ANAHEIM -- Francisco Rodriguez was in camp with the Angels for about three weeks in the spring of 2009 before leaving to pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. The Angels' reliever remembers having a few cordial words with Vladimir Guerrero, but not really getting to know the celebrated slugger in his final season with the Angels.
Guerrero, bashing for the Rangers now, reintroduced himself to Rodriguez on Wednesday night when he lifted his first pitch, a cut fastball, over the wall in left-center for his second homer of the night. It was the final run in a 6-4 Texas victory.
"I really enjoyed watching him last year in Spring Training and saying `Hi' to him," Rodriguez said. "I left early for the Classic, so I didn't get to spend much time around him. It was an honor to face one of the greatest hitters, and I was upset after the game that he hit one off me.
"I didn't think he'd made real good contact, and watching him come out of the batter's box, he acted like he thought it was an out. But the ball kept going. That's why he's one of the greatest hitters ever. He's so strong, he doesn't have to make good contact to hit it out.
"My cutter is my best pitch. I can throw my fastball 93 [mph] to 96, touching 97. That cutter I threw is 89 to 91, and I got a little too much of the plate, I guess. He's so long, he can hit anything. Usually with a guy with long arms like that, you can throw the fastball inside. But he can pull his arms in and hit that pitch, too. That's why he's who he is. I look forward to facing him again and seeing what I can do. That's the challenge of the game."