Sunday, April 24, 2011
Rangers chase Bruce Chen, go up 8-2
By Art Garcia
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers chased Kansas City starter Bruce Chen with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Young's RBI single up the middle prompted the change, but a home run by light-hitting Andres Blanco probably was proof enough that it wasn't Chen's day.
Blanco led off the inning with a rare display of power, although he usually does swing out of his shoes. Playing short in place of Elvis Andrus, who was given the day off, Blanco sneaked his second career home run around the left-field pole. He last went deep in 2009 while playing for the Chicago Cubs.
It was the Rangers' third solo shot, and the fifth overall in the game. Chen proceeded to walk Julio Borbon and Mitch Moreland before Young went right back up the box to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
Jeremy Jeffress came in for Chen and walked Adrian Beltre to load the bases. Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli had the first cracks at blowing the game open. Cruz struck out and Napoli walked to bring in run before David Murphy did just that, doubling to left-center to empty the bases.
C.J. Wilson is in line to improve to 3-0 and the Rangers will sweep the series if they can hold the 8-2 lead for four more innings. Chen's final line was 4 1/3 innings, seven hits and six earned runs.