Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Brewers 4
August, 14, 2013
By Todd Wills | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers produced their 37th comeback victory of the season, scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh to survive the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 on Wednesday night.
It gave the Rangers their 70th win of the season. Closer Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 36th save.
Taking advantage: Trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Rangers cashed in on wildness out of the Brewers' bullpen. Pinch hitter Craig Gentry and Jurickson Profar walked to start the inning against Michael Gonzalez. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke went to former closer John Axford, who walked pinch hitter Jeff Baker to load the bases. Axford struck out Leonys Martin on three pitches, then Elvis Andrus lined a single into left field to cut Milwaukee's lead to 4-3 with the bases remaining loaded. Roenicke went to the bullpen again to Burke Badenhop, who gave up the lead as Ian Kinsler lined a 2-0 pitch into left field for two RBIs and a 5-4 lead. Kinsler had one hit in his previous 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position before his go-ahead single. He is 4-for-10 with the bases loaded this season.
Scheppers dominates: Setup man Tanner Scheppers had a shutdown inning in the top of the eighth. After Carlos Gomez grounded out, Scheppers struck out Juan Francisco, who had two home runs earlier in the game, and Scooter Gennett, who had a pair of homers on Tuesday night.
Long ball gets Garza: Matt Garza allowed four earned runs for the third straight start, all of them coming on home runs. He let the Brewers do damage despite being down in the count. Francisco hit a one-out home run in the top of the second on an 0-2 fastball to tie the score at 1-1. Garza opened the fourth inning in an disappointing way. He hit Aramis Ramirez with an 0-2 fastball. Carlos Gomez followed with a double and Francisco belted another home run, this one on a first-pitch fastball. Garza lasted only 5 2/3 innings, the first time in five starts as a Ranger he hasn't pitch at least seven innings.
Striking first: The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but the inning could have been much more. After Martin grounded out to start the inning, the next four Rangers reached base. Andrus walked but was thrown out trying to steal second. Kinsler followed with a double and scored on Adrian Beltre's RBI single. A.J. Pierzynski then had a single, but with Beltre taking third, the Rangers' catcher took a wide turn at first and couldn't get back to the base before he was tagged out by Juan Francisco.
Double trouble: Martin kept the Rangers in the game with two laser throws to cut down runners at third base in the first and sixth innings. Opponents haven't figured out that running on Martin is a bad idea. He has 10 outfield assists for the season.
Lack of execution: During their eight-game winning streak, the Rangers had scored run after run executing the plays the game asks you to make, as manager Ron Washington likes to say. They didn't do that early in Wednesday's game. Alex Rios had a single and a stolen base to start the bottom of the fourth. He never moved. Mitch Moreland failed to move Rios to third, flying out to center field. Profar hit a fly ball to the center-field wall that Rios failed to tag up on. It didn't matter anyway. David Murphy flew out to center to drop his season batting average to .223.
On deck: The Rangers get an off day Thursday before opening a three-game home weekend series against the Seattle Mariners. The last time the Mariners came to Arlington they won two out of three from the Rangers. The pitching matchups are: Friday, LHP Derek Holland (9-6, 3.07 ERA) vs. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (10-6, 2.96); Saturday, LHP Martin Perez (5-3, 3.44) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (12-5, 2.28); Sunday, RHP Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.64) vs. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (4-0, 7.06).