ARLINGTON -- The Rangers ended their brief five-game homestand with a nifty 4-3 victory against Seattle on Wednesday afternoon, finishing their time at Globe Life Park at 2-3.
Shin-Soo Choo’s solo home run in the fifth broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Rangers the lead for good.
How it happened: The Rangers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning when they sent nine men to the plate against Seattle starter and Highland Park native Chris Young. Elvis Andrus hit a two-run homer in the first for a 2-0 lead. It was the only hit and a much-needed one for Andrus, who was mired in a 2-for-15 slump coming into the game. Alex Rios' RBI single to right to drive in Choo gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
Things were pretty quiet until the Mariners picked up three runs in the fourth, highlighted by Robinson Cano’s second homer of the season, a two-run shot that tied the score at 3.
But Choo’s team-leading fifth homer of the year to start the fifth inning was the difference. He was tied with Adrian Beltre with four coming into the game.
What it means: The victory pushed the Rangers to 8-5 in one-run games, and, maybe, this team will finally start to find a groove. The Rangers need quality pitching and received it Wednesday from Nick Tepesch. Will it continue Thursday night with Yu Darvish, who takes on a Detroit Tigers team tied for the third-most wins in baseball (27)?
Tepesch does well: After making his 101st pitch of the day, Tepesch got a visit from manager Ron Washington. Tepesch made sure he told the manager he was OK to finish things up despite Robbie Ross warming in the bullpen. Tepesch proceeded to issue a pair of one-out walks to Dustin Ackley and John Buck. It forced Washington, in a one-run game, to take Tepesch out for Ross. Yet, Tepesch, who threw a career-high 112 pitches, had a solid outing. He allowed three runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Ross was able to get out of the inning by retiring pinch hitter Stefen Romero on a double-play.
Tepesch’s only major trouble came in the fourth inning when he threw 29 pitches. He allowed a RBI single to Michael Saunders and a 406-foot homer to Cano that tied the score at 3. Tepesch allowed just one hit after that, a sixth-inning double by Cano.
It was another solid outing by Tepesch, who was making his second start of the season. He was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on May 14 picked up a no-decision in a 5-4 loss to Houston. Tepesch allowed just one run over 5 1/3 inning with eight strikeouts in an 104-pitch effort.
Up Next: The Rangers travel to Detroit for a four-game weekend series where they’ll meet former Rangers Ian Kinsler and Joe Nathan. Former Tiger Prince Fielder won’t make the trip, at least for Thursday night’s game as he gets further evaluated for a neck injury. Darvish (3-2, 2.32 ERA) will get the start against Robbie Ray (1-0, 0.75) on Thursday night.