Corporan, Kela impress with savvy in-game decisions

Corporan, Kela impress with savvy in-game decisions

OAKLAND -- The Rangers found out about rookie reliever Keone Kela in the seventh inning on Tuesday night, when he worked out of a bases-loaded jam and protected a 3-1 lead. They also found out about reserve catcher Carlos Corporan.

It was Corporan who made the big pitch call with Marcus Semien at the plate, bases loaded and one out. With the count full, Corporan called for a changeup. That is Kela's third-best pitch -- behind his fastball and breaking ball -- but Semien grounded into an inning-ending double play.

"Huge call by Carlos," manager Jeff Banister said.

"I had a good feeling for it," Corporan said. "He had thrown a couple of changeups, and it was looking like a sinker. It was pretty good. I felt he could throw it for a strike. Thank God, we talked, I told him stick with me and trust me."

Kela did, even though he could have shaken off Corporan and gone with another pitch.

"I know it's his job, and I trust him," Kela said. "He does a good job of doing his homework. He felt convicted. My job is to be convicted and make my pitch."

It was the first start for Corporan, who was acquired from the Astros over the winter with a reputation of being able to work well with pitchers. He showed that in his first game for the Rangers.

"He was great," starter Colby Lewis said. "I felt we were on the same page really early. He did a really good job behind the plate. He blocked some balls early on with runners on and kept them from advancing. I liked it, he was easy to throw to."

Lewis holds A's to one run

Worth noting

Adrian Beltre was at designated hitter on Wednesday and Shin-Soo Choo was out of the lineup, despite good career numbers against Oakland starter Scott Kazmir. Mitch Moreland was also out of the lineup as Jake Smolinski started in right field and Adam Rosales was at third base.

It was only the third game of the season but manager Jeff Banister had two motives. One was to get Smolinski and Rosales into a game. The other is to start the process of giving his regulars needed rest during the season even though they are not tired right now.

"What you gain in the front end of the schedule will pay off in the back end," Banister said. "I know Prince [Fielder] played 162 every year until last year, and the only time Adrian comes out is when he is nicked up. But this is 183 days of a marathon. If there are ways we can keep allowing them to show up, we will."

• The Rangers have hired former catcher Geno Petralli as a coach at Triple-A Round Rock. Petralli replaces Spike Owen, who was named manager of Class A High Desert in the offseason. Petralli played in 809 Major League games for the Blue Jays and Rangers before retiring in 1994. He has spent the past 12 seasons coaching youth baseball in Fort Worth.

• Pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa, who is on the disabled list with tightness in his right groin muscle, is hoping to throw a bullpen on Friday.

• Reserve outfielder Delino DeShields is the only player who hasn't started a game yet. Banister said that will likely happen in the near future.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.