SAN ANTONIO -- There was baseball at the Alamodome, and the dimensions were unique, to say the least.
Leonys Martin hit the go-ahead single in the sixth inning as the Texas Rangers edged the San Diego Padres 5-4 in exhibition play Friday night in the first baseball game played in the Alamodome.The teams were scheduled to play again Saturday afternoon in a stadium designed for football -- and just about every other sport, except baseball. The configuration meant that the wall down the line in right field was wedged in to measure 285 feet away from home plate, 16 feet high and draped by a tarp that brought reminders of the days in the Metrodome in Minnesota.The Padres didn't need it to build a 2-0 lead through the fourth with long home runs by Will Venable in the No. 2 slot in the first off Rangers starter Alexi Ogando, and Jedd Gyorko in the fourth inning."Those are out of any ballpark," Padres manager Bud Black said. "If (Venable) hits that one at Petco (in San Diego), it hits the sand (well past the outfield wall)."Trailing 3-2, the Rangers opened their half of the sixth inning with singles by David Murphy and Jose Felix and a double down the right-field line by Mitch Moreland. That sent home Murphy to tie the game, and Texas got the lead when Martin followed with his second infield hit.Moreland moved over to third and scored when Padres reliever Huston Street was called for a balk.The Padres have their Double-A affiliate in San Antonio, and one of their own added a late home run. Jonathan Galvez, who hit six home runs in 82 games last year with the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League, drilled a solo homer over the 354-foot sign in straightaway left field with two outs in the ninth.Venable was 3-for-4 at the plate, accounting for more than half of the Padres' five hits. Three of San Diego's hits were home runs, two off Rangers starter Ogando. He also walked three."He didn't have his best stuff, and (when) you don't have your best stuff and you keep your team in the ballgame, I think you're out there pitching well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He walked guys, but he pitched around that. We got double plays. The guys he walked didn't score on us."After the end of the two-game swing at the Alamodome on Saturday, the Rangers jump right into opening day by making the approximate 200-mile trip down Interstate-10 to Houston to play the Astros on Sunday.
This was the first baseball game conducted at the Alamodome in the 20 years it has been open, however several teams held spring training in San Antonio until 1941 when the St. Louis Browns and Boston Braves trained here. . The last time a Major League game was played in San Antonio came in April 1999 when the Houston Astros played the Detroit Tigers in an exhibition at the city's Double-A ballpark. . The first pitch was thrown by San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and caught by former Rangers catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. ... The Padres made what are expected to be their final roster moves by optioning outfielder Kyle Blanks and left-handed pitcher Tommy Layne to Triple-A Tucson.