Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Twins 1
The Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-1, behind solid pitching from Matt Harrison, as well as great fielding. The game began the Rangers' three-city, nine-game road trip and was the first of three in Minnesota.
The Rangers erased a 1-0 deficit with a three-run fourth inning, highlighted by back-to-back RBI singles from Adrian Beltre and Michael Young. Young’s single tied him with Juan Gonzalez for most total bases in franchise history with 3,073. He moved up to sole possession as the total base leader with a base hit in the sixth inning.
Slow start, strong new beginning: Elvis Andrus entered this game with the slowest start of his career at 3-for-24, but he doubled in his first at-bat as he hit it the opposite way to right field off RHP Anthony Swarzak. Andrus added singles in the fourth and fifth innings.
|Ron Washington explains his decision to go with Alexi Ogando instead of Joe Nathan in the ninth inning of the Rangers' win. |
Not in the box score: Murphy was able to track down a Trevor Plouffe double in the second inning that kept Ryan Doumit from scoring. The score stayed at 1-0 in favor of the Twins at the end of the second.
Walk of life: Harrison walked Josh Willingham with one out in the second. That walk snapped a stretch of 27.1 innings without a free pass for the Rangers' pitching staff. It was the Rangers' longest stretch without a walk allowed since 27 innings July 21-24, 2010.
The right stuff: Each of the five Rangers' starting pitchers has a win. Entering this game, no other Major League team could claim that. Harrison added his second by primarily inducing ground ball outs (15). He retired Mauer in two key situations: to end the fifth with two on by striking him out swinging and to get the first two outs in the eighth with a 4-6-3 double play. Harrison pitched eight innings, allowing seven hits and one run with two walks and four strikeouts.
Leaderboard: Kinsler enhanced the Rangers lead to 4-1 when he led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a home run. It’s his fourth of the season, and he has driven in seven. He entered this game leading the majors in total bases and tied for first in runs scored and extra-base hits.
Closing time: Joe Nathan did not pitch Thursday in Arlington after working back-to-back games. However, Alexi Ogando pitched the ninth inning. He hit a batter and gave up a single before closing out the game.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.