Texas Rangers: Jeff Francoeur

Reaction: Nick Tepesch efficient on mound

March, 3, 2014
Mar 3
5:23
PM CT
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- On the sheet that pitching coach Mike Maddux carries with him, it says that most starters are scheduled to throw two innings or 35 pitches.

Nick Tepesch made sure that pitch count got him an extra inning in Monday's 6-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The right-hander, one of those vying for a rotation spot, needed 34 pitches to get through three innings. He allowed two hits and nothing else.

The other thing Tepesch did: throw his changeup. It’s a pitch that he talked about this offseason as a key one if he wanted to claim a spot in the rotation. He said he threw it “six or seven times” and got some swings and misses and a ground ball out of it.

"I thought it was good," Tepesch said. "I buried one and kind of got lazy on one, but other than that it was a good pitch. I was in the zone with it and being in the zone with it is a big part of it -- just being able to command it in the zone. It’s not going to be effective if it’s not in the zone."

When he was done, Tepesch was congratulated by his teammates. On Monday, that included Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

"When I was done he came up and said good job just like the rest of my teammates," Tepesch said. "It was a cool thing to have him in camp. The biggest thing with him is he’s a winner and when you have people around like that and have a chance to talk to him and see how they do their thing, it’s always a good thing.”

Mixed results: Michael Choice's solid spring continued on Monday with a pinch-hit triple. Choice came in as a defensive substitute in the top of the sixth inning and then tripled in the bottom half. ... But while that was a good at-bat, his next one wasn't. Choice struckout on three pitches, unable to advance any runners. Choice is 4-for-10 in Cactus League games and, for the most part, has hit the ball hard, even on outs.

Web gem: Brent Lillibridge continues to make sure he's noticed early in spring training. While he didn't do much with the bat on Monday, he made a dazzling play on a ground ball hit by David Adams. Lillibridge, playing shortstop, ranged into the hole and made a long throw to first to get Adams by a step. It was an impressive play by the utility player, who continues to turn some heads.

Situational hitting: It may not have been the prettiest of hits, but Rangers' DH Mitch Moreland did his job in the second. With a runner at third and one out, Moreland hit a chopper out in front of the plate to score a hard-charging Alex Rios. It's those kinds of plays that hitting coach Dave Magadan is focused on improving this spring. Moreland got another chance in the fourth, with runners at the corners and one out. He hit a grounder to the right side and the Indians could not turn a double play, allowing Beltre to score.

Patient at-bat: Shin-Soo Choo is still looking for his first hit of spring training, but the leadoff hitter got on base for the first time in a Cactus League game on Monday, drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch in the third.

Briefly: Former Ranger Jeff Francoeur had two hits and two RBIs against his old team. ... Alex Rios was 2-for-2 and is now 3-for-8 in Cactus League games. ... Jurickson Profar beat out a throw to first in the eighth to drive in a run.

Lineups: Mitch Moreland back at first base

September, 4, 2012
9/04/12
5:20
PM CT
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- First baseman Mitch Moreland, who didn’t start Monday against Kansas City with a left-hander on the mound, is back in the Rangers lineup for Tuesday’s game. Moreland got into the series opener on Labor Day as a defensive replacement and delivered a hit to snap an 0-for-14 slump. The Rangers hope that hit will get Moreland going again offensively. The lineups:

RANGERS
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
DH Michael Young
LF David Murphy
C Geovany Soto
1B Mitch Moreland

ROYALS
CF Lorenzo Cain
SS Alcides Escobar
LF Alex Gordon
1B Billy Butler
C Salvador Perez
RF Jeff Francoeur
3B Mike Moustakas
DH Tony Abreu
2B Johnny Giavotella

Matchup: Matt Harrison vs. Jeremy Guthrie

August, 3, 2012
8/03/12
12:00
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers look to keep the hot bats going as they hit the road for a three-game weekend set with the Kansas City Royals. The series opener features LHP Matt Harrison vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie at 7:10 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/TXA21. A quick look at the matchup:

Harrison (12-6, 3.19): The 26-year-old will be making his 21st start of the season. ... He is coming off back-to-back losses, allowing nine runs in 13 innings in those starts. ... It is just the second time he has recorded consecutive losses this season. ... Despite setbacks in his last two starts, Harrison is 8-3 with a 2.07 ERA in his last 12 starts. ... Gave up five runs on seven hits in seven innings in his last start, which was a loss to the Chicago White Sox last Saturday. ... Has not faced Kansas City this season, but gave up three runs on four hits in just one inning of work during the All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. ... He is 2-1 with a 4.70 ERA in five games -- four starts -- against the Royals in his career. ... Only career start in Kansas City came Aug. 27, 2008, when he allowed just two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings of work.

