Rua rallies Rangers, Blanks impresses Giants

Rua rallies Rangers, Blanks impresses Giants

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After Kyle Blanks strengthened his bid for a roster spot with the Giants, Ryan Rua sparked a walk-off rally for the Rangers, who scored three runs in the ninth to win, 6-5, on Monday afternoon in Surprise Stadium.

Three batters after Denard Span led off the game with a double, Blanks hit a long home run to center field off Rangers starter Colby Lewis to stake San Francisco to a 2-0 lead, and Blanks added a single in the sixth to get his spring batting average up to .571. He has two homers in Cactus League play.

The Rangers got an impressive offensive performance from Rua, who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs, including two on a game-tying double in the ninth inning. Ronald Guzman knocked in Rua two batters later to end the game.

"He's driving the ball the other way through the hole, and he seems to be trying to keep the ball in the middle of the field instead of being one-sided," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said of Rua. "So it's a much better approach than what we saw in the spring last year. He's staying on the ball a lot better.

"He's fighting. He's looking to make a ballclub, and he's looking to do whatever he can."

Spring Training 2016: Giants | Rangers

Blanks is fighting for one of the Giants' final bench spots, and his prowess as a right-handed power hitter makes him an appealing option. But he's dealt with injuries to both feet that have forced him to miss significant time over his career. Blanks says as long as he can stay healthy, he has plenty to offer the Giants.

"It's not really for me to say," he said of his chances of breaking camp on the 25-man roster. "But I think just being on the field is going to benefit me. And that's why I just maintain [staying healthy] as my focus."

Texas also saw a good all-around game from catcher Robinson Chirinos, who drove in the Rangers' first run of the game in the second inning with a sacrifice fly and also threw out two runners trying to steal. Texas tied the game at 2-2 on an Adrian Beltre sacrifice fly in the third inning that followed hits by Shin-Soo Choo (who went 2-for-2) and Prince Fielder.

Giants starter Jake Peavy and Lewis had almost identical pitching lines. Both gave up two runs on five hits in three innings with two strikeouts and no walks.

The Giants broke the 2-2 tie in the seventh inning on a two-run double by Grant Green and an RBI single by Christian Arroyo, but the Rangers cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom of that inning on an RBI double by Rua.

Up next for the Giants: San Francisco hosts its first night game of the spring on Tuesday, a 6:05 p.m. PT showdown against the Reds that will air live on MLB.TV. Madison Bumgarner will be on the hill, facing Cincinnati for the second start in a row. The Giants' ace allowed a first-inning home run to Eugenio Suarez his last time out but pitched two perfect frames otherwise. Left fielder Angel Pagan is set to make his spring debut after undergoing offseason knee surgery.  

Up next for the Rangers: Left-hander Derek Holland will get the start for a road game against the A's in his second Cactus League appearance on Tuesday at 2:05 p.m. CT in an exclusive webcast on Holland pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball against the Royals on Thursday, giving up three hits. Holland is scheduled to be followed on the mound by right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who will make his spring debut after lower back stiffness, plus righty Tony Barnette, lefty Alex Claudio, righty Francisco Mendoza and lefty Andrew Faulkner.

Doug Miller is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.