ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rangers defeated the Indians, 5-4, in the spring training finale for both clubs on Tuesday in Arlington. Minor leaguer Franklin Rollin delivered a walk-off RBI single to score Zack Granite, who began the 9th inning at second base. As part of a rule change this spring, MLB teams can mutually agree in exhibition play to begin the 9th inning of a tie game with a runner on second base by informing the plate umpire. MLB had asked each team to try it once and the Rangers utilized the rule change for the first time this spring. Texas finished the exhibition season with a record of 13-17-4, including a 9-8-1 mark over the final 18 games. The Rangers batted around in a 4-run 3rd inning, highlighted by a 3-run home run by Nomar Mazara off Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger. After Shin-Soo Choo led off the inning with a walk, Elvis Andrus reached on a fielder’s choice/error that preceded Mazara’s blast down the right field line. Mazara finished the exhibition season with hits in 5 of his final 6 games, a stretch in which he batted .412 (7-17).
Choo also walked in the 1st inning and finished with a club-high 9 free passes this spring. Later in the 3rd, Isiah Kiner-Falefa brought home Ronald Guzmán with an RBI single to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead. Guzmán singled in both of his plate appearances to finish with a spring batting average of .400 (16-40). Texas put the leadoff batter on base in each of the first 3 innings, after which most Rangers starters exited the game. Texas starter Drew Smyly allowed 3 runs in 3.2 innings with a spring-high 5 strikeouts. Shawn Kelley relieved Smyly and entered with the bases loaded before striking out his lone batter faced to finish the 4th inning. Kelley did not allow a run in 5 games/4.0 innings in ‘A’ games this spring. Jeffrey Springs (1.0 IP, 1 BB, 2 SO), Connor Sadzeck (1.0 IP, 2 SO), and José Leclerc (1.0 IP) each posted scoreless innings in relief.
Texas opens the 2019 regular season on Thursday against the Chicago Cubs at 3:05 p.m. CT. LHP Mike Minor is set to make his first-career Opening Day start and will oppose Cubs LHP Jon Lester. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest, with Dave Raymond and C.J. Nitkowski in the booth and Emily Jones reporting.
From Rangers PR staff reports