Saturday, September 25, 2010
Jorge Cantu's RBIs come at right time
By Richard Durrett
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Rangers infielder Jorge Cantu knew he didn't have an RBI since coming to Texas just before the July 31 trade deadline.
Cantu was acquired to play first base against lefties and produce with his bat. That wasn't really happening. He was hitting just .203 as a Ranger coming into Saturday's game with no RBIs in 80 plate appearances. But that all changed in the sixth, when he hit a single with the infield in to score Ian Kinsler and give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
Jorge Cantu hadn't contributed much to the Rangers' drive towards the AL West title until Saturday, when he hit the go-ahead home run in the clinching victory.
Texas then took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh and appeared poised to finish the A's off. But Cliff Pennington's two-run homer with two outs off Clay Rapada -- the first runs allowed by Rapada since he was called up -- tied the score.
Cantu came up with two outs and no one on in the top of the eighth and belted a 3-2 slider over the wall in left to give the Rangers the 4-3 lead. Cantu threw his hand in the air as he rounded first base, clearly excited.
"When you are in a bad streak, all you can do is keep working on it," said Cantu, smoking a cigar and enjoying a beer as champaigne showered around him in the joyous clubhouse. "My mind is working and my mind is thinking about what I needed to do. I knew it was a crucial time and a crucial situation, and I love being in there during those times."
During the postgame celebration, hitting coach Clint Hurdle said, loud enough for everyone to hear: "Wow, Cantu. When you get those RBIs, they come in bunches."
Derek Holland, who may not even make the postseason roster, can also take solace in the fact that he helped keep his team in the clinching game. He went five innings and gave up one run. It was another example of manager Ron Washington's assertion that everyone on the roster helped get the club to this point.
"We're a team, that's for sure," catcher Matt Treanor said. "Anytime skip puts somebody in the lineup, he believes in them and so do we. Those guys did it for us today. That's how it's been all year. Everybody has stepped up at some point."