Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Royals 3
The Texas Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals, 5-3, for their first three-game winning streak since July 7-8-13, the first two days before the All-Star break and the first game after it.
Cruz control: Nelson Cruz connected for a sacrifice fly in the 1st inning to score the Rangers' first run. He has 12 RBI in the last 12 games.
RBI-less: Adrian Beltre is without an RBI in 11 straight games. He walked with two on base in the first. He led off the fourth with a walk. Beltre popped to short with runners on the corners in the sixth. He popped out to second base with one on base in the eighth inning.
Streaking: David Murphy put the Rangers ahead 2-1 with an RBI single in the fourth. Murphy has a seven-game hitting streak. In the second, Murphy flied out to center field, ending a streak of reaching base safely in eight straight plate appearances (6-for-6 and two walks). Murphy’s seven-game start streak of hitting a double came to an end.
Watered down: Mitch Moreland’s seventh inning three-run home run landed an estimated 411 feet from home plate and to the fountains. It was Moreland’s 11th home run of the season. It was a lefty-lefty match-up as Moreland hit the home run off Jose Mijares. Moreland is 3-for-3 against him in his career. The home run was Moreland’s first since June 15. It was also Moreland’s third career home run off a lefty and gave the Rangers a 5-1 lead.
Seeing double: Matt Harrison entered this game ranked 18th in the American League with 0.93 ground ball double plays per nine innings. He also averages a club record 1.12 ground ball double plays per nine innings. In the second inning, Harrison induced his 15th ground ball double play of the season. Harrison induced his 16th to end the sixth and kill a Royals rally.
Walking that way: Harrison had walked three batters in a game just twice in his first 17 starts. He has walked at least three batters in three of his last four starts.
Catching on: After catching all of Thursday night’s four-hour and one-minute 15-9 Rangers win over the Angels, new Rangers catcher Geovany Soto started the first game in K.C.
Relief: Right-hander Joe Nathan was not available to pitch tonight. He threw 33 pitches Wednesday and 29 pitches Thursday. Alexi Ogando was the closer, and he picked up his second save of the season.
Up next: RHP Scot Feldman (5-6, 4.76) is looking for his sixth consecutive winning decision when he piches the second game of the three-game series in Kansas City. LHP Will Smith (2-3, 5.94) starts for the Royals.
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.