Guthrie (3-11, 6.68 both AL and NL): The 33-year-old is slated to make his 18th start and 22nd appearance of the season. ... It will be his third start with the Royals since being acquired from the Colorado Rockies. ... Is 0-2 and has allowed 11 runs on 15 hits in 10 1/3 innings in his two starts with Kansas City. ... Has not registered a win since May 31 against the Houston Astros, when he gave up five runs on 12 hits in seven innings. ... Has gone 0-8 with five no-decisions since his last win. ... Threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his lone appearance against the Rangers this season, giving up just three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in the Rangers 4-2 win over the Rockies on June 24.

Hitters: Current Rangers are 44-for-160 (.275) against Guthrie. ... Elvis Andrus (.462) is 6-for-13 with two doubles. ... Michael Young is 10-for-25 (.400) with three doubles, a home run and five RBIs. ... Adrian Beltre is 4-for-27 (.148) with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs. ... Current Royals are 12-for-29 (.414). ... Billy Butler is 7-for-10 (.700) with a home run, a double and three RBIs. ... Yuniesky Betancourt, Jeff Francoeur and Eric Hosmer are all 1-for-3.

Up Next:

Sat. at KC: RHP Scott Feldman (5-6, 4.76) vs. LHP Will Smith (2-3, 5.94), 5:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW
Sun. at KC: LHP Derek Holland (7-6, 4.96) vs. RHP Luke Hochevar (7-9, 5.22), 1:10 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW

Lineups: Josh Hamilton in left field

May, 28, 2011
5/28/11
3:43
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The second game of the Royals-Rangers series has arrived, and Josh Hamilton and Endy Chavez are back playing in the field after recovering from injuries.

Rangers
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
DH Michael Young
3B Adrian Beltre
RF Nelson Cruz
1B Mitch Moreland
C Mike Napoli
CF Endy Chavez
P Matt Harrison


Royals
LF Alex Gordon
CF Melky Cabrera
1B Eric Hosmer
RF Jeff Francoeur
DH Billy Butler
3B Wilson Betemit
2B Mike Aviles
C Matt Treanor
SS Alcides Escobar
P Sean O'Sullivan

Rapid Reaction: Royals 2, Rangers 1 (10)

May, 19, 2011
5/19/11
10:20
PM CT

Jeff Francouer's line drive up the middle off Cody Eppley gave the Royals a 2-1 walk-off win in 10 innings over the Rangers on Thursday.

Rangers starter Derek Holland was an inning short of a complete-game shutout, but Neftali Feliz blew a save for a second straight night and kept Texas from earning a two-game road sweep.

Holland threw 113 pitches, striking out five and walking just one batter. Eric Hosmer lined sharply to center to lead off the ninth, ending Holland's night.

*Francoeur welcomed Feliz in the ninth with an opposite-field single to right field, placing two Royals on base with no outs. Feliz then got Billy Butler and Wilson Betemit to pop out before allowing a single up the middle to Mike Aviles that tied the score, 1-1. A passed ball earlier in the at-bat allowed the runners to advance to second and third.

*The Royals had 14 hits off Rangers pitching. The Rangers managed just six and left seven on base.

*Holland entered the game tied for most "blown wins" in AL with two -- meaning he left with the lead before the bullpen blew it. Make that three.

*The Rangers kept Royals starter Luke Hochevar an out short of a complete game. Yorvit Torrealba knocked him out with a single to center after Mitch Moreland reached on an infield hit. Hochevar allowed six hits and walked two while striking out four. David Murphy lined out to center off Greg Holland to end the Rangers threat.

*Chris Davis improved his average to .255 with two hits and the Rangers' only offensive strike, a home run leading off the second. Davis was in at designated hitter for Michael Young, who rested for the first time this season.

