Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Prince helps Rangers reach win column in Oakland

Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder had a pair of run-scoring singles to back right-hander Colby Lewis, who limited the A's to one run over six innings in a 3-1 win at the Coliseum on Tuesday to even this four-game series.
The same A's starting nine that collected eight runs in Monday's season opener managed only three hits against Lewis and five overall. Lewis walked two and struck out four.
"He just had a really good cutter-slider going," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "We talked about it before, that he's not going to give in. The counts he gets behind, he's not going to throw you fastballs."
Right-hander Jesse Hahn, facing the Rangers for the first time in his career, was equally impressive for much of the night in his A's debut. Hahn held the Rangers to one run over the first four innings, ahead of Fielder's second RBI hit in the fifth that got past right fielder Craig Gentry, allowing an extra run to score. More >
Fielder delivers: Fielder, who hit .216 with runners in scoring position in his limited time last season, came through in his first two chances this season. Fielder had a two-out RBI single in the third to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. He batted with runners at the corners and one out in the fifth, and lined another single to right. That scored one run, and another came home when Gentry let the ball get passed him for an error.
"That's my game," Fielder said. "I'm a run producer. Anytime you can drive in runs and help the team win, it feels pretty good."
Missed opportunity: Searching for scoring opportunities all night, the A's got a golden one in the seventh and let it go to waste. Billy Butler led off the inning with a base hit against Rangers right-hander Keone Kela, who was making his Major League debut, and Ike Davis followed with a walk. But Brett Lawrie struck out for a third time, this one on three pitches, and after Stephen Vogt singled to load the bases for Marcus Semien, Kela got the A's shortstop to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Beltre defense saves first: Third baseman Adrian Beltre made two excellent defensive plays in the first after the first two hitters reached on an infield single and four-pitch walk. Lewis fell behind 3-1 on Ben Zobrist and got him to pop up down the left-field line. Left fielder Ryan Rua had no chance, but Beltre raced down the line and made a basket catch with his back to home plate. Butler then hit a sharp grounder that Beltre grabbed going to his left and turned into an inning-ending double play. More >
Golden sombrero: Lawrie struck out four times on just 12 pitches, with only one registering as a fastball. His final strikeout, coming against Rangers closerNeftali Feliz, ended the game.
"Just one of those games," said Lawrie. "I felt I went in there with a good approach. Just didn't attack early, and they ended up getting offspeed ahead early."
"That's what we have seen from Prince all spring. The long ball is one thing but Prince drives in runs. He loves those situations. It was nice to see and I bet we see more of it." -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister, who earned his first win on Tuesday More >
Lewis' nine career wins against the A's are his most vs. any opponent.
Ross Detwiler, acquired from the Nationals in the offseason, makes his first start for the Rangers at 7:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday against the Athletics. The A's will counter with fellow left-hander Scott Kazmir, who won 15 games for them last season. He was 8-4 with 3.62 ERA at Coliseum.

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