Rios makes impact in Rangers debut

August, 10, 2013
8/10/13
11:29
PM CT
HOUSTON -- What a way to get things started with a new team.

Alex Rios began his Texas Rangers tenure in the best way possible, hitting a tying triple and later scoring the go-ahead run on a play at the plate. The Rangers held on for a 5-4 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night, moving them into first place by themselves in the American League West.

[+] EnlargeAlex Rios
AP Photo/Pat SullivanAlex Rios had a sparkling debut for the Rangers, getting two hits, including a triple, and scoring what proved to be the winning run.
The Rangers acquired Rios from the Chicago White Sox on Friday for a player to be named. That player is expected to be Triple-A shortstop Leury Garcia.

Rios wasn't able to make it to Houston for Friday night's game, but his debut was worth the wait. He was 2-for-3 with a single in the fourth inning and his triple in the top of the eighth. Rios also had a walk.

"He's a clutch guy," said Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who had a tying home run in the seventh inning. "He knows how to drive balls and bring guys in."

Rios, attractive to the Rangers because of his power and speed, played a big role in the pivotal top of the eighth. The Astros had regained the lead after Andrus' home run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh, giving them a 4-3 lead.

Rios' teammate for four seasons in Chicago, A.J. Pierzynski, started the rally in the top of the eighth with a long double to left-center field with one out. Rios followed by lining a single to center field off Astros reliever Lucas Harrell. It turned into a triple when Astros center fielder Brandon Barnes made an ill-advised diving attempt on the sinking line drive, allowing Pierzynski to score to tie things. Rios made it to third base.

"I saw it going by him," Rios said. "I just took advantage of it after that."

Rios wasn't done. Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland hit a sharp ground ball to second base with the Astros playing the infield in. Rios, running on contact, arrived a little before Jose Altuve's throw and jarred the ball away from catcher Jason Castro. It was ruled an error, and Rios scored to give the Rangers a 5-4 lead.

Still, Rios' hustle on the play mattered.

"I was just trying to get there," Rios said. "As quick as I could. I had a good chance to get to the plate and get the ball out. It worked out perfectly."

His first night worked out about as well as it could have. The Rangers won for the 11th time in 12 games, and the newcomer played a big part.

"Obviously when you come to a new team, you want to do well," Pierzynski said. "We're not asking him to be a savior or carry the team. We're just asking him to do what he's capable of doing. That's what you saw tonight."

Rios couldn't have felt better about it as he celebrated his first win with the Rangers.

"It gives me a little bit of confidence and a little bit of motivation," Rios said. "The welcome I got from the guys, it's unbelievable."

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

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.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Martin Perez
WINS ERA SO IP
2 2.70 12 20
OTHER LEADERS
BAE. Andrus .309
HRE. Andrus 1
RBIA. Rios 7
RE. Andrus 8
OPSS. Choo .796
ERAY. Darvish 0.00
SOY. Darvish 15