*The Rangers' outfield situation became even more worrisome when leadoff hitter Endy Chavez left in the fourth with a tight right hamstring. Andres Blanco made his first appearance in the outfield. Blanco did have an assist from right field when Jeff Francoeur tried to extend a single into a double.

*Elvis Andrus committed his 10th error of the season.

*Meanwhile, Scott Feldman made his second rehab start Thursday, allowing three runs on eight hits in six innings for Triple-A Round Rock. He threw 81 pitches.

Rangers lead Royals 2-1 after four

April, 24, 2011
4/24/11
3:17
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Three solo home runs are the scoring through four innings on a mild, overcast Easter afternoon at Rangers Ballpark.

The Rangers struck first for the third time in the three-game series, getting a towering shot from Mike Napoli in the second. Starting at catcher, Napoli deposited a Bruce Chen full-count pitch to the back of the seats in the lower bowl in left. Estimated distance was 402 feet.

Kansas City tied in up in the third on Jeff Francoeur blast off C.J. Wilson that hit halfway up the foul pole in left. Francoeur has fond memories of the park, playing for key reserve role for Texas during last season's drive to the World Series.

Adrian Beltre wants to be part of such a run this season, and so he's doing his part. The third baseman's bat continues to heat up, as demonstrated by a 391-foot drive to left to lead off the fourth that put Texas up 2-1. It was his seventh home run.

The Rangers could have had a bigger fourth after Nelson Cruz followed Beltre with a double down the right-field line. Nelson was caught two batters later in a rundown between home and third, and David Murphy made the last out of the inning getting picked off first.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If Josh Hamilton had his druthers, he'd play center field and only center field.

That's not going to happen because the Texas Rangers prefer that their MVP play left field where he's less susceptible to crashing into walls and will have fewer chances to dive for balls in the gaps in the name of making the spectacular play.

Which is exactly why Hamilton would rather play center.

"You have more chances to do that," said Hamilton, who is not in Friday's lineup against the A's in Phoenix. "I love to play defense more than anything. I love taking away from other people, not in a bad-guy sense, just having fun. Center field gives you more opportunities to do that. But, like I said I'm going to play where they put me and I don’t think about it too much."

Hamilton injured his ribs in each of the last two seasons crashing into the wall chasing down fly balls while playing center. Last season he missed almost all of September with cracked ribs. Fortunately for the Rangers, they had a comfortable lead in the American League West and got by without him. In 2009, he played in just 89 games.

Still, Hamilton doesn't seem to buy the notion that his odds of staying healthy rise substantially by playing in left instead of center.

"A quarter percent?" Hamilton asked. "I’m going to play where I’m told, but I feel comfortable in center field, I mean I do. The outfield’s the outfield. I don’t have any control where they put me in the lineup. It’s not like I’m going to go beg to be put in left field."

The Rangers hope Julio Borbon will be their long-term answer in center. But last season, as David Murphy pushed Borbon for time, Hamilton would move to center with Murphy in left. During the postseason, with David Murphy and right fielder Jeff Francoeur (now with Kansas City) platooning, Hamilton played exclusivley in center, where he made more than one spectacular play.

Borbon committed two errors in center field in the first two games of the spring, misplaying a fly ball and allowing a ball to skip under his glove. He also made a diving stab.

"Julio’s got all the talent in the world," Hamilton said. "He has the ability to be a great player in the big leagues. We’re working on him hard to get him more mentally focused because his skills are there and that’s the big thing about playing in the big leagues, it’s way more mental preparation than it is physical."

Of course, Hamilton does play a pretty physical center field. Which is why the Rangers prefer him in left.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- C.J. Wilson retired the final six batters he faced in two inning of work in Sunday's Cactus League opener against Kansas City. It was the first three batters that gave him trouble in the Royals' two-run first inning.

Wilson surrendered singles to all three and lead-off man Mike Aviles was helped along to third on a throwing error by Michael Young trying to get Melky Cabrera at first. The error led to two runs, one unearned, when Billy Butler lined a single to center.

In two innings, Wilson threw 40 pitches, 27 for strikes. He gave up just the three hits and struck out two. He did not walk a batter.

Former Rangers outfielder Jeff Francoeur made it 3-0 in the fourth with a home run to left off Rangers newcomer Dave Bush, who is fighting for a starting job. Bush pitched two innings, giving up a walk in the third, his first inning of work. The homer was the only hit he allowed and he walked two.

