GLENDALE, Ariz. -- In the fourth inning on Tuesday, during a mound visit, Rangers designated hitter Khris Davis talked to third-base coach Tony Beasley, saying the White Sox pitcher wasn’t paying any attention to him at second base and he could steal.
So, Davis stole third base on the very next pitch. Eli White’s RBI single brought home Davis for his first run scored of Spring Training.
Manager Chris Woodward said he wants the club to start taking advantage of those situations, like Davis did, and apply pressure on every front against the opposing team.
“There were some really good highlights,” Woodward said. “I thought Brock Holt [advancing] on the ball in the dirt to second. Khris Davis doing third. Josh Jung going to second on the throw home, like a lot of those plays. It’s something that we talked about a lot ... to apply pressure on the bases, and our guys are going down there and taking advantage of every opportunity.”
Though the final score was in no way indicative for either team, Woodward said he was happy with the Rangers’ execution and aggressive offense in the 5-5 tie with the White Sox.
The Rangers faced Chicago ace Lucas Giolito through two innings, and Woodward was pleased with the at-bats from the team. Giolito had four strikeouts, but Ronald Guzmán hit a solo homer against him in the second. Joey Gallo connected in the fourth off Zack Burdi for his second homer in as many games.
Woodward pointed out that others, like Willie Calhoun, had good at-bats in the game, even if they didn’t have a hit to show for it.
“Giolito, he's one of the better pitchers in baseball,” Woodward said. “I thought the first two at-bats [Calhoun and Isiah Kiner-Falefa] were really good. They took good swings at good pitches and just missed them I think. It looked like Giolito was kind of cruising there. We had some good situational hitting, good at-bats and good takes.”
Josh Jung sees some action
In the No. 1 Rangers prospect’s first Spring Training at-bat, Jung hit an RBI single in the top of the fifth inning to give Texas a 4-3 lead.
Though Jung has played defensively in the Rangers' first two games, he did not get an at-bat because of the games being shortened to six and seven innings. Woodward said Jung was “salivating” to get in the batter’s box Tuesday.
“It was good to get him in there and not trying to do too much,” Woodward said. “He was obviously trying to really drive a ball, and he felt like he was a little bit late on that, but he stayed through the middle of the field and drove in a big run.
“Those are the things that I like when I see younger players have that approach, instead of, ‘Hey, I'm gonna get a big league at-bat and I'm just gonna try to hit a home run here,’ and then it’s a 3-1 pitch they roll over to shortstop. He stays in the middle, even if he got beat a little bit, it's still a line drive to right-center.”
General manager Chris Young met with the media to provide an injury report.
• Outfielder David Dahl is continuing to improve in his throwing progressions following offseason right shoulder surgery. He started at designated hitter for the Rangers in Monday’s game against the Giants. Young said Dahl had no complaints or aches following his two plate appearances.
• Pitcher Demarcus Evans is progressing through his throwing program after sustaining a lat injury in the offseason. Young said Evans would be throwing off a mound by mid-March if things continue to progress.
• Catcher and Rangers No. 2 prospect Sam Huff is still rehabbing from a hamstring strain and will be re-evaluated in a couple of weeks.
“He’s starting to do light baseball activity, very monitored, nothing in a group setting but continues to progress smoothly,” Young said.
• Pitcher Luis Ortiz, who was scheduled to pitch in the Spring Training opener against the Royals, is improving with his right ankle tendinitis. He will continue baseball activity over the next few days to build up arm strength.
• Anderson Tejeda, the Rangers' No. 8 prospect, has an elbow infection and will miss a few days of training as the medical staff evaluates a timetable for his return.