03/27/12 7:20 PM ET
Napoli finds his power stroke against Padres
Slugger hits two solo shots as Rangers rally past Friars
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
Yasmani Grandal hit a two-out solo homer in the top of the ninth inning to cap a two-run Padres rally which briefly put the visiting team ahead.
Adrian Beltre hit a two-run single to put the Rangers ahead in the sixth. The Rangers trailed, 7-5, going into the sixth before rallying against reliever Kevin Quackenbush.The Padres hit five home runs, including two by outfielder Jeremy Hermida. Jedd Gyorko and Andy Parrino also hit one out for the Friars. Gyorko finished with three hits and drove home three runs. Mike Napoli, starting at first base, hit two home runs for the Rangers. Ian Kinsler had three hits and three runs, and is now hitting .422 for the spring. Padres starter Cory Luebke, who had a 1.93 ERA in his first four starts, went four-plus innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk with six strikeouts. He has 22 strikeouts in 18 innings this spring.
"I threw a couple of balls to Napoli that weren't good pitches, but results can be deceiving," Luebke said. "I thought I threw the ball better than that. Until the last inning, I was locating my fastball good, my changeup was good, and my slider was good, except one to Napoli. I wanted to work on my offspeed stuff, and I got that accomplished."Rangers rookie Robbie Ross, trying to win a spot as a left-handed reliever in the bullpen, started and gave up two runs in two innings of work. He allowed four hits and walked one. "I felt good, but I might have been up a few times," Ross said. "I got behind batters a few times, but I hit my spots OK." Yoshinori Tateyama had his first rough outing of the spring. He allowed five runs in two innings. A dropped fly ball by left fielder Brandon Snyder didn't help, but Tateyama also allowed three home runs. "My fastball is normally 89-90 mph, but today it was 86-88," Tateyama said. "Not good. Sometimes in Spring Training a pitcher doesn't feel as good, but you still have to get outs and pitch with what you've got." Michael Kirkman followed Tateyama and pitched two scoreless innings. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out two.
Up next for Rangers: Left-hander Derek Holland pitches against the Royals at 8:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday. The game can be seen on MLB.TV. Alexi Ogando is scheduled to pitch in a Minor League game against the Dodgers. Ogando is scheduled to pitch six innings. This will be his last start before likely converting into a relief role.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.