ARLINGTON -- Mike Adams pitched with a heavy heart Sunday.
He played in San Diego for over three seasons, developing a close relationship with Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds, who died of pancreatic cancer Sunday. Adams pitched a scoreless eighth inning during the Rangers' 4-2 win over the Rockies with the letters "AK" on his hat in honor of Akerfelds.
"He's been a part of my family for the last five years," Adams said. "He was a good man. He was a huge part of what I was able to do in San Diego. Whenever you're around someone as long as you're around someone in this clubhouse or anywhere, people become family."
Adams posted a 1.66 ERA in 209 appearances with the Padres, striking out 241 and walking 59 batters in 217 innings. Akerfelds, who spent 12 years playing professional baseball, appeared in six games for the Rangers in 1989. He held his position as the Padres bullpen coach for 11 years.
"He was like an uncle to me and to everybody that came through San Diego in that bullpen," Adams said. "It was something I thought about all day. When I was in the game, it was kind of hard to block that out. I'm just glad he's not suffering anymore."