ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 6: Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers rounds the bases following his two-run home run during the eighth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 6, 2014 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
After Shin-Soo Choo's good fortune led to a single off a deflected ball with two outs in the top of the eighth inning of Sunday's scoreless game, it gave the Texas Rangers a glimmer of hope that they might be able to get some runs on the board for ace Yu Darvish in his season debut.
Then, that hope quickly diminished when the next batter was announced.
"Now batting for the Texas Rangers, shortstop Elvis Andrus."
Ugh. Andrus is a good player, but there's a pretty large camp that believes he shouldn't be hitting in the 2-hole in the Rangers' lineup, but with Ron Washington calling the shots, that's never going to change. On Sunday, it just seemed Andrus was in prime position to kill another rally with a groundout or even worse, an ill-fated bunt attempt (wouldn't put it past him).
Instead, Andrus got a pitch he liked from reliever Joel Peralta, and he deposited it into the left field seats for his first home run of the year — the third of his career at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any road stadium for the light-hitting Andrus.