Right-hander loads bases before exiting in the opening inning in first spring outing
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Russell Wilson delivered the Rangers lineup card at home plate, but that was the only action the Seahawks' quarterback saw when Cleveland topped Texas, 6-5, on Monday at Surprise Stadium.
The Indians took the lead in the top of the seventh on a David Adams RBI groundout. Roster hopeful Jeff Francoeur got the scoring started early with a two-out, two-run single in the top of the first inning. He finished the day 2-for-3, and Elliot Johnson, also fighting for a spot, had three hits.
Rangers starter Colby Lewis, making his first Cactus League appearance after undergoing hip replacement surgery last August, looked like he might get out of a bases-loaded jam, until Francoeur's chopper up the middle. Before the game, Rangers manager Ron Washington preached caution in Lewis' comeback attempt, and Lewis lasted just two-thirds of an inning -- allowing two runs on two walks and two hits.
Lewis' counterpart Corey Kluber looked relatively sharp in surrendering only an unearned run after Alex Rios reached on an infield hit. Otherwise, Kluber didn't let another man reach base in his two innings.
Cleveland reliever Vinnie Pestano, who spent some time as the club's primary setup man before struggling in 2013, tossed a scoreless frame in his first outing of the spring.
"I didn't really get into a rhythm, but I'm not going to complain," Pestano said. "That's the cleanest inning I've had in about 16 months. It's the first game. I'm still a little bit behind. I don't know what I was throwing today, but the ball was doing what it was supposed to do. The velo will pick up more as we get into games, but the ball's back doing what it's supposed to do, and I'm comfortable."
After their rocky first inning, the Rangers went to rotation-candidate Nick Tepesch, who tossed three scoreless frames, while needing just 34 pitches to do so.
"His first two innings he saved pitches so well that we were able to send him back out there," Washington said. "He had a good sinker working, a good breaking ball, changeup, and he pounded the strike zone."
Wilson, meanwhile, a two-sport star whose rights were acquired by Texas in December, signed autographs before the game and was serenaded by "Seahawks" chants throughout it. He won't be quitting his day job, however.
Up next: Wilson will be gone, and things will return to normal at Rangers camp Tuesday morning, before they head to Tempe to face the Angels at 2:10 CT. Yu Darvish gets the ball, and Rafael Perez will also pitch in his return from a right hamstring strain.