The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 5, 2014

Struggling hitters break out to lift Rangers to 14-3 rout over Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The moon and stars aligned on a sun-soaked Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium, a cosmic event that J.P. Arencibia had been awaiting since the start of the season.

The Texas Rangers catcher entered the finale against the Los Angeles Angels in an 0-for-28 slump. His .077 batting average wasn’t just below the Mendoza Line. It was nearly at sea level.

His performance had cost him regular playing time to Robinson Chirinos, and Arencibia hadn’t exactly been an All-Star behind the plate with only five wins in 13 starts and a catcher’s ERA that three days ago was above 6.00.

But that changed, at least for a day, for Arencibia, and other Rangers who have struggled of late saw some divinity come their way.

Arencibia homered and drove in two runs in his first two plate appearances, and Prince Fielder and Michael Choice also delivered key hits to back Yu Darvish en route to a 14-3 victory.

“A lot of guys had good games, so it was definitely a good day,” Fielder said. “That’s what you hope for. It’s a long season, but that’s the plan. You just try to come out each day and see what you can do.”

Arencibia nearly hit a grand slam in the first inning but settled for a sacrifice fly on a ball that was caught at the left-field wall. He homered for the first time this season with one out in the third and started the ninth with a sharp single to left and later scored.

Fielder, who entered batting .209, lined an RBI double in each of his first two at-bats and later added a single. Choice, who entered batting .196, launched a three-run homer and collected a career-high four RBIs.

Adrian Beltre, who entered in an 0-for-12 drought, went 3 for 5. Elvis Andrus, who had been dropped to ninth in the order, singled and walked in his first two trips and plated Arencibia with a sacrifice fly in a five-run ninth.

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