Prince Fielder makes self at home
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Prince Fielder hit a towering home run in his first at-bat in his new home, and the Texas Rangers beat Triple-A Mexican League team Quintana Roo 7-4 in an exhibition game Thursday night.
The slugger, acquired from Detroit in an offseason trade for All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler, hit a two-run homer that went an estimated 424 feet into the Texas bullpen in right-center. Fielder's fourth homer of the spring made it 2-1, putting the Rangers ahead to stay.
"He's starting to get locked in a little bit, starting to swing the bat, starting to get through some baseballs," manager Ron Washington said. "It was nice that he caught a good fastball and punched it out of the ballpark."
Donnie Murphy, claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs a day earlier, had a double and scored on Fielder's shot in the first. An inning later, Murphy hit a three-run homer -- a drive initially ruled a double before replay showed the ball cleared the 14-foot wall in left before ricocheting back onto the field.
"Good first day in a Texas Rangers uniform," Washington said.
After breaking camp in Arizona, the Rangers were home for the only time before the season opener Monday against Philadelphia. They play a pair of exhibition games against AL West rival Houston in the Alamodome in San Antonio on Friday night and Saturday.Tanner Scheppers, the converted setup man slated to start on Opening Day, allowed a hit and a run in his only scheduled inning.
Scheppers gave up a leadoff double to Jerry Owens, who scored after a pair of grounders.Colby Lewis, who missed last season while recovering from elbow surgery and then had hip surgery, threw 72 pitches over five scoreless innings Wednesday against Seattle in the last Cactus League game in Arizona. He's scheduled to pitch in a minor league game Tuesday night.
"If you judge Colby on what he did against that lineup against Seattle, he's ready," Washington said. "But this guy just came off a hip injury. We want to make certain that there's no issues."Ismael Valdez, the pitching coach for Quintana Roo, played for seven teams over 12 major league seasons (1994-2005). That included two years with the Rangers.
Valdez was 14-17 in 45 starts for Texas from 2002 tp '03. The right-hander also pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego, Seattle and Florida, with a 104-105 record and 4.09 ERA in 325 career games.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press