Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 9, Diamondbacks 1
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Colby Lewis threw a complete game, allowing just one run on four hits in a 9-1 victory. The Texas Rangers' bats also came alive with five two-out runs in the sixth inning to turn a 1-0 game into a big lead. Some quick thoughts on the game, seen by 39,140 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Tuesday:
What it means: The Rangers move to 36-26 on the season and will stay at least 2.5 games up on the Los Angeles Angels depending on what they do tonight against the Dodgers.
Hill breaks up perfect game: Lewis had a perfect game through 5 1/3 innings Tuesday, keeping the first 16 batters he faced off base. But Aaron Hill's single to left ended the bid. ... It was the longest perfect stretch to start a game by a Ranger since Kenny Rogers on Aug. 9, 2002 at Cleveland. He had seven perfect innings.
Consecutive complete games: Lewis has now gone the distance in two straight starts. He pitched an eight-inning complete game in Oakland, losing 2-0 to the A's. ... He now has five complete games in his career. It was the first complete game thrown against the Diamondbacks this season. ... The last Ranger to throw back-to-back complete games was Derek Holland July 7 and 14 of 2011. ... The last right-handed Ranger to do it was Kevin Millwood in 2008.
Two-out runs: The Rangers turned the sixth inning in to a big one with two outs. It started with a Michael Young opposite-field single, the first of five straight hits. The big blast was David Murphy's two-run homer just inside the foul pole in right. But a single by Yorvit Torrealba, doubles by Mitch Moreland (to deep center) and Craig Gentry (a bloop that wasn't caught down the right-field line) and a single by Ian Kinsler ended Ian Kennedy's night and helped the Rangers score five runs in the inning.
Rare big inning: The five-run sixth was the club's biggest inning since May 27 against Toronto, when Texas scored seven runs in the second inning of a 12-6 victory.
Sneaky slider: Lewis' slider was a terrific pitch for him Tuesday. He had seven strikeouts, and four of them came on sliders. The pitch kept Arizona hitters off-balance, along with his changeup. Solid fastball command, of course, set both pitches up for Lewis.
Aggressive baserunning: As usual, the Rangers were aggressive on the basepaths. After doubling to lead off the game, Kinsler tagged up on Elvis Andrus' line-drive fly ball to right. Despite right fielder Justin Upton catching it fairly shallow, Kinsler took third anyway and did so standing up on a wide throw. Kinsler was able to score when Kennedy threw a wild pitch with two outs. That gave the Rangers the early 1-0 lead.
Run-scoring leader: Kinsler scored his 47th run of the season in the first inning, which kept him on top of the American League in runs scored. ... Kinsler also had his 26th multi-hit game of the season.
Moreland hits lefty: Moreland, who came in batting .136 (3-for-22) against left-handed pitchers, stayed in against Arizona lefty Mike Zagurski with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh and hit a single to right to score Adrian Beltre. ... It was just Moreland's second RBI against a left-handed pitcher.
Roy struggles: Roy Oswalt, pitching for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday, lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts with one wild pitch. He threw 85 pitches, 55 for strikes.
Up next: LHP Matt Harrison (8-3, 3.97 ERA) takes the mound for the second game of the series against LHP Wade Miley (7-2, 2.53 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.