Thursday, July 29, 2010
Game thoughts: Offense strikes back
By Josh Davis
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers managed just four hits and a run off of Oakland on Wednesday night, but the Texas bats were back to work Thursday. The Rangers dinged the A's for 14 hits on their way to a 7-4 win to push the A's 8 1/2 games back in the AL West.
* The Rangers' offense was not fazed in the least by an early A's lead.
Outfielder Rajai Davis did most of the heavy lifting to get Oakland on the board in the first. Davis got a double off of Texas starter C.J. Wilson before stealing third with one out. Designated hitter Kurt Suzuki drove in Davis with a sacrifice fly to hand the A's a 1-0 lead.
Texas came right back as Michael Young hit a single followed by a Josh Hamilton double to put runners at second and third. Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero's groundout brought in Young before a Nelson Cruz single got Hamilton home. David Murphy flew out at the warning track to end the inning with a 2-1 Rangers lead, but he would get his home run later in the game.
* First baseman Mitch Moreland started his first major league game Thursday night, as the Rangers shuffled their infield to account for Ian Kinsler's trip to the DL.
Moreland made the start count, recording his first MLB hit in the bottom of the second.
He was fortunate to get the hit tonight, as the arrival of Jorge Cantu might signal Moreland is returning to the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks. GM Jon Daniels said before the game one of the two left-handed first basemen (Moreland and Chris Davis) was most likely to move to make room for Cantu.
* Cruz made a fantastic hustle play in the top of the third to get under a foul ball hit by Davis to right field. Cruz made the catch an instant before running into the wall.
* In Texas' half of the third, Young and Hamilton again had hits to put Guerrero at the plate with a runner in scoring position. Vlad brought in Young again, this time with an RBI single right over the second baseman's head.
Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro then walked Nelson Cruz to load the bases with one out.
Murphy, on a 3-1 count, popped up just beyond second base. A's shortstop Cliff Pennington misread the ball and had to quickly adjust but was able to make the catch, and Oakland remained down 3-1.
* Shortstop Elvis Andrus was the only Ranger not to record a hit in Thursday's win, going 0-for-4.
* Oakland first baseman Adam Rosales made an athletic tag in the fourth to keep Andrus off the bags. Rosales caught the throw from shortstop Cliff Pennington before tagging Andrus in mid-air. The out call brought out Rangers manager Ron Washington for a brief talk with the first-base ump.
* For the third time in the win, Young and Hamilton had back-to-back hits in the fifth to give Guerrero a chance to record another RBI. This time, Guerrero hit into a double play, but Young was able to score to bring the lead to 4-1.
Young finished with 4-for-4 with three runs, while Hamilton was 3-for-4 with a run.
More thoughts to come ...