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ST1: Rangers offensive power shows up early; beat Royals 12-7

Well, here we go. I wasn’t expecting to listen to today’s game. I went to mlb.com to see about watching a box score refresh game, and saw that the Rangers game was on MLB’s Gameday audio with the Royals feed. So that was a nice bonus. Got to listen to the game, and the Royals announcers were pretty good. A lot of other team’s broadcasters bored me, but I didn’t mind listening to these guys, as they seemed to have a clue about the other team. Also, I briefly dropped in on the live chat on the DMN Rangers blog going on. There were several remarks by Jeff Wilson at the start saying that the Rangers game was not available to listen to – even when asked by someone if it was on mlb.com. One would think he’d actually LOOK before saying it wasn’t there.
Anyway… The bottom of the first inning Was a bomb of an inning. I didn’t get to hear all of it, as I was at work, but I did hear a bunch of it. As the Royals announcers said, “Michael Young was THAT guy – making the first and last out in an inning”. In between, we put up a six spot. I heard it right when the scoring started, which was a single by Nelson Cruz, scoring Kinsler & Hamilton. That was set up by a throwing error by Mark Teahan. After that, Hank Blalock jacked a HR onto the burm for another two runs. Murphy and Davis singled after that – with Davis’ sounding really good over the radio. Salty grounded out to score Murphy for the fifth, and the scoring was finished by an RBI single by Elvis Andrus. A heck of a way to get started in Spring Training.
Kris Benson was good in the first inning, allowing just a single, which was wiped out on a double play. The second inning wasn’t as smooth, as he allowed an enormous home run to Billy Butler.
However, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz picked that up immediately by jacking their first home runs of the spring in the bottom of the second. Back to back jacks. Hank Blalock just barely missed making it back to back to back, getting a triple right after the two home runs. We’re just destroying the Royals early on in this one. :)
Mike Jacobs did have a big three run home run in the third off of Matt Harrison, which made the total runs scored by the Royals 4 in the third. Not a lot of great pitching so far (in fact, there wasn’t a 1-2-3 inning until the bottom of the fifth). It was 9-5 after two and a half innings.
Funny thing is, right after I wrote that, the pitching calmed down a bit. There was no more scoring until the bottom of the seventh. The middle was pretty well pitched. The Rangers plated three more runs in the bottom of the 7th and 8th combined, and the Royals came back with two runs against Bryan Corey in the top of the 9th.
The Rangers threw out nine pitchers in all this game. The amusing thing about that is that Kris Benson started the game, and was the only pitcher to go more than one inning (he went two). Pitchers 2-6 each went a full inning, and pitchers 7-9 went 2/3 of an inning. For the record, KC threw out six pitchers. :) Anyway, the pitchers the Rangers threw out there all did well, except for two. Matt Harrison gave up four earned runs on two home runs (Butler & Olivo), and Bryan Corey gave up two earned runs on one home run in his 0.2 innings of work. Kris Benson gave up the other run. Again on a home run.
In fact, Home runs were in plentiful supply. All told there were seven in the game. Four by Texas, three by Kansas City. Our offense was pretty much engaged in Spring game #1. We had twenty hits in all. We had seven players with two hits, and the remaining six were scattered amongst other guys. Hank Blalock had power going, getting a triple and a home run in his three at bats. In fact, he just missed a second home run with the triple he got. Justin Smoak was 2-2 as well, and it was pretty evenly scattered.
It’s nice to get the ball rolling again. As usual with games during weekdays, I missed a lot of it due to actual work and stuff. But it was really nice to be listening to a Rangers game again.
Oh, and finally.. According to the press notes for this game, it DOES count in the spring training standings. Traditionally this first charity game doesn’t count, and I was under the impression this one would be the same. However, the press notes listed this game as “Spring Game #1″, and that it would count, so we’re 1-0 now.