Defensive work paying off for Rangers

Defensive work paying off for Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers spend a considerable amount of time in the morning workouts stressing fundamentals, and that work showed up in the first three innings of the Rangers' 5-0 loss to the Brewers on a wet Monday afternoon at Surprise Stadium.

The Brewers had seven baserunners on in the first three innings and couldn't score a run mainly because of the Rangers' defensive efforts. Five of the Brewers' first nine outs came on the basepaths due to the Rangers' execution.

"That's a great feeling," manager Jeff Banister said. "Those are the things we stress on the back fields, the ability to stay calm, communicate and make the play. We stress that, and to see it come into play, we need to continue that."

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Lewis Brinson led off the first inning with a double against Rangers starter Eddie Gamboa, who then picked him off second base. Gamboa spent extra time last week working on his pickoff moves.

"It's something I take pride in," Gamboa said. "I work hard on fundamentals and sometimes it pays off in games."

Scooter Gennett followed with a single, but was cut down trying to steal by rookie catcher Jose Trevino. In the third, Brinson was cut down by left fielder Joey Gallo trying to go from first to third on Gennett's single off pitcher Connor Sadzeck. Gennett went to second on the play, but the Rangers executed their rundown defense on a comebacker to Sadzeck and turned an inning-ending double play.

Worth noting

• The Rangers will retire Ivan Rodriguez's uniform No. 7 on Aug. 12 before their game against the Astros.

• Individual tickets for all 2017 games at Globe Life Park in Arlington, except the home opener April 3 will go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday at www.texasrangers.com.

• The Rangers are offering an on-line registration opportunity that will allow fans a chance to purchase tickets to the 2017 season and home opener on April 3 against the Cleveland Indians, a 6:05 p.m. start.

From now until 5 p.m. Monday, March 6, fans can go to texasrangers.com/OpeningDay and sign up to receive Texas Rangers' emails. From all fans who sign up for the emails, a pool of randomly selected registrants will be chosen and provided access to an online home opener opportunity, based on available inventory. Those selected will be notified by email no later than March 8.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.