Rapid Reaction: Rockies 11, Rangers 7
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Colorado Rockies jumped out to a 10-run lead and survived a Texas Rangers' comeback attempt Saturday, winning 11-7. Thoughts on the game:
What it means: The Rangers' seven-game winning streak comes to an end and it sets up a rubber match to decide the series Sunday.
Lewis struggles: Colby Lewis didn't have it, ending a string of three straight quality starts. In fact, Lewis gave up seven earned runs in the outing, one more than he had in his previous four June starts. Lewis lasted just four innings and gave up a season-high 11 hits and a season-high eight runs (seven earned). ... The seven earned runs were the most allowed by Lewis since Aug. 23, 2011 vs. Boston (an 11-5 loss). ... The 11 hits were the most he's given up in the majors since May 22, 2007, when he gave up 12 against the Chicago White Sox as a member of the Oakland A's and was moved to the bullpen after that.
Offense finally gets going: After doing next to nothing for the first four innings, the Rangers' bats broke through in the fifth. Texas batted around and scored six runs -- all of them with two outs -- one four singles, one walk, one double and a homer. At one point they had five two-out hits against two different pitchers. It turned an 11-1 game into an 11-7 contest.
Still wasted chances: But the offense also had three opportunities with a runner at third and one out and couldn't score him. In the second, Yorvit Torrealba bunted two runners over and Craig Gentry popped up and Ian Kinsler struck out. In the sixth, Hamilton and Beltre couldn't get Kinsler home and in the seventh, Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba struck out with Michael Young standing at third.
Cruz 0-2 homer: Nelson Cruz hit a 418-foot homer into the visiting bullpen to put the Rangers on the board in the fourth. He hit it on an 0-2 count. That's Cruz's sixth-career home run on an 0-2 count (that's a lot considering it's tough to get any kind of hit on an 0-2 count). His last one came Aug. 26, 2011 vs. Dan Haren at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. ... Cruz added another homer in the fifth, a 408-foot three-run long ball, for his ninth multi-homer regular season game of his career and first of 2012.
Tough day for Hamilton: Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton has seven strikeouts in the last two games, including four Saturday. He looked particularly uncomfortable against left-handed pitching and struggled to hit breaking pitches (or lay off of them). He came up in the sixth with a runner at third and one out and couldn't make contact to score the run, striking out on breaking pitches outside of the zone. Hamilton is hitting .191 in June after winning AL player of the month honors in April and May. He has 26 strikeouts in 68 at-bats this month. He had 22 strikeouts all of May and 17 in April.
Rough defense: The Rangers had fielding mistakes that helped the Rockies. A bloop hit by Tyler Colvin fell between Hamilton and Elvis Andrus. Hamilton's throw home then hit Carlos Gonzalez. That error allowed the other runners to move up to second and third and when Chris Nelson singled, it scored both of those runs. ... Earlier in the inning, Mike Napoli wasn't able to glove a grounder by Jason Giambi in the hole between first and second. It was ruled an error and then changed to a hit. ... A liner in the second went off Adrian Beltre's glove, though no runs scored. Beltre was given a tough error on the play.
Nice throw: David Murphy threw a bullet to home plate to get Wil Nieves trying to tag up and score with two outs in the seventh. Murphy's throw was on target and Torrealba had a nice block and tag to complete the play.
Rare steals: Jonathan Herrera stole second base in the first inning as catcher Yorvit Torrealba double-clutched before getting the throw off. He then stole third on a close play (Beltre thought he had him, so did Torrealba and manager Ron Washington, who came out to argue). Those two steals were only the fourth and fifth stolen bases against Lewis this season.
Thrown bat: It was bat day, so maybe it was fitting that Hamilton tossed yet another one into the stands. He did it in the first inning and struck out. Beltre, who was in the on-deck circle, walked back to the dugout for the second straight game. Beltre and Hamilton talked about that after yesterday's game. Read that here.
Gentry leaves early: Craig Gentry's sprained right ankle was bugging him and he exited after the third inning. Read more here.
Minor injury: ESPNDallas.com intern David Collier reports from Double-A Frisco that third baseman Mike Olt tweaked his hamstring Friday. He expects to be ready to play in a day or two. “It was just a little tight," Olt said. "Nothing big. I woke up this morning and everything was fine. I’m going to get some treatments the next couple of days, and I’ll be ready to go.”
Kirkman gives up consecutive homers: Michael Kirkman came in for Lewis in the fifth and gave up three runs in the inning, including back-to-back homers to Wil Nieves and Dexter Fowler, the Nos. 8-9 hitters in the Colorado order.
Up next: LHP Matt Harrison (9-3, 3.41 ERA) will start for the Rangers against RHP Alex White (2-5, 6.06 ERA) in the final game of this three-game series with Colorado. ... As of Saturday afternoon, the Rangers had less than 100 reserved seats and scattered singles and obstructed view for Sunday's game.
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.