Texas Rangers

March 15, 2014

Rangers outslug Athletics 16-15 behind top prospect’s power

Nick Williams homers twice as Rangers rally to beat Oakland.

The Texas Rangers got a glimpse of their future during a five-run flurry in the seventh inning Saturday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium

Nick Williams, one of the organizations’s top prospects, and Lewis Brinson, a former No. 1 pick, were part of a three-double, two-homer barrage in the seventh that helped Texas beat Oakland 16-15.

The Athletics quickly reclaimed the lead with two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Williams led off the ninth with his second homer, Robinson Chirinos doubled and pinch runner Adam Rosales scored on Brent Lillibridge’s sac fly.

Chirinos also homered in the seventh, and Michael Choice belted his second home run of the spring in the fourth.

“It was awesome, my first time being able to participate in a major-league game,” Williams said.

Not all of the Rangers’ prospects shined Saturday. Third baseman Joey Gallo, Texas’ top power hitter in the minors, was 0 for 6 with five strikeouts.

“I’ve been waiting for it to happen and it started happening. You start getting to the second half of the game and these young kids come up in here and do exactly what you saw today,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I’m very happy about that because that’s something that hadn’t happened. It was nice we had a couple of them come in and come up big for us, especially Nick Williams.”

Both pitching staffs struggled, giving up 17 hits apiece.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis and and Nick Tepesch combined to allow 11 runs on nine hits in just 31/3 combined innings. Lewis left in the second after Oakland scored four runs in the first and then had five of its first six batters reach on a single, walk, double, intentional walk and hit-by-pitch. Rafael Perez replaced Lewis and stuck out two to end the inning with the bases loaded.

The A’s added five more in the fifth in Tepesch’s first inning of work. He allowed a two-run single, a run-scoring double and a two-run homer to Brandon Moss as Oakland built a 13-6 lead.

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