Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 1, Diamondbacks 0
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers center fielder Craig Gentry delivered the big hit in the bottom of the eighth as Texas earned the 1-0 victory in a pitchers' duel at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Matt Harrison pitched his fifth straight quality start. Some quick thoughts:
What it means: The Rangers have won three straight games and claimed the series win over Arizona. Texas has now won two straight series after losing the previous three (vs. Seattle, at LAA, at Oak).
Rare 1-0 game: The only other 1-0 game for the Rangers this season was the 1-0 victory over Seattle at Rangers Ballpark on April 10. It is the seventh 1-0 Rangers win in Arlington since 1994, when the park opened.
Quality five: Harrison had his fifth straight quality start and pitched more than seven innings for the seventh time in 13 starts. ... He was lifted in favor of Mike Adams after Willie Bloomquist hit a one-out double in a scoreless game in the eighth. ... Harrison had three strikeouts and two walks but was efficient as he pitched deep into yet another game. He gave up six hits in 7 1/3 innings and got a no-decision.
Quick first: Harrison wasted little time in the first inning, needing just six pitches to get three outs. He got Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill to pop up and Justin Upton to ground out before many fans even had a chance to get to their seats. Harrison stayed efficient during the outing.
Rain delay: The game was delayed for 29 minutes by rain. The clubs played through a steady rain for a few innings, but it finally got too hard to continue after the fourth. The tarp was put on the field and the rain quickly passed, so the field was prepared and play resumed.
Double play: Harrison, who came in leading the Rangers' starting pitching staff in ground-ball double plays with six, picked up two double plays. One was on the ground, the other a line out to Elvis Andrus, who threw to first to get Miguel Montero.
Scoreless streak: Harrison hasn't allowed a run in 16 1/3 innings after pitching a complete-game shutout in San Francisco last weekend and the going 7 1/3 scoreless Wednesday.
Gentry delivers (again): Gentry has been solid for the Rangers in 2012 and he came up in a big spot Wednesday. With the game scoreless and Mike Napoli at second base with two outs, Gentry hit a smashing one-hopper that got past third baseman Ryan Roberts and into left field to give the Rangers the lead. Going into Wednesday's game, Gentry was hitting .340 with a homer and 14 RBIs.
Miley masterful: Until allowing the Gentry double in the eighth, it appeared the Rangers might not get anything off Arizona starter Wade Miley. He ended up allowing one run in 7 2/3 innings on three hits. He got the loss thanks to Harrison's excellent outing and timely Rangers hitting in a low-scoring game.
Pinch-hit K: Nelson Cruz pinch-hit for Brandon Snyder with one out in the eighth and Napoli at second base (after an excellent sacrifice bunt by catcher Yorvit Torrealba). Cruz, who didn't play Tuesday because of illness, struck out on three pitches before Gentry's big hit. Cruz stayed in the game in right field.
Bullpen beauty: Adams came in with a runner at second and one out in the eighth inning and got Hill (the No. 2 hitter) to fly out and struck out Upton to end the threat. Adams got the win. ... Closer Joe Nathan then came in with a 1-0 lead and struck out Paul Goldschmidt and Jason Kubel and got Chris Young to fly out to end the game. That was his 13th save.
Bat toss: For the second straight game, Josh Hamilton threw a bat in the stands. This one was in the seventh and went past the Rangers' dugout and into the seats beside the far camera well down the first-base line. I don't have an official count, but Hamilton has to be close to 20 bats thrown in the stands this year, right?
Sellout: The Rangers announced a crowd of 45,866, their 17th sellout of the season. The club record for sellouts in a season is 21 in 1994, the year Rangers Ballpark in Arlington opened. Texas could sell out all three games this weekend against the Astros, allowing them to move even closer to that mark. ... But consider that for a Wednesday with wet weather, the club still drew a huge crowd. Things have changed in Arlington.
Up next: RHP Scott Feldman (0-5, 6.39 ERA) starts gainst RHP Daniel Hudson in the final game of the three-game series. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW.