Rapid Reaction: Rangers 13, A's 4
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis was solid, giving up just three runs in 7 1/3 innings, and the offense helped him out with two in the first, two in the fifth and four in the seventh. Texas got five more in the eighth after Lewis left. The win means the Rangers will be at least 2.5 games up in the AL West depending on what happens to the Angels tonight at home against the Yankees. Some quick thoughts (more to come from the clubhouse):
* It didn't take long for Lewis to give up his 33rd home run of the season, tops in the AL (and second in the majors). He walked Hideki Matsui with two outs (started him with a strike and threw four straight balls) and then gave up the homer on a 1-0 fastball to Josh Willingham. It was Willingham's third homer off Lewis in 14 at-bats. It gave the A's a quick 2-0 lead.
* But Lewis settled down. He located his fastball better, took advantage of no jet stream and got ahead in the counts. He also settled into a nice rhythm, pitching quickly and not allowing the A's hitters to get comfortable. It was a much better showing than his last start, when he gave up four runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. Lewis struck out seven batters and was in command after the first. He gave up just five hits.
* He retired the first two hitters in every inning but his last one, the eighth. After getting the first out, his eighth straight, Lewis surrendered a single to Jemile Weeks and that was it for him after 99 pitches. He received a big hand and waved to the crowd before entering the dugout. Now he's scheduled to get seven days of rest before his next start.
* Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 14 games in the first inning Friday, belting a double to left to score Ian Kinsler. Beltre was hitting .364 during the streak going into the game. The Rangers had a banner hanging from the fourth floor in center field that read: "Congratulations, Adrian 2000 Hits." He got his 2,000th hit at Fenway Park during the club's last road trip.
* Kinsler took a lead-off walk, his team-leading 78th. He was seventh in the AL in walks coming into the game. He ended up on third thanks to an error on A's starter Brandon McCarthy.
* David Murphy, filling in impressively for Nelson Cruz, had a solid at-bat in the first inning. He fouled off three pitches after falling behind 1-2 in the count and eventually hit a 2-2 pitch to center for a sacrifice fly to score Michael Young. It was Murphy's 18th RBI in his last 14 games.
* With a runner (Mitch Moreland) at second after a leadoff double in the second, Endy Chavez was not able to get a sacrifice bunt down to get him to third (popped it up). Craig Gentry singled to put runners on the corners, but Ian Kinsler lined out to short and Elvis Andrus popped up. It was a wasted opportunity for Texas in a tie game.
* With Kinsler at first and one out in the fifth, the Rangers called a hit-and-run, allowing Kinsler to score from first on a double by Elvis Andrus. Kinsler got a good read on the ball, seeing that it was going to get over the head of Coco Crisp, who was not playing deep in center. The hit gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead. Andrus' bat is really working. He hit .381 (8-for-21) on the recent six-game road trip.
* Give Andrus credit for running hard with two outs. He was sprinting from second when third baseman Scott Sizemore bounced a throw to first on a ground ball by Adrian Beltre. First baseman Brandon Allen wasn't able to glove it and Andrus scored to make it 4-2.
* Josh Hamilton was scratched from the lineup because his wife, Katie, went into labor and had the couple's fourth child (all girls). Stella Faith was born at 6:35 p.m. and mother and child are doing well. For more, click here.
* Gentry, who wasn't even in the lineup until Hamilton was scratched (birth of his fourth child), started the seventh with a bunt single off reliever Michael Wuertz. The speed got things going. He stole second (even on a pitch out) and then scored on Andrus' single. The Rangers just kept hitting with five straight singles (Gentry, Kinsler, Andrus, Young, Beltre) before a pitching change. Texas scored four runs in the inning.
* Moreland, who was 3-for-31 with 11 strikeouts in his last 10 games, had two hits. That included a single against lefty Craig Breslow. Moreland was batting .231 against lefties coming into the game.
* Mike Adams came in for relief and gave up a two-run homer to Matsui. He has allowed three homers since coming to the Rangers.
* Young had four RBIs thanks in large part to a bases-clearing double in the eighth that made it 11-4. By the way, the 9-1-2-3 batters scored all 11 runs for the Rangers. And the Nos. 2-6 hitters had all but one of the RBIs.
* Napoli hit his 25th homer of the season and he belted it to right-center and easily over the Rangers' bullpen. He is now one home run shy of his career-high, set last year with LAA. It was 428 feet without a jet stream.
* Neftali Feliz got an inning of work after not pitching in the last six games.
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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.
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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.