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Thursday, September 29, 2011
2011 timeline: July

By Richard Durrett

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- As the Rangers head off to a workout and then the ALDS, let's continue our look back at the regular season. The month of July was a tough one with the tragic passing of Shannon Stone, a Brownwood firefighter who died from injuries sustained in fall at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The All-Star Game was played in Arizona with Ron Washington managing the American League and the Rangers got off to a good second-half start.

Timeline: July

All-Star Game with Texas flare: July 3 – Josh Hamilton is voted in as a starter for the All-Star Game for the fourth consecutive season by the fans. C.J. Wilson is picked by manager Ron Washington for the game. Michael Young and Adrian Beltre are voted in by the players and starter Alexi Ogando ends up making it as a replacement.

Tragedy at the park: July 7 – Brownwood firefighter Shannon Stone dies after falling about 20 feet over a rail in left field trying to catch a ball thrown to him by Josh Hamilton. Stone’s son, 6-year-old Cooper, witnesses the fall.

July 8 – Stone’s colleagues in the Brownwood fire department mourn his passing. The event was an emotional one for everyone in attendance – players, fans and reporters. That’s especially true for those of us that are fathers.

Hamilton talked about what he was thinking and how he is dealing with it.

Emotional homer: July 9 – Hamilton hits a walk-off, 435-foot home run to give the Rangers a 7-6 victory in an emotional weekend. It was Hamilton’s first walk-off homer since July 9, 2008 vs. the Angels.

Third baseman injured: July 22 – Adrian Beltre strains his left hamstring running to third base in the fifth inning of the Rangers’ 12-2 win over Toronto. He goes on the DL and misses five weeks. Chris Davis is called up.

Sac bunt crazy: July 23 – Texas uses small ball in the ninth inning, putting down three consecutive bunts before Michael Young’s game-winning single to lift them to a 5-4 win over Toronto. The three straight sac bunts were a club record and the first time that’s been done by an AL team in 30 years.

Trading for bullpen help: July 30 -- Texas acquires reliever Koji Uehara from Baltimore for Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter, getting one of the better setup relievers in the game in 2011.
July 31 -- The Rangers trade for setup man Mike Adams from San Diego, sending Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin to the Padres to complete the deal. So Texas gets two key arms for the stretch run.

Other July moments:

July 10: Texas wins 2-0 behind a nice start by Matt Harrison to go into the All-Star break on a 7-game winning streak. They maintain their 1-game lead in the AL West as well. The Rangers hit .351 as a team and averaged 7.6 runs in that streak.

July 12: Rangers manager Ron Washington is the skipper of the American League in the All-Star Game. The AL loses, though, meaning the NL will get homefield advantage in the World Series. Washington said he had a lot of fun and hopes to do it again next year.

July 14: Scott Feldman refuses an assignment to Triple-A and is activated with the big league club as a member of the bullpen. Darren O’Day is optioned to Triple-A. The Rangers win 5-0 in Seattle to start the second half.

July 17: The Rangers’ scoreless streak came to an end at 33 innings, but they won a third straight game in Seattle and have their first double-digit win streak of the season.

July 18: Nolan Ryan is in the hospital with some issues of a recurring heart condition. The 64-year-old Hall of Famer experienced some discomfort and went to the hospital. He stayed for a few days, underwent some precautionary tests that showed no new developments with his heart condition, was treated and released.

July 19: New safety measures at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, including raising the rails to 42 inches.

July 21: The Angels rally from an 8-3 deficit to end the Rangers’ 12-game winning streak. Jered Weaver pitches a gem the next day for a 1-0 win as the Angels close the gap to 3 games in the AL West. A rare fielding error on Endy Chavez accounted for the only run against C.J. Wilson in the loss.

July 25: The Rangers pound out 27 hits and 20 runs in a 20-6 beating of the Twins.

July 27: Manager Ron Washington says the club needs “reinforcements” at the trade deadline, especially in the bullpen. He also calls out closer Neftali Feliz, saying he needs more fire out of his closer.