monday night. He also had two excellent defensive plays at second base.
No ordinary Joe: LHP relief pitcher Joe Ortiz continues to be all but unhittable this spring. He pitched two scoreless innings on Monday, allowing two singles. But he followed each hit with a double play and struck out two. In nine innings, Ortiz has allowed five hits, one walk and struck out nine. His ERA is 0.00.
Nasty Nate: LHP Nate Robertson wasted no time getting through his first of two scoreless innings of work, retiring the Royals in order on only seven pitches. Robertson has not allowed a run in 10 innings.
Moreland still raking: Mitch Moreland spent a lot of time on the base paths Monday, as he went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a walk. He also scored two runs and had one RBI. Moreland leads Texas with 11 RBIs. His two hits raised his spring batting average to .395.
Hit-maker: Shortstop Elvis Andrus had a single in the second inning, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
Good glove: CF Engle Beltre made a great diving catch to end the top of the seventh inning and rob Salvador Perez of an extra base hit.
First at first: Lance Berkman went 2-for-4 in his first game at first base this spring. He was the designated hitter for all of his previous 12 games.
Sweet 17: The Rangers’ 17 hits were the second-most this spring (18 on Feb. 28 vs. Cleveland Indians).
What's next?: Texas will play its second and final game of the spring against the Chicago Cubs at HoHoKam Stadium on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m. CT. The game can be heard live on ESPN 103.3 FM. RHP Alexi Ogando (1-1, 3.48) is the scheduled starter for Texas. LHP Chris Rusin (2-0, 0.69) is expected to take the hill for Chicago.
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.