The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 5, 2014

Fielder flubs it in Rangers’ loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Texas Rangers took an 8-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in their first road game of the season Friday night, and it was an especially bad night for first baseman Prince Fielder and pitcher Joe Saunders.

“It was just one of those days,” said Fielder, who had one of the Rangers’ three errors and a base-running mistake that took Texas out of a possible big inning. “Everyone played hard, we made mistakes here and there. It just didn’t go our way. It’s nothing that you can’t really see. We’ve just got to come back tomorrow and fix it.”

Saunders (0-1) left in the fourth inning with a bruised left ankle after getting hit by Evan Longoria’s liner. Saunders gave up five runs and six hits, including a three-run home run to Sean Rodriguez, in 3 2-3 innings.

“I think I was trying to be too fine early in the game,” Saunders said. “The pitch to Rodriguez was a decent pitch; he just put a good swing on it. Probably the wrong pitch at the wrong time.”

Rodriguez tied a career-high with four RBIs and Jake Odorizzi got his first major league win for the Rays (3-2).

Rodriguez was back in the lineup after missing Thursday night’s 7-2 win over Toronto for the birth of his son.

Odorizzi (1-0) allowed three hits in six innings in his seventh big league start and 10th game overall. Ryan Hanigan hit a three-run homer during the fifth for the Rays.

Fielder got his first RBI since Sept. 22, a drought of 20 regular and postseason games, with a run-scoring single in the eighth. But the Rangers (2-2) wasted a great scoring opportunity in the fourth, when they were down 4-0.

With runners on first and second and one out, Mitch Moreland singled into the right-field corner, but Fielder got tagged out in a rundown between third and home.

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