ANAHEIM, Calif. -- We move on to the second month of the season as we look back at the 2011 regular season campaign for the Rangers.
Timeline: Second month of the season (May)
Top-notch prospect signing: May 4 – Leonys Martin is officially signed to a 5-year deal worth $15.5 million with a $5 million signing bonus. He heads to Double-A Frisco to start his minor league career.
Big bats return to lineup: May 23 – Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton are activated from the DL and Yoshinori Tateyama is called up from Triple-A Round Rock. To make room, Chris Davis, Taylor Teagarden and Cody Eppley are sent to Triple-A. Both Cruz and Hamilton homer in their returns, leading Texas to a 4-0 win over the White Sox.
Hamilton aggressive on bases: May 25 – Hamilton sends a signal that he feels fine and will stay with his aggressive play. In the eighth-inning of rain-delayed game with the White Sox, Hamilton slid headfirst into first to beat out a throw, then goes headfirst into second stealing a base and, yes, another headfirst slide on a wild pitch that got him to third.
New TV voice: May 26 – The Rangers fire TV play-by-play voice John Rhadigan, who moves back into his previous role as host of the pregame and postgame shows. The club just felt like Rhadigan wasn’t the voice they wanted and they liked him in his previous role. Dave Barnett takes over.
Other May moments:
May 4: C.J. Wilson pitches a complete game gem against the Mariners, allowing one run with 12 strikeouts.
May 7: An MRI reveals a strained quad muscle, putting him on the 15-day disabled list.
May 8: The Rangers lose two of three to the Yankees at home after falling in a three-game set in Seattle. Manager Ron Washington keeps trying different bullpen combinations, but the Rangers can’t seem to find the right combination to finish games.
May 12: The Rangers are off after rain postpones the final game of the Oakland series the day before. Texas is 19-18 and 1.5 games back of the Angels in the AL West. After losing 11 of the last 16, the players and GM Jon Daniels stress the club is not going to panic.
May 14: Julio Borbon goes on the DL with a strained hamstring and Endy Chavez is called up. Chavez has an immediate impact and becomes a mainstay on the roster. Borbon ends up needing surgery on his ankle, an injury suffered while in the minors, and doesn’t return to the big leagues. That means the entire starting OF from the season is on the DL. That’s the first time that’s happened before May 15 since 2001.
May 15: The Rangers beat the Angels, 5-4, getting the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth from Chris Davis. Texas moves just a ½ game behind LAA.
May 19: For the second straight night, Neftali Feliz blows a save against the Royals on the road. The Rangers survived it on May 18, but lost in 10-innings on May 19.
May 21: Cliff Lee, pitching against his own team, strikes out 10 in eight innings in a 2-0 win over the Rangers in Philadelphia.
May 27: Neftali Feliz blows his third save opportunity of the season, matching his blown save total for all of 2010. The Rangers drop to 26-25 and are tied for first.