Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Five-run sixth propels Rangers to win
By Clint Foster
ARLINGTON, Texas-- It feels like a long time since the Texas Rangers' bats where this hot.
Thanks to a five-run offensive explosion in the sixth inning and a 16-hit game, the Rangers took the first game of their three-game home set with the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-1, on Tuesday. Couple that offensive performance with four-hit complete game (seven hitless innings) from Colby Lewis and you have a pretty dominant win.
"It seemed like Colby was going to get us the win regardless of whether we scored one run or nine," David Murphy said. "He did such a great job tonight."
Murphy paved the way for the Rangers' offensive jolt in the sixth when he blasted a two-run homer over the right field fence. His first home run in 17 games was one of three hits from Tuesday's game that boosted his batting average to .263.
"More than anything it shows me I had the right approach out there," Murphy said. "Any time you have a good game it gives you confidence."
Mitch Moreland, another hitter who has struggled lately, drove in the next run of the inning with an RBI double.
"It was a lot of fun," Moreland said. "I had a great game. It seemed like everyone contributed. All of us swung our bats really well and Colby led the way."
Moreland finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. It was only his second two-hit game in the last 13. He said he has no worries about the offense moving forward.
"We just need to keep playing our game," Moreland said. "We've shown what we can do, one through nine. You're going to have the ups and downs, but we're playing good ball right now."
Ian Kinsler and Craig Gentry also provided RBIs to add to the lead-padding in the sixth. Gentry said Tuesday's win was a great way to build off of the momentum the team gained from taking two of three against the Giants last weekend.
"That sixth inning was big for us," Gentry said. "We expect to go out every day and swing the bats well."
The Rangers continue their series with the D-backs on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. Kinsler said that keeping the bats hot is an ongoing process.
"Murph's home run kind of relaxed us and gave us a chance to breathe," Kinsler said. "As far as confidence, we know we're a really good hitting team and our confidence never really changes."
In any case, keeping the bats hot is imperative to this team's success. Tuesday's game was the first time in six games that every Rangers batter had at least one hit. It's proof that when the Rangers lineup is firing on all cylinders, this team is lethal.