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Thursday, March 21, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 10, Angels 9

By Ron Matejko

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers (13-12-2) got back into the win column after a 10-9 walk-off victory over the Los Angeles Angels (6-14-4) on Thursday at Surprise Stadium.

What this means
Texas moved back above .500 and has won three of its past four games.

Martin
Outfielder Leonys Martin hit a walk-off three-run double with one out in the bottom of the ninth to secure the Rangers victory.

Long memories
Rangers fans gave former Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton an almost unanimous round of applause when the now Los Angeles Angels outfielder made his first plate appearance.

Lowe down
Derek Lowe gave up six runs and seven hits, including four home runs, with one walk and one strikeout in 3.2 innings. Lowe pitched three scoreless innings Monday night and appeared to tire in his final inning.

Lost lead
Texas led 7-0 after the second inning before allowing nine unanswered runs.

Bombs away
Lowe gave up four home runs in the third inning including back-to-back home runs to Albert Pujols and Hamilton. Howie Kendrick and Hank Conger hit the others as Los Angeles cut the Rangers' 7-0 lead to 7-6. Erick Aybar later took Coty Woods deep, as Texas pitchers gave up a combined five home runs on the night. The Rangers scored 10 runs but had no home runs.

Hit maker
Shortstop Elvis Andrus went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and extended his hitting streak to 11 games, going 14-for-32 (.438) during that stretch. Andrus is batting .389 this spring.

Cruz control
Nelson Cruz said he expected his WBC experience to help him hit better for the rest of spring training and the early part of the season, citing his experience following his play in the tournament in 2009. That may hold true, as Cruz went 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI in his first game with Texas since returning from playing with the Dominican Republic.

Relief picture
The full bullpen is yet to be determined, but manager Ron Washington would commit to identifying four relievers: Closer Joe Nathan, Jason Frasor, Michael Kirkman and Robbie Ross. Based on performance, the other three slots could go to any combination of left-handers Joe Ortiz and Nate Robertson, and right-handers Lowe and Woods. Randy Wells is an outside possibility if he doesn't earn the No. 5 starter job.

Special delivery
Right-hander Ben Rowen may have the most radical and unorthodox submarine delivery ever seen from a pitcher. Not only does Rowen come from underneath like a typical submariner, but he also adds a flick of his wrist at the lowest point that makes it appear as if he is almost throwing an underhand pitch. Rowen pitched 1.1 innings, throwing up all zeroes.

Six of one, half a dozen ...
The game featured a pair of six-run innings with Texas turning the trick in the bottom of the second inning and Los Angeles matching the feat in the top of the fourth.

What's next?
Texas will host the Colorado Rockies at 3:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium. Right-hander Nick Tepesch (0-1, 3.46) is the scheduled starter for Texas. Left-hander Christian Friedrich (0-1, 9.00) will take the mound for Colorado.