Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 7, M's 6
By Randy Jennings
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Comebacks and searing heat are very much the rage at Rangers Ballpark these days.
Josh Hamilton's walk-off single to left field in the bottom of the ninth scored Ian Kinsler from second base with the winning run in Texas' 7-6 victory Tuesday night before 25,214 fans.
It was the Rangers' only lead of the night and it followed a familiar pattern of comeback wins on this homestand.
Kinsler drew a walk to start the ninth and after a Seattle pitching change, Endy Chavez was supposed to drop a sacrifice bunt. His bunt just inside the chalk on the first-base line was so good, Chavez beat it out for his third hit.
That set the stage for Hamilton, who had been retired on his previous three plate appearances.
Texas trailed by three runs for much of the game.
The win was important. In New York, the Angels scored two runs in the ninth to defeat the Yankees, 6-4. The Angels remain 1 1/2 games behind the AL West-leading Rangers.
* Alexi Ogando, coming off a three-day paternity leave, struggled in his worst outing since June 14.
Ogando allowed eight hits and six runs, all earned, in 2.2 innings against a Seattle lineup that featured four batters hitting .219 or lower.
Only once in the game did Ogando retire back-to-back hitters.
The stinger was a two-run triple left-handed hitting Adam Kennedy pulled into the right-field corner. It led to a three-run Mariners outburst that snapped a 3-3 tie. It also marked the first time this season in 100 innings against Rangers pitching that Seattle scored more than two runs in an inning.
Nine starts ago, Ogando was removed having retired only five batters in a 12-4 road loss to the Yankees. He was charged with six runs on six hits that day.
Ogando has allowed as many as eight hits in a start just two other times this season, including his last start, a 5-2 win at Detroit on Aug. 4.
* Yorvit Torrealba’s clutch two-out double in the eighth inning lined over the head of Ichiro Suzuki drove in Nelson Cruz with the run that made it 6-6. Torrealba, removed for a pinch runner, has hit safely in eight straight games and 11 of his last 12.
* Kinsler’s two-run home run in seventh inning off reliever Josh Lueke brought the Rangers within a run at 6-5. For Kinsler, the 401-foot drive into the left-field stands was his 17th of the season and gave him seven RBIs in his last six games. He has 48 RBIs for the season. Kinsler failed to get the ball out of the infield against Seattle starter Michael Pineda in three tries.
* Tuesday’s 105 degree game-time temperature was 32 degrees hotter than it was on April 5 when Ogando and Michael Pineda hooked up for the first time this season at Rangers Ballpark. Neither pitcher allowed a run that night in the first five innings. Ogando allowed two hits in six scoreless innings and Pineda was charged with three runs on five hits in a 3-2 Rangers victory.
* Yoshinori Tateyama successfully did his job of eating up a couple of middle innings in relief of Ogando. He came on in the third inning with two out and a runner at second and for the 15th time in 19 tries retired his first batter. Tateyama worked 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing one hit while fanning two.
* Cruz was picked off first base by such a margin in the eighth inning he had no choice but to sprint for second base. Cruz beat the throw by first baseman Mike Carp and scored the tying run on Torrealba’s two-out double.
* Mark Lowe worked a scoreless sixth inning, extending his streak to 11 games without allowing an earned run. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning Monday.
* Mitch Moreland went hitless but drew a pair of leadoff walks and an intentional pass and scored two runs.
* With Darren Oliver’s 1-2-3 seventh inning, he has retired 24 of the last 28 batters he’s faced.
* Chavez celebrated his one-game move to the No. 2 spot in the batting order with a 384-foot home run to right-center to ignite a two-run Rangers first inning. He added a game-tying, two-out RBI single in the second inning and finished 3-for-5, thanks to the beautiful bunt hit in the ninth.
Chavez’ climb up the batting order came about because Elvis Andrus had the night off. Andrus was called into duty in the eighth inning with a pinch-hit appearance for Omar Quintanilla and played the rest of the way.