Texas acquisitions play key role in Rangers' Game 1 win
Rangers rightfielder Jeff Francoeur joked Wednesday how close he was to being left out of the postseason this year.
“I’d be at the beach right now,” he said, “but there’s no better place I’d rather be.”
Texas traded for Francoeur just before the postseason roster deadline Aug. 31, one of several key acquisitions who played key roles in the Rangers’ 5-1 win. While the Rays pretty much stayed pat, the Rangers worked throughout the season to acquire pieces that would be valuable in October.
Francoeur, a right-handed hitter who hits lefties well, hit a second-inning RBI double that gave Texas a 1-0 lead. Starting catcher Benjie Molina -- a two-time Gold Glove winner who has been an asset throwing out runners and calling games and came to Texas in a July 1 trade with San Francisco – has three hits, including a solo homer in the fourth.
And the mound belonged to lefthander Cliff Lee, acquired in a July 9 trade with Seattle.
“It’s something we’re all happy about, especially the guys who have been here all season long,” said veteran Rangers third baseman Michael Young, a playoff rookie. “The guys that we got are not only good players, but they fit into out clubhouse. They’re the same guys. We have that blue-collar atmosphere and they fit right in.”
All three came to the Rangers with valuable postseason experience.
“Those are guys who have been through the wars before,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “We have a team of developing guys that put a lot together this year, and they set the tone right away.”
-- Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer (firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @EddieHometeam)