Fielder Hot As Rangers Beat Padres 8-4
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) – Prince Fielder kept up his hot spring training start by lining an RBI single in a two-run first inning and then doubling in the Texas Rangers’ 8-4 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday.
Acquired from Detroit in an offseason trade, Fielder is batting .400 (6 for 15) in spring training. His sixth-inning double down the right-field line off Alex Torres started a six-run inning that included Jurickson Profar’s grand slam and ended on Fielder’s popout to second. Fielder also lined an RBI single off Ian Kennedy in a two-run first inning.
“We’re trying to make sure he doesn’t peak today or tomorrow,” Washington said, smiling. “I want him to peak when we get … out of here.”
“Right now he’s getting on some fastballs in some fastball counts and he’s not missing them,” Washington said.
Rangers starter Alexi Ogando allowed one run — unearned — and five hits in three innings. Kennedy settled down to retire nine straight in three innings.
Rangers: Ogando had an effective fastball and changeup and 35 of his 44 pitches were strikes.
It was a promising outing after a nightmare 2013 season that included three stints on the disabled list.
“I worked very hard during the offseason,” Ogando said through an interpreter. “I came in shape and I think I’m a lot healthier.”
Newly signed left-hander Joe Saunders is scheduled to pitch in a “B” game Friday against Kansas City.
Padres: Kennedy gave up three hits and two runs, the second coming on a balk when he stumbled on his delivery. He struck out two and threw 43 pitches in three innings.
Padres third baseman Chase Headley participated in fielding drills for the first time since straining his right calf Feb. 22. Headley took grounders hit right at him. Next up: some running on grass Friday.
“We’re cranking up,” said Headley, who started hitting in the cage earlier this week. “We’re definitely close.”
Rangers: Outfielder Engel Beltre was a late scratch because of continued pain from left shin splints. . Outfielder Alex Rios was unavailable with an oblique strain.
Padres: Outfielder Cameron Maybin was scheduled to meet with doctors in San Diego Thursday to determine if he’ll need surgery on his ruptured biceps tendon. . Outfielder Carlos Quentin was given another day off as he returns from knee surgery. . Casey Kelly threw a bullpen session as he recovers from reconstructive elbow surgery. Manager Bud Black said he’ll likely start the season in extended spring training.
After being tagged for four runs on six hits in his first outing for Texas, 42-year-old Jose Contreras allowed two hits and struck out two in three scoreless innings.
“He made some adjustments and you could see, the ball was really diving hard,” Washington said.
Torres struggled in his San Diego debut. The lefty reliever got only two outs and allowed five runs and three hits. He walked two and threw a wild pitch.
“Tough day,” Torres said. “I need to work on my fastball command.”
The Venezuelan, acquired in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay, missed the first 12 days of camp with a visa issue.
IMPROVING HIS CHANCES
San Diego’s Tommy Medica hit a three-run home run in the ninth off Cory Burns, raising his spring average to .550 (11 for 20).
A catcher in college at Santa Clara, the 25-year-old had to switch to first base following a serious shoulder injury. He’s also doing outfield drills two to three times a week in his quest to make the roster.
“You’ve got to be versatile in the National League,” Medica said. “Any little thing like that can help you make the team.”
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