When Randy Wells chose to sign with the Rangers organization in the offseason, he brought 86 starts with the Chicago Cubs as part of his experience. He didn’t imagine playing in cold early-season games at Wrigley Field would play into his favor.
Pitchers took advantage of plummeting temperature,s with both teams combining for 20 strikeouts on Tuesday night as Round Rock was blanked 1-0 by New Orleans in front of 5,106 at Dell Diamond.
Wells, 30, had his sharpest outing of the season, but was the tough-luck pitcher of record, moving to 0-4 in the season. He allowed one run over six innings with six strikeouts and three walks.
“If you can get a feel for the ball it’s in the pitcher’s favor,” Wells said. “If you’re struggling with that it can be a rough day.”
Wells worked around his first jam of the night in the fifth inning, but Matt Downs’ two-out RBI single proved to be the game-winner in the sixth after the first two hitters reached base.
The veteran right-hander continues seeing arm improvement after signing a minor league contract with Texas after elbow surgery last year. He gives the organization an experienced arm after appearing in the major leagues each of the last five seasons with the Cubs.
“I feel good but it’s still a work in progress,” Wells said. “I’d have liked to get off to a better start this season than I have but you have to remember it’s a long season.”
Wells spoke about the competitiveness level with the Rangers after moving from a National League dweller to an American League competitor.
“You definitely want to play for a winner and put your in a good position to win,” Wells said. “We’ve got great arms here and the more competitive it is here the better it will be up with Texas.”
Round Rock opens a four-game home series against Albuquerque at 7:05 p.m. Thursday.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to say that Round Rock opens a four-game home series against Albuquerque on Thursday.