ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Prince Fielder hit a towering home run in his first at-bat in his new home, and the Texas Rangers beat Triple-A Mexican League team Quintana Roo 7-4 in an exhibition game Thursday night.
The slugger, acquired from Detroit in an offseason trade for All-Star second baseman Ian Kinsler, hit a two-run homer that went an estimated 424 feet into the Texas bullpen in right-center. Fielder’s fourth homer of the spring made it 2-1, putting the Rangers ahead to stay.
“He’s starting to get locked in a little bit, starting to swing the bat, starting to get through some baseballs,” manager Ron Washington said. “It was nice that he caught a good fastball and punched it out of the ballpark.”
Donnie Murphy, claimed off waivers from the Chicago Cubs a day earlier, had a double and scored on Fielder’s shot in the first. An inning later, Murphy hit a three-run homer - a drive initially ruled a double before replay showed the ball cleared the 14-foot wall in left before ricocheting back onto the field.
After breaking camp in Arizona, the Rangers were home for the only time before the season opener Monday against Philadelphia. They play a pair of exhibition games against AL West rival Houston in the Alamodome in San Antonio on Friday night and Saturday.
Murphy and Josh Wilson, veteran journeymen, are among the options to play second base with Jurickson Profar out up to three months with a muscle tear in his right shoulder. Murphy started at second and Wilson was at shortstop for Elvis Andrus, and they turned a double play.
Wilson was 2 for 2, including an RBI double in the second before scoring on Murphy’s homer.
SHORT RETURN: It appears Andrus will be ready for opening day.
The shortstop has dealt with a sore arm much of the spring, after not playing winter ball for the first time. He took part in pregame fielding drills Thursday that included cutoffs and relay throws. He even made some jump throws to first base after going into the hole to field the ball.
“Finally got his arm right, and he’s ready to go,” Washington said. “Anytime he’s going in the hole, jumping up throwing to first base, he’s ready to go.”
Rangers: Tanner Scheppers, the converted setup man slated to start on opening day, allowed a hit and a run in his only scheduled inning.
Scheppers gave up a leadoff double to Jerry Owens, who scored after a pair of grounders.