ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's become a hallmark of the Texas Rangers offense. While they've got plenty of big bats that can change the outcome with one powerful swing, the Rangers also have lots of speed that can alter the game with timely stolen bases and taking extra bases. And they are a very opportune team when it comes to opponent mistakes, as the Detroit Tigers discovered Sunday.
The Rangers ran all over the place in the 8-3 win. They had a double steal in the seventh that turned into two runs thanks to two wild pitches and an error by the catcher. Ian Kinsler took an extra base on a throw in the third, helping him score when starter Rick Porcello made an errant throw to third. But every time the Tigers hoped to get settled and out of an inning, the Rangers found a way to try to force the issue on the bases.
"It’s been a big part ever since I’ve been here, but you also have the athletes to do it, too," said third base coach Dave Anderson. "It’s one thing to want to be aggressive, it’s another thing to have the guys that can do it. And sometimes we’re overaggressive. But I think that (aggressive play) helps us in a lot of ways because it forces the other team to be heads up all the time because a lot of things can happen and it forces errors."
Manager Ron Washington has preached a versatile offense and one that can make things happen without a ton of long balls. The Rangers got a homer from Josh Hamilton on Sunday but also raced around the bases whenever they had the opportunity.
"That’s a part of our game," Washington said. "When we’re able to do it, we’re going to do it. There will be times when we do it and we run ourselves off the field. But I will never stop them. That’s the way we play. And when you have the type of athletes I have, you have to let them go. They’ll make some mistakes, but they’ll learn from those mistakes and they’ll put pressure on the other team’s defense. That’s the way we play. When we’re playing like that, that’s when we’re at our best."
The coaching staff is a big part of that. And Anderson didn't hestitate to turn up the heat Sunday. He sent Mitch Moreland home on a ball hit to the outfield by Kinsler in the third despite the fact that there were no outs. Anderson said as soon as he saw the ball get by Austin Jackson, forcing left fielder Andy Dirks to cut it off, he waved Moreland home. The play worked and the Rangers added to their lead.