The Rangers won their 4th straight game on Thursday, topping the Athletics by a 5-3 margin at Hohokam Park in Mesa. Texas improves to 4-1-1 in Cactus League play and remains a perfect 3-0 on the road.
Andy Ibáñez led the offense by going 2-for-3 with a triple, single, and run scored, coming around to score on a sac fly by Matt Carpenter after a 3-bagger in the 2nd inning. Ibáñez has gone 4-for-11 with a triple and double through 4 starts at third base this spring. Carpenter added a double in the 7th inning for his first knock of the spring.
Facing a 2-run deficit heading into the 6th, the Rangers would plate 3 runs off Brent Honeywell in the top of that frame to take the lead for good. The highlight was a 2-run home run by Nick Solak, who lifted a high fly ball that stayed just fair inside the right field foul pole. Solak has hits in all 3 games played this spring at 4-for-10, including home runs in consecutive contests (today and Tues. at ARI).
Jon Gray made his first Cactus League start in a Texas uniform, posting the following line: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R-ER, 0 BB, 4 SO. After allowing hits to 3 of the first 4 batters he faced, the right-hander closed the outing by retiring 5 of his final 6 batters faced – 3 via strikeout. Spencer Howard tossed perfect 5th and 6th innings to earn the win, setting down all 6 batters faced with 3 strikeouts in his first official spring outing. In total, Texas pitchers tallied 14 strikeouts against just 2 walks, with relievers holding the home team scoreless over the final 5 frames.
The Rangers will be back in action on Friday against the Royals, playing as the visiting team in Surprise at 3:05 p.m. CT. RHP Dane Dunning (0-1, 9.00) is slated to start against Royals RHP Carlos Hernández (0-0, —). The Royals will have a television broadcast that will air live on Bally Sports Southwest Extra. A radio broadcast featuring Matt Hicks and Jared Sandler will air on 105.3 The FAN on tape delay at 10:05 p.m. CT.
From Rangers PR staff reports