Saturday, April 7, 2012
Versatile offense shows up on Opening Day
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's been a focus for the Rangers since manager Ron Washington arrived in Texas, but the club's versatile offense really took hold the past two seasons.
And in spring training again this year, Washington and his coaching staff stressed that the club find ways to manufacture runs to go along with their ability to hit home runs.
Both the long ball and small ball showed up at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for Opening Day. It started in the first inning, when Ian Kinsler doubled down the left-field line. Elvis Andrus was asked to bunt him over and he did. Then Josh Hamilton hit the first pitch he saw to center for a sacrifice fly. That put the Rangers up 1-0.
Kinsler then handled the power part of the equation, belting a homer to left off lefty John Danks in the third.
The Rangers also showed an ability to seize momentum quickly. Moments after Chicago scored twice to tie it, the Rangers came back with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. The clutch Michael Young delievered a key single.
"You have to be able to scratch for runs when you need them," Young said. "That’s what we’re going to have to do, especially when you face an Opening Day starter. You’re not going to be able to go home run, home run, double and wear out gaps. You have to push runs across."