Saturday, August 25, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 9, Twins 3
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers scored nine runs in the first three innings and got a quality start from Ryan Dempster to coast to a 9-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins in front of 44,215 on Saturday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
What it means: The Rangers stay six games up on the Oakland A's, who won earlier Saturday afternoon, and are 24 games over .500, their highest this season. ... They've won eight of their last 10 games and can sweep the series with a win on Sunday.
Lots of runs: The Texas offense continues to pound the ball in August. They have 147 runs in the month, far and away the tops in the AL (the Angels had 121 coming into Saturday's game) and have scored 39 runs in the last four games. ... Texas scored all nine runs in the first three innings, giving Dempster plenty of support early. ... Adrian Beltre is the only starter that did not get a hit.
Leadoff homer: Ian Kinsler hit a 1-1 changeup (82 mph) over the left-field scoreboard to lead off the bottom of the first. It was his fifth leadoff homer of the season and the 25th of his career. ... Before that at-bat, Kinsler was 0-for-6 with a walk against starter Brian Duensing. ... The Rangers are 21-4 in games where Kinsler hits a leadoff home run.
Moreland's moon shot: Manager Ron Washington said before the game that he wanted to give Mitch Moreland a shot against a left-handed pitcher because of how well he was swinging the bat. The skipper was rewarded for that decision right away in the second inning. Moreland crushed a 1-2 sinker at 91 mph into the Home Run Porch. The folks at the Rangers Ballpark estimated it at 463 feet, making it the third longest home run in the stadium's history. The top five:
Josh Hamilton: 490 feet vs. Houston, June 27, 2010
Jose Canseco: 480 feet vs. Seattle, June 13, 1994
Mitch Moreland: 463 feet vs. Minnesota, Aug. 25, 2012
Josh Hamilton: 460 feet vs. LA Angels, May 15, 2009
Nelson Cruz: 459 feet vs. Detroit, June 6, 2011
More on Moreland: He came into the game 0-for-6 with three strikeouts against Duensing, but was 6-for-17 on the homestand and riding a seven-game hitting streak. ... It's his third homer of the season against a lefty and pushed hit streak to eight games, one shy of his career-high.
Soto swinging: Geovany Soto's bat, like the rest of the Rangers' offense, has also come alive recently. Soto had an RBI single in the third, giving him a six-game hitting streak. He now has an RBI in six straight games, a career high. In that span, he's batting .391 (9-for-23) with two doubles, seven RBIs and six runs scored.
Quality start: Once again, Dempster got good run support (the Rangers scored nine runs while he was out there and have scored four or more in four of his five starts) and took advantage, throwing his third quality start since coming to the Rangers. ... Dempster gave up two runs on eight hits in six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. He is 3-1 as a Ranger, and Texas has won four of his five starts.
Three hits, three Ks: Dempster gave up hits to the first three batters he faced in the fifth, allowing one run. Then he struck out the next three batters -- Nos. 2