Rapid Reaction: Rangers 7, Blue Jays 6
The No. 9 batter may not be much of a threat for some clubs, but Moreland showed that isn’t the case where he and the Rangers are concerned.
Moreland’s tiebreaking home run over the center field wall off Octavio Dotel leading off the seventh inning carried the Rangers to a 7-6 victory over Toronto before 29,322 fans at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Texas snapped a two-game losing streak.
Some game highlights:
*Payback, in the form of a six-run inning of their own, was sweet for the Rangers. The outbreak was highlighted by a pair of two-run doubles by Michael Young and Mike Napoli. Toronto used the big inning, a six-run fifth on Monday and a five-run first on Tuesday, to take the first two games of the series.
*Texas sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth, chasing Jays starter Jo-Jo Reyes.
*All six runs were unearned because of a low throw by third baseman Edwin Encarnacion on Yorvet Torrealba’s one-out ground ball. That extra out came in very handy for the Rangers.
*Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz had RBI singles. Reyes helped by issuing a walk to Ian Kinsler and hit Adrian Beltre with a pitch. Both scored.
*Derek Holland left the mound in the top of the third inning trailing 2-0. When he went back an inning later, his teammates had presented him with a 6-2 lead. He was an out away from a shutdown inning when Mike McCoy grounded an RBI single and Jose Bautista followed with a two-run double to cut the lead to 6-5.
Holland pitched to one batter in the sixth, allowing an infield single to Corey Patterson, before getting the hook from manager Ron Washington.
*Darren Oliver, the veteran left-hander, sparkled coming out of the pen to work a scoreless ninth for second save, pitching out of a jam with runners at the corners. He struck out Encarnacion for the final out.
*Reliever Cody Eppley, five days removed from Triple-A Round Rock, followed up on his excellent big league debut with a two-inning stint spoiled only by a tying solo homer by Juan Rivera. But he pickep up his first big league win.
Eppley worked two scoreless innings in a win over Kansas City on Saturday. The Rangers are looking for their recent right-handed call-ups to come through.
*Nelson Cruz, who had only three outfield assists last season, recorded his second in the first month of the season. In his fifth start in left field, Cruz cut down Mike McCoy at the plate trying to score on Adam Lind’s single down the left field line. Yorvit Torrealba slapped the tag down to nip McCoy.
*More good defense: Catcher Yorvit Torrealba cut down speedy Corey Patterson on a stolen base attempt in the sixth inning with an accurate throw. Michael Young applied the tag.
*The Rangers couldn’t muster as much as a hit off Toronto long reliever Carlos Villanueva, who worked 3 1/3 innings.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.