Friday, June 8, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Giants 0
By Bryan Dolgin
How it happened: Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison was outstanding Friday night. He pitched a complete game for his eighth win. Harrison only allowed five hits and all singles. He induced 18 ground outs and struck out four. It was Harrison’s first shutout since May 8, 2009, and it was the third shutout of his career.
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito faced the Rangers for the 32nd time in his career, and Ian Kinsler greeted him with a home run. Later, Josh Hamilton ended an eight-game home run drought with one out in the fifth inning with his major league leading 22nd home run and 59th RBI.
In addition to hitting the long ball, the Rangers manufactured two other runs. In the fourth inning, Nelson Cruz led off with a double and moved to third on a Yorvit Torrealba ground out. Cruz scored on Craig Gentry's RBI single. In the sixth, Gentry led off with a single and advanced to second on Matt Harrison’s second sacrifice bunt of the night. Gentry scored on Kinsler’s RBI single the opposite way to right field. Zito remains on hold with 18 career wins, but he now has six career losses versus Texas.
Streaking: Harrison has won four consecutive starts. Harrison retired the first seven batters he faced before Brandon Crawford singled with one out in the third inning. Harrison entered the game hitless in his career at the plate, going 0-for-12. He was 0-for-2 Friday night with two sacrifice bunts.
Twos are wild: Kinsler hit the second pitch of the game for his second leadoff home run of the season and 22nd career leadoff home run.
Elvis: Elvis Andrus ended an 0-for-12 stretch with an eighth inning single.
A fan of interleague play: Hamilton brought a .362 career interleague batting average into Friday’s game. That’s the second highest all-time among players with at least 200 at-bats in interleague games. Hamilton was 1-for-5 on Friday night.
Career high: Gentry was 5-for-5. That’s a new career high in hits. He doubled in his first at-bat and followed with four singles. His batting average went from .301 to .341.
Once a Giant: Catcher Yorvit Torrealba played for the Giants from 2001-2005. He was the starting catcher Friday night and was 1-for-4.
The last time: The Rangers last played in San Francisco on October 28, 2010. That was Game 2 of the World Series when they lost 9-0. That loss ran the Rangers record to 0-11 at AT&T Park. The last Rangers win in San Francisco was in 1998.
Rotation turn: The Rangers decided to push back the next start for Yu Darvish to give him extra rest. He is scheduled to start the first game against Houston next Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Looking ahead: Following the San Francisco series, the Rangers continue interleague play Tuesday at home versus Arizona. There are good seats remaining for each game of that series. Then, the Rangers host the Astros in a three-game series. For Friday, there are 1,500 reserved seats remaining. For Saturday, there are scattered singles and obstructed view seats. Standing room only will go on sale early next week. For Sunday, there are 4,500 reserved seats remaining.