Rangers rally in 8th to beat A's

June, 29, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers needed a rally in the eighth inning to put away the Oakland A's, 4-3, on Friday night.

Down 2-0 in the eighth, the Rangers loaded the bases with a one-out single from Elvis Andrus and walks from Josh Hamilton and Michael Young. Then, Nelson Cruz brought Andrus home with a walk of his own.

"In that situation, everybody is more focused," Cruz said. "Whatever we need to do, just get on base."

The Rangers' lineup reaped the fruit of its patience when Craig Gentry stepped up to the plate in place of David Murphy. Gentry blasted a three-RBI triple to put the Rangers up, 4-2.

"We kept grinding and kept girding," Ron Washington said. "Cruz got the big walk. Then, Gentry gets the big hit. That's why you play nine innings, and we played nine innings tonight."

The triple would not have fallen if Yoenis Cespedes had not misread it. The left fielder for the A's came in first and by the time he turned around to chase the ball on the warning track, there was no way he could catch it.

"I knew I hit decent, but to be honest with you I thought he was going to catch it," Gentry said. "I guess he ran in on it real quick and luckily I was able to get it over his head."

Gentry has the best batting average of any hitter on the roster at .356. He has been on fire in the month of June, hitting .462 going into Friday's game.

"The thing about Gentry is that he's always ready," Washington said. "He doesn't get mentally beat when he's not in the lineup. He stays focused, and tonight, he gave us two good at-bats. He gets the triple to win the game for us. That's why we have 25 men on this team, so they can all play as one."

The rally assured Matt Harrison his 11th win of the season, which is tied for first in the majors. Gentry said that the offense wanted to reward Harrison for pitching a gem.

"He pitched a great game," Gentry said. "Their guy came out and he kept us off balance, but luckily we were able to come back and get some runs on the board for Harry."

The Rangers would not have had to rally in the eighth if it had not been for the lone dark spot in the game. Mike Napoli struck out three times with runners in scoring position. He had chances to put the Rangers up in the second with the bases loaded and in the seventh with runners at first and second. It seems only fitting that Napoli struck out swinging to end the eighth inning with Gentry on third base.

Luckily for Napoli and Harrison, the offense bailed them out with some uncharacteristic patience and solid hitting from their hottest reserve player.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?


Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Jon Daniels

Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Jim Bowden

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.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Chuck Cooperstein

Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.

Galloway & Company: Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.

Galloway & Company: Nolan Ryan

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ron Washington

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Fire Wash?

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.


Alex Rios
.321 1 10 9
HRS. Choo 2
RBIK. Kouzmanoff 10
RE. Andrus 14
OPSS. Choo .932
WM. Perez 3
ERAY. Darvish 1.61
SOY. Darvish 29