Thursday, November 10, 2011
Dazzling Dozen: Big series with Angels
By Richard Durrett
Today we start our review of the 2011 season. We'll do that by looking at 12 memorable moments for the Rangers. These include big wins or off-field moments that were critical in making the Rangers two-time American League champions. Please feel free to comment in the comment section if you attended these moments and what you remember about them.
No. 12: Rangers win series with the Angels on Aug. 28 to provide stretch-run boost.
Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton celebrate scoring on an Endy Chavez single as part of the Rangers' four-run seventh inning against the Angels on Aug. 28.
It wasn't the greatest game played in 2011 for the Rangers. There was no walk-off home run or spectacular pitching performance. But the Rangers entered that Sunday night contest two games up on the Los Angeles Angels.
A loss and the Angels would win the series and close to one game, the closest they would have been since early in the season. It certainly would have put the pressure on Texas and given the Angels a huge momentum boost.
Jered Weaver started for the Angels on short rest, indicating how critical manager Mike Scioscia felt the series was in Arlington. Colby Lewis was on the hill for the Rangers. The Rangers fell behind 4-1 heading into the bottom of the third. But three runs in the third tied the score. Ian Kinsler started it off with a walk (how many times did we see that this year?), Elvis Andrus then tripled and Josh Hamilton homered to center.
The Angels again took the lead with a run in the fifth, but Texas battled back. It was a four-run seventh inning that finally decided it. Five hits, an intentional walk and an error helped get the runs across. The only extra-base hit in the inning was David Murphy's double. Weaver ended up allowing seven runs on eight hits in six innings.
What it meant: The Rangers hung on for a 9-5 win, pushing their AL West lead back to three games. It was an important punch landed in the bout with the Angels. The two teams wouldn't face each other again until the final three games of the regular season, meaning the Angels would have to get help to have any chance to make those three games meaningful.
The aftermath: The Rangers went 20-7 after that game, putting together a solid September on their way to clinching the AL West while watching the big screen at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday, Sept. 23, as the Angels lost to Oakland following a Rangers win against Seattle. The Angels ended up finishing 14-15.