Reaction: Prince Fielder gets 'lucky' on HR

February, 27, 2014
Feb 27
5:29
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The first "ooh" moment of the spring came in the third inning of Thursday's game, when Texas Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder hit a rope down the right field line and over the back wall of the Rangers' bullpen for his first homer. It was out quickly as the Rangers took an early 4-0 lead and went on to win 11-7.

"I just got lucky," Fielder said. "He threw it where my bat was going."

So are you saying you could hit it farther?

"No, I didn’t say that at all," Fielder said. "I swung hard and I hit it."

It was an early reminder of the kind of power that Fielder can bring to the middle of the Rangers' lineup. And what happens when you throw him a fastball that gets a little too much of the plate. It was Fielder's only hit in two at-bats.

"It’s a good feel-good," Fielder said about the homer. "Obviously they don’t count, but they’re definitely good for you mentally."

Fielder said he wasn't going out on the field with any particular goal in mind for his first spring game with Texas.

"I just wanted to see the ball and hit it hard," Fielder said. "All the technical stuff, I try to save for the batting cage and everything, the extra work. But during the game, you just try to play baseball, try to be natural about it."

Other game notes:

* RHP Tommy Hanson pitched 1 1/3 innings with no hits, an unearned run, a walk and a strikeout. His fastball velocity was 89-to-90 mph and he didn't get much help from the defense behind him. When Hanson came in, the Rangers took out all of their starters.

* RF Michael Choice had two hits Thursday and both were off lefties -- Bruce Chen and Danny Duffy. Choice's first at-bat was a hit-and-run he executed it perfectly. If Choice makes this team, he's likely to get at-bats against left-handed pitchers. So to start spring strongly against them isn't a bad thing.

"I want him to do exactly what he did," manager Ron Washington said. "I like his bat head and how he's thinking out there."

* J.P. Arencibia had a double to right-center field and caught Darvish's solid start. You can read about Darvish's outing here.

* 3B Adrian Beltre was all over the bases Thursday. He doubled in the second and scored on Mitch Moreland's single. He walked in the third after Fielder's homer and got to second on a ball in the dirt.

* OF Brad Snyder, who hit well in both intrasquad games, had a double and a walk.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.12 123 158
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .325
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 71
RA. Beltre 74
OPSA. Beltre .880
ERAC. Lewis 5.12
SOY. Darvish 182