Texas Rangers Win Two In Split Squad Games
By Kenneth Nash
On Thursday and Friday, the Texas Rangers played in split squad games and went 2-2 against their Cactus League opponents.
Friday v. Mariners
In the first game Thursday, the Texas Rangers took on AL West rival, the Seattle Mariners and dropped the game 7-1. Minor leaguer Victor Payano got the start for the Rangers and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits in 2 innings of work. Reliever, Pedro Payano, had a good appearance out of the bullpen throwing 2.2 innings for Texas giving up no runs on 3 hits and striking out 3 Mariners.
At the plate, the Rangers struggled, putting together just 6 hits in the loss. Ian Desmond drove in the lone run for Texas when he doubled home Alex Burg in the third. A large group of the Rangers regulars in the field stayed in Arizona when the team split for the weekend however the Texas Rangers struggled to gain any sort of momentum in the game.
Friday v. Royals
The Rangers won by way of walkoff, 7-5, on Thursday against the Royals. Derek Holland got the start on the mound for Texas, throwing 3.1 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and 4 strikeouts. Phil Klein shined on the mound in relief throwing 4 innings for the Texas Rangers of hitless, shutout ball.
Hanser Alberto led the way at the plate for the Rangers going 2-2 and raising his Spring Training average to .318. The hero of the ballgame however was Lewis Brinson who replaced Delino DeShields in center field and hit the 3-run walkoff homerun to right center field giving Texas the win.
Saturday v. Royals
In the second matchup in two days against Kansas City, the Rangers rolled the defending champs in a 13-6 win. AJ Griffin got the start for Texas as he continues his quest to become the team’s fifth starter once the season starts. He went 3.2 innings allowing 3 runs on 3 hits but striking out 5 batters. In relief, Cesar Ramos got the win for the Texas Rangers throwing 3 innings and giving up just 1 run.
At the plate, Drew Stubbs went 2-3 with 3 RBI after replacing DeShields in center. Along with Stubbs, Pedro Ciriaco continued to impress going 3-3 and bumping his Spring Training batting average to .500 so far.
Saturday v. Diamondbacks
In the second game for Texas on Saturday, the Rangers fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 11-1 in Scottsdale. Chi Chi Gonzalez took the loss, falling to 1-1 on the spring. In 3.1 innings of work he allowed 7 runs on 8 hits and walked 2 D-Backs. This was one of the worst outings Gonzalez has had in recent memory and doesn’t serve him well as he tries to become the fifth starter for Texas.
At the plate, the Rangers struggled to put together runs however Rougned Odor hit well going 2-3 and improving to .364 on the spring season. Joey Gallo got the start at third for Texas but was unable to produce at the plate going 0-3 on the day.