Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 3, Cubs 2
By Ron Matejko
SURPRISE, Ariz.--The Texas Rangers (4-7-1) have posted consecutive wins for the first time this spring following their 3-2 win against the Chicago Cubs (5-8) on Wednesday at Surprise Stadium.
What it means: The Rangers wrapped up their three-game "homestand" with a 2-1 record and will play four of their next five away from Surprise Stadium.
Ross shines: LHP Robbie Ross retired the final six batters he faced and induced seven ground-ball outs on the day. He gave up a solo home run to Scott Hairston in the first, but that was the only run he would allow. Ross gave up four hits and no walks while striking out one in four innings.
More Moreland: First baseman Mitch Moreland continued to swing a hot bat, finishing with a pair of singles and one RBI on the day. His six RBIs tie him with Nelson Cruz for the team lead. The two hits also increased his spring batting average from .263 to .333.
Ogando recovers: The sign Alexi Ogando may have turned the corner this spring occurred in the seventh inning when he face runners at second and third with none out. Ogando responded by getting the next batter to fly out to shallow center, which kept the runner at third from scoring. He then struck out the next two batters to escape the scoring threat unharmed.
Lance's Launch: DH Lance Berkman hit his first home run of the spring in the third inning off an 0-2 pitch.
K squad: Rangers pitchers combined to strike out nine Cubs hitters, led by six from Ogando. He owns the team lead with seven punchouts.
Killer Bs: Of note from the Rangers' 7-1 win over the Cubs in their 'B' game Wednesday morning: RHP Tanner Scheppers pitched a scoreless inning and struck out one while making his first appearance after missing nearly two weeks with a tight hamstring. RHP Yoshinori Tateyama also made his return after missing nearly a week with a stiff back. The 37-year old walked one and struck out two in his one inning of work.
What's next? Texas will begin a stretch of four games out of five on the road when it travels to Glendale to face the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time this spring Thursday at 2:05 p.m. CT. RHP Randy Wells (0-0, 4.50) will make his third start of the spring. RHP Chad Billingsley (0-1, 9.00) is scheduled to start for the Dodgers.