Mark Lowe, a potential candidate for closer if Neftali Feliz wins a spot in the rotation, was hurt by a fielding error in center by Julio Borbon that led to a run in the fifth and 4-0 Royals lead.

Surprise positional outlook: Right field

February, 3, 2011
2/03/11
8:00
AM CT
We are taking a look at each position in preparation for spring training. Stay tuned as we complete the fielders and head to the pitching mound.

Today's position: Right field

Right field has become the home of Nelson Cruz for two full seasons now after he came back up from the minors in 2008 and put together an impressive late-season performance to earn the spot. Cruz is a great example of a late bloomer and someone that altered his swing, didn't give up and has made the most of a second opportunity. He got a new contract with about a $3 million raise because of what he did.

BTW, if you want to read Cruz's story you check out my story on him leading into the postseason.

Cruz, though, spent three different stints on the disabled list, all with hamstring issues. That meant that seven different players found themselves in right field for at least three games. Cruz led the way, of course, with 94. But David Muprhy played 50 games out there and will probably get some time out there as well this season. Jeff Francoeur, who has signed with the Royals for 2011, played in 13 games. Vladimir Guerrero, the club's primary DH in 2010, was in right field for 17 games.

Cruz has made staying healthy his top offseason goal. And to do that, he enlisted the help of Darren O'Day's brother, Kyle, who filmed Cruz's running style and is working with him on some alterations to help guard against hamstring issues in the future. Read more about that here.

Cruz has a lot more than power in his arsenal. He has an excellent arm in right field, garnering attention from third-base coaches who are hesitant to send runners on a close play knowing that Cruz can get them. He had 17 stolen bases in 2010. He had 20 in 2009. And considering he played in just 108 games in 2010, that total could increase in 2011.

Most encouraging was that Cruz became a more disciplined hitter in 2010. He got better about chasing too many pitches outside of the zone. He dropped his strikeout rate per at-bat and increased his walks. Naturally, his on-base percentage whent up to .374, the highest for any full major league season in his career.

Despite not even having 400 at-bats in 2010, Cruz had a .318 average, 22 homers, 31 doubles and 78 RBIs, becoming just the fifth player in major league history with at least 30 doubles, 20 homers and 75 RBIs in 108 games or fewer.

So rather than showing up at spring training with questions about production, Cruz -- like Hamilton -- will deal with questions about his health. We'll watch that carefully this spring.

Jeff Francoeur officially a free agent

November, 10, 2010
11/10/10
2:48
PM CT
As expected, Jeff Francoeur was outrighted off the 40-man roster after he cleared waivers and declined his outright assignment. That makes him a free agent.

The Rangers acquired the 26-year-old on Aug. 31 from the Mets for infielder Joaquin Arias. Francoeur batted .340 (18-for-53) with two homers and 11 RBIs in 15 games for the Rangers after the trade. He played primarly against left-handed pitching. He was 3-for-24 in the postseason.

This doesn't mean Francoeur couldn't wind up back in Texas. But that would depend on other possible offseason moves for the Rangers, who have plenty of outfield depth at this point.

Francoeur fit into the Rangers clubhouse almost immediately and was well-liked by everyone in the organization. He had a great attitude the entire stretch run and helped keep the clubhouse loose during some stressful moments. He showed he could hit left-handed pitching, but is likely to test the market to see if there's a starting job for him somewhere.

Francoeur hit just .237 in 401 at-bats for the Mets after coming over in a trade from Atlanta in 2009.

Rapid Reaction: Texas bats quiet in loss

October, 31, 2010
10/31/10
10:31
PM CT

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The San Francisco Giants shut out the Rangers for the second time in this World Series, 4-0, to take a 3-1 lead into Game 5 on Monday. Some quick thoughts (we'll have reaction from the Rangers clubhouse soon):

* Madison Bumgarner was the hero of the night. It was a sensational performance by the rookie as he went eight shutout innings and gave up just three hits. He pitched efficiently and got ahead. In fact, he used a similar strategy to what Colby Lewis did in Game 3: He got ahead in the count and stayed aggressive. Bumgarner threw first-pitch strikes to all but five of his 24 batters. He benefitted from good defense behind him, but he allowed the Rangers to put just one runner into scoring position. It's tough to believe that Bumgarner walked his first batter on four pitches. But he sure did settle down after that.

