Friday, June 22, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Rockies 1
By Tim MacMahon
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Roy Oswalt’s Rangers debut went remarkably well.
Oswalt had more success against the Colorado Rockies than he did any of the four minor league teams he faced over the last month while getting ready to join the Rangers. He allowed one earned run on nine hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings to earn the win.
The 34-year-old righthander, who struck out six, painted the black on both sides of the plate while mixing a low-90s fastball, low-80s changeup and looping, low-60s curveball. Oswalt consistently got ahead in the count, throwing strikes on 81 of his 110 pitches.
The sellout crowd of 46,964 gave Oswalt a standing ovation as he left the mound after allowing an RBI to Marco Scutaro with two outs in the seventh inning. Oswalt, who left with a 4-0 lead, didn’t tip his cap. If anything, he appeared annoyed that he allowed a run.
Robbie Ross, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to preserve the win for Oswalt.
Seven strong: The Rangers’ pitching staff has allowed only 15 earned runs during the team's seven-game winning streak, recording a 2.14 ERA in that span. It is the second time this season that the Rangers have allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven consecutive games, matching the streak from April 12 to 19.
Nothing against Nathan: Nathan continues to be about as dominant as a closer can be. He has retired 45 of the last 53 batters he has faced after a throwing a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts against the Rockies to record his 16th save. This was his 16th consecutive scoreless appearance, striking out 21 in 16 innings.
Beltre’s bat stays hot: Adrian Beltre’s groove continued with an opposite-field, two-run homer in his first at-bat, when he battled back from 0-2 to work the count full. He followed with a single in his next at-bat and scored on Nelson Cruz's double to the left-center gap. Beltre is 14-for-29 with three homers and 10 RBIs in the last eight games.
Napoli needed it: Mike Napoli snapped an 0-for-13 skid in style with his opposite-field solo homer in the fourth inning. It was only the second hit for Napoli in a span of 25 at-bats. Napoli, who leads American League catchers in All-Star voting, has numbers that are nearly identical to his pre-break production last season.
Tidbits: The Rangers are a season-high 17 games above .500. Their 44-27 record is the best in club history at this point of a season. … Michael Young's extended slump continued with an 0-for-3 night. The Rangers’ all-time hits leader is 4-for-31 in the last eight games and is hitting .229 (50-for-218) in the last 54 games. Young’s average has fallen from .414 to .268 in that stretch, which accounts for one-third of a season. … Josh Hamilton went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and misplayed two extra-base hits in left field. ... Ian Kinsler's streak of 11 straight stolen bases ended when he was picked off first in the fifth. … Yorvit Torrealba was thrown out on a bang-bang play at home plate by Carlos Gonzalez in the second inning when he tried to score on a Craig Gentry single to left field. … The Rangers matched their club record, set in 1994, with their 21st sellout of the season. There are 4,500 reserved tickets available for Saturday afternoon’s game and 1,000 available for Sunday’s game.