Power surge in Long Beach

Batting practice leads off the Area Code Games on August 5 from Blair Field. Scott Kurtz/ESPNHS

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The Area Code Baseball Games started Sunday with seven teams taking batting practice in the morning (the Yankees will take it on Monday), and the Rangers led off with a bang. For the first time in a few years, Blair Field looked small during the batting practice session, something that is not easy to do. Corey Simpson’s session for the Rangers foreshadowed what was to come later Sunday night.

Athletics 6, Royals 1

The Royals were perfect last year and tried to keep that streak up this time around. They got on the board early taking a 1-0 lead, but the A’s busted the game open in the fourth behind a monster double by Dominic Miroglio to take a 5-1 lead.

Bryan Bucher kept the hit parade going for the Athletics as he knocked a ground rule double to center proving that the A’s are going to be a tough team to beat this week.

In the end the Athletics’ pitching was too much for the Royals.

Rangers 5, Reds 4

The Rangers opened their week in the nightcap, a nine-inning affair with the Reds. Kohl Stewart got the nod for the Rangers and sat at 91-92 mph with the fastball and his slider was 85-87.

The Rangers scored runs in both the third and the fourth innings to make it 3-0. The Reds roared back with a pair in the fifth thanks to timely hitting by Kevin Buckley and Brennon Lund. Marcus Doi came up with a big RBI single to tie it up and then scored on a Casey Shane wild pitch to give the Reds a 4-3 lead.

The Rangers answered with a big blast by Corey Simpson, who nailed one over the 400-foot sign in dead center to put the Rangers on top for good at 5-4.