Derek Dietrich leads Rangers late rally over Mariners with historic debut

Stefan Stevenson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Baseball

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Veteran infielder Derek Dietrich joked before Wednesday's game that he's always ready to go.

He was asked a while back when he was still with the Cincinnati Reds how he stays in baseball shape.

For the 31-year-old who was signed with the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, staying in game shape has been a given since being drafted by the Houston Astros in the third round in 2007.

"My answer was: you never get out of shape, and I truly believe that," Dietrich said before going 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored in his Rangers' debut Wednesday night. "I've never been out of shape a day in my life. I've made do with what I could as far as safe ways of training; I worked in baseball fields by myself, doing some one-hand drills and drills up against cages. Anything I could do within the guidelines to stay ready and keep my body ready."

Dietrich, who became the first Rangers player to reach safely four times in his Texas debut, helped lead a come-from-behind 7-4 win over the Seattle Mariners by starting a five-run eighth. Joey Gallo was the last player to reach base safely four times in his Rangers' debut.

"It was fun. We didn't get them all at once until the end there but a little bit here, a little bit there, and then you start rolling the lineup," said Dietrich, who started the eighth-inning rally with a one-out single, his third hit of the night. He also was hit by a pitch. "I was pumped up. I don't know if it was the crowd noise or the clamoring in the dugout but it felt good to feel that again. It's been a little bit (of time) for me."


Elvis Andrus followed with a double and Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Jeff Mathis and the Rangers trailing 4-2. Mathis' bloop single fell just out of the reach of shortstop J.P. Crawford in shallow left field to score Dietrich to pull Texas to within 4-3.

Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly to right score Andrus to tie it at 4-4 before Isiah Kiner-Falefa was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. Right-hander Taylor Williams, who replaced right-hander Erik Swanson on the mound to face left-hitting Willie Calhoun, threw a wild pitch that bounced several feet in front of the plate to allow Frazier to score the go-ahead run. Calhoun drove in two more with a single to left to give the Rangers a three-run lead. The Rangers batted around in the inning.

Seattle scored four runs in the second behind home runs from Austin Nola and Daniel Vogelbach. Nola's solo homer to center field gave Seattle a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Vogelbach's two-run homer made it 3-0. Another run scored on Kyle Lewis' sacrifice fly to right.

All four runs were charged to starter Jordan Lyles, who went five innings, allowing six hits, four walks and striking out four.


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