Sunday, March 17, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers win one, lose one
By Ron Matejko
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers split their two split-squad games on Sunday. In one game, Texas dropped a 4-3 decision to over the Seattle Mariners (15-7) at Peoria Sports Complex. Texas (11-11-2) evened its record on the day with an 8-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs (10-13) at Chapman Field in Las Vegas.
What this means: Texas remains at .500 after splitting both pairs of split-squad games this weekend. The Rangers lost all three games of its spring series to division-rival Seattle while avenging a Saturday loss to Chicago with Sunday's win to split the weekend set in Las Vegas.
Perfect replacement: Michael Kirkman had an excellent performance on Sunday during his emergency start for injured Kyle McClellan, who was originally scheduled to take the mound. Kirkman pitched three perfect innings, striking out two while extending his scoreless spring to nine innings.
Moreland mashing: 1B Mitch Moreland continues to show he may be heading for a breakout season. Moreland has hit well this spring and in Sunday's game in Las Vegas went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run. He leads the Rangers with three home runs and 10 RBI while hitting .361.
Out of the Woods: Rookie reliever Coty Woods continues to have a standout spring. The right hander strengthened his case to be considered for a bullpen spot after pitching two hitless innings with two strikeouts in Las Vegas. Woods lowered his spring ERA to 2.16 and has nine strikeouts in 8.1 innings.
Grimm all smiles: Justin Grimm continues to distance himself from a rough beginning to his spring after pitching two scoreless innings on Sunday. He also pitched well in his third appearance on March 10, allowing one run in three innings after getting shelled in his first two outings. Grimm is one of the contenders for the open fifth-starter job and put forth his best outing of the Cactus League season.
Big blue: Jim Adduci hit a 420-foot triple when his deep drive hit off the blue monster, a high wall that stands beyond the center-field fence at the Peoria Sports Complex. The blast appeared to hit the wall high enough to clear a white line that indicates a home run, but that was not the ruling on the field.
Easy come ... Texas scored two runs in the top of the eighth to take a 3-2 lead. The advantage was short-lived however, as Wilmer Font allowed a two-run home run to Kendrys Morales with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, as the Mariners moved back on top, 4-3.
Moore in charge: With manager Ron Washington joining the club for its split-squad games in Las Vegas, bench coach Jackie Moore managed today's game in Peoria, the third time he has done so this spring. Moore managed the Oakland A's from 1984-86.
What's next? Texas will play its first night game of the spring when it hosts the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium on Monday at 8:05 p.m. CT. The game can be seen live on TXA21. RHP Yu Darvish (0-1, 1.04) is the scheduled starter for Texas. RHP Ervin Santana (0-0, 2.00) is expected to take the hill for Kansas City.