DeShields' first HR inspires comeback rally
Rangers rookie stuns Rays with game-tying shot in 7th
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had just two hits through 6 2/3 innings and trailed the Rays by a run. Then Delino DeShields did something he had never done before in the Major Leagues. He hit a home run.
"It couldn't have come at a better time," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He waited a long time to get that one. We know the young man has power. In the Minor Leagues he hit some home runs. You see the raw power in batting practice. It looked like he got a pitch that he could handle. It couldn't have come at a better time."
DeShields' home run tied the game and the Rangers scored two in the eighth for a 5-3 victory over the Rays. His last home run was in Spring Training.
"It was cool, it was awesome," DeShields said. "We got the fans hyped up about it. The team was hyped up about it. I was hyped up about it. The situation I'm in, the role I'm playing is to get on base, to score runs and do the small stuff to help the team win.
"In that situation we were down one with two outs and I was like 'Now might be the right time to try and get a hold of one but not do too much.' I just stayed within myself and didn't get too big. I got the pitch I wanted and I touched it pretty nice. Off the bat I knew it was gone. It felt good. I haven't felt that in a long time."
DeShields turned on a 3-1 fastball, hitting it high and deep down the left-field line. The ball stayed straight rather than hook into foul territory and it cleared the pole with plenty of room to spare.
"The pitcher was saying 'foul,'" DeShields said. "I said, 'No way.' It felt good. It felt nice.'"
DeShields hit a career-high 11 home runs at Double-A Corpus Christi last year before being taken from the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft.
"Once you get the first one, they come in bunches," DeShields said. "Don't hold me to that."