* Bumgarner's slider was an effective out pitch. Tommy Hunter didn't have an out pitch, which caused lots of foul balls with two strikes. He was unable to finish, helping drive up his pitch count.

* Hunter was taken out after four innings. He's now made three postseason starts and hasn't pitched past four innings. He had thrown 83 pitches and given up two runs on five hits. Long at-bats wore Hunter down and he wasn't particularly sharp, but he was able to keep his team in the game until he left. Interestingly, he's exited in close games in all three playoff starts (Rangers were down 3-0 to the Rays in Game 4 and tied at 2 with the Yankees in Game 4, which the Rangers won).

* Josh Hamilton made a spectacular diving catch in shallow right-center to save a run and keep the game scoreless in the second inning. The catch came with runners on the corners and two outs.

* Umpire Jeff Kellogg missed a close call at first base in the second inning. He called Travis Ishikawa save on a double-play attempt and the replays showed Mitch Moreland had the ball in his glove and Ishikawa's foot was not yet on the bag (I had started to write the double play in my scorebook). Hunter then had to throw 11 more pitches than he should have, and Hamilton's catch kept a run from scoring. That had to make Kellogg feel better (once he sees the replay).

* Not to be outdone, Freddy Sanchez made a great defensive play to end the bottom of the second inning. Jeff Francoeur hit his hardest ball of the World Series and Sanchez jumped high in the air and snagged it. The Rangers had a runner on base with two outs at the time.

* Hunter pitched out of a jam in the first inning. Andres Torres hit an infield single (Ian Kinsler made a nice play to get to it and attempt the throw, but Mitch Moreland wasn't able to scoop the throw out of the dirt) and then stole second on a breaking pitch to Sanchez with no outs. But Sanchez grounded to third, not allowing Torres to move over. With one out, Hunter got Aubrey Huff to ground out to first and Buster Posey to ground out to short to end the frame.

* Elvis Andrus started the game with a four-pitch walk (maybe Bumgarner was nervous), but the Rangers couldn't do much after that. With a runner on first and one out, Hamilton hit a hard ball but right at second baseman Sanchez, who made a nice play on a high hop to start a double play to end the inning.

* Huff, who went to Brewer High School in Fort Worth, blasted a home run down the right-field line with a runner on to give the Giants an early 2-0 lead. It was estimated at 404 feet, which means it was well into the seats. It's just 349 feet to the wall down that line. Torres was on second when Huff hit the homer. He got there after his hard ground ball hit the first base bag and bounded down the line for a leadoff double.

* Hunter can thank Torres, Sanchez and Kellogg for driving up his pitch count. Torres and Sanchez combined to see 31 of Hunter's 83 pitches (37 percent of them). Kellogg added 11 to that count with the missed call at first.

* Rangers like to get aggressive on the bases, but were they over-aggressive in the fourth? With two outs and Hamilton at first base with the powerful Nelson Cruz up, Hamilton tried to steal second and was thrown out by catcher Posey. It's not easy to steal on Bumgarner or Posey, and I'm not sure doing it with two outs with Cruz up in a close game was the smartest play.

* Alexi Ogando came in to relieve Hunter and got the first five batters he faced. But after his second pitch to Juan Uribe, Ogando grabbed his left side. He was taken out with a strained left oblique muscle. Ogando has a 1.50 ERA this postseason and pitched well in the World Series, getting six strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings pitched. Ogando can be replaced on the roster. Is Dustin Nippert the frontrunner for that spot? Or do they go with lefty Clay Rapada or Matt Harrison?

* Double plays ended two Ranger innings, and both were started by Sanchez at second base. Hamilton hit into one in the first and Andrus hit into one in the sixth. Andrus is not easy to double up, hitting into just six ground ball double plays in 2010.

* The Giants got an important insurance run in the seventh. Edgar Renteria was on the move at first base on an 0-1 count with two outs to Torres, who smacked the ball to the right-center gap. The ball nearly bounced and went over the wall, but didn't, allowing Renteria to score easily since he was running on the play. That made it 3-0 Giants.

* Darren O'Day came in to relieve Darren Oliver in the eighth and face Posey, whom O'Day struck out to end the eighth in Game 3. But in Game 4, Posey hit a 2-2 changeup that kept going to straightaway center and landed on Green's Hill. It was the second time in this series that O'Day gave up a homer to the first batter he faced.

* Holland came in for the first time since walking three straight batters in Game 2. He walked his fourth straight as Ishikawa went to first on a 3-2 pitch. But Holland settled down and struck out Renteria and got Nate Schierholtz and Torres to end the ninth inning.

* Closer Brian Wilson came in for the Giants and finished the game. It was not a save chance because the score was 4-0 heading into the ninth.

* Former presidents George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush, came on the field in a golf cart (George W. Bush drove) and posed on the mound with Rangers president Nolan Ryan. The younger Bush then threw out the ceremonial first pitch with Ryan catching. Both Bushes received huge cheers from the sellout crowd. A handful of Giants stretching on the field as the cart came in also stopped to say hello.

Rangers lineup: Same as Game 3

October, 31, 2010
10/31/10
3:24
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers lineup from Game 3 remains the same for Game 4 as Texas faces its second-straight left-handed starter with Madison Bumgarner on the mound for the Giants. Tommy Hunter is on the mound for the Rangers.

Here's a look at the lineup:

SS Elvis Andrus
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero
LF Nelson Cruz
2B Ian Kinsler
RF Jeff Francoeur
C Bengie Molina
1B Mitch Moreland

Chemistry: Michael Young is Superman?

October, 31, 2010
10/31/10
11:00
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jeff Francouer was scrounging around the back closets of the clubhouse and came upon a life-size poster of Michael Young and couldn't resist having some fun before Game 3 of the World Series.

So when Young showed up to the clubhouse on Saturday, taped to one of the columns near his locker was the poster with a Superman cape.

"I thought it would look good out here," Francoeur said. "Mickey hadn't even seen it. It had been back there for about two years. We brought it out and if we win a couple here, maybe we'll take it on the road with us. I added the cape. I might add a few more things to it [Sunday]."

Francoeur said the whole point was to keep everyone at ease. That's actually one of the biggest things he's done for this club. Besides hitting lefties down the stretch, Francoeur immediately fit in with the clubhouse chemistry.

"It was just to try to keep guys loose," Francoeur said. "This is a team that has stayed loose and played well. We did that tonight. We all came in and we were watching football together, hanging out and playing cards. I think that's the only way to do it. You're in the World Series, so have fun."

Young just chuckled at the poster and pointed all questions toward Francoeur.

"That was Frenchy's deal," Young said, laughing. "I don't know why he did it."

Rangers feed on energy of crowd

October, 31, 2010
10/31/10
9:30
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers clubhouse was buzzing with kudos for the crowd, the largest in the history of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. A total of 52,419 watched Game 3 of the World Series. And they were loud.

"It's great playing in front of the home crowd," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "You go from San Francisco and it's always tough to play on the road. Everyone is more comfortable at home. We enjoy playing here and the crowd has been great for us."

The fans had white towels and waved them for a national TV audience. They cheered wildy from the player introductions to Mitch Moreland's homer to Neftali Feliz's final strike to seal the game.

"The fans were electric [Saturday]," Jeff Francoeur said. "With two outs in the ninth inning, it got louder than it did even when we beat the Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS. It helps to have Nolan throw to Pudge. Not many teams have a guy with a leg kick like Nolan does and try to throw 90 on the first pitch. It was a huge win for us."

The win guarantees that home crowd will see two more World Series games in Arlington with Game 4 tonight and Game 5 on Monday.

"We wanted to get back home," Washington said. "We felt comfortable here.We knew we could finally put a good game together and we did."

Rangers Lineup: Usual formation vs. LHP

October, 30, 2010
10/30/10
2:09
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers are going with their usual lineup against a left-handed pitcher in the postseason. That includes Jeff Francoeur in the outfield. Mitch Moreland, who has solidified the starting first base job against lefties and righties, is also in the lineup as expected. Here it is:

RANGERS
SS Elvis Andrus
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero
LF Nelson Cruz
2B Ian Kinsler
RF Jeff Francoeur
C Bengie Molina
1B Mitch Moreland

GIANTS
CF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
1B Aubrey Huff
C Buster Posey
LF Pat Burrell
RF Cody Ross
3B Juan Uribe
DH Pablo Sandoval
SS Edgar Renteria

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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