ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Robinson Chirinos drove in a career-high five RBIs but was easily more pleased that he was a big part of helping Texas starter Nick Martinez to the win.
”If you have a win, no matter how you do, that’s a victory for everybody,” Chirinos said.
The Rangers’ No. 9 hitter hit a three-run home run and two-run double in their 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
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The double in the second fell between centerfielder Mike Trout and leftfielder Matt Joyce, who was acquired last winter from Tampa Bay, as they crossed paths just short of the warning track.
”Mike plays so deep in the outfield – every time you hit a ball, you’re kind of praying it goes over the fence because he catches everything,” Chirinos said.
Trout said he feared a collision and veered off late. He said his communication with Joyce, who was hurt much of spring training, will improve.
”We’ll get it straightened out,” Trout said.
Elvis Andrus homered off Jose Alvarez in the sixth and Chirinos hit the three-run drive for an 8-0 lead. Andrus had not homered in 481 at-bats since connecting last May 21 against Seattle’s Chris Young, the longest active homerless streak in the majors.
Martinez (2-0) allowed one run – unearned – and five hits in seven innings, improving to 2-7 in home games in his season-plus big league career. He has a career 1.50 ERA in April over 30 innings.
Martinez, 5-12 last season as a surprise addition to the opening day roster, said he worked during the offseason on hitting his spots better and controlling his emotions on the mound.
”Hitters are like sharks, man,” he said. ”They feed off energy if you’re showing that you’re being affected by the game in a negative way.”
Both of Martinez’s victories have followed Texas defeats.
”For him to be that guy twice now, it does show poise,” first-year Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. `I can’t say enough how in control of himself he is.”
Drew Rucinski (0-1), who made his big league debut last year, gave up four runs, six hits and four walks in 2 2-3 innings in his first major league start for the Angels. The 26-year-old right-hander labored through a 40-pitch second inning that also included two wild pitches and two of the Rangers’ three stolen bases in the first two innings.
”Drew just never got on track,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”I don’t think he brought his best game out there on the mound, and he’s a better pitcher than that.”
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M attended the game. He recently completed time in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. . After the game, the Angels optioned Rucinski to Triple-A Salt Lake, and the Rangers sent right-hander Phil Klein to Triple-A Round Rock.
Angels: RF Kole Calhoun (calf) was available to pinch hit but missed his third consecutive start. RHP Garrett Richards (knee) made a rehab start Tuesday night for Triple-A Salt Lake and, according to Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia, might start for the Angels on Sunday.
Rangers: RHP Kyuji Fujikawa (groin) allowed one earned run while pitching one inning Tuesday in a rehab appearance for Double-A Frisco.
Angels: Albert Pujols figures to be a DH for Wednesday afternoon’s series finale after seeing action at first base in each of Los Angeles’ first eight games. LHP Hector Santiago (0-1) is 3-0 in career starts in Arlington.
Rangers: RHP Anthony Ranaudo will be recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to make his Rangers debut. Acquired from Boston last winter, Ranaudo replaces injured LHP Derek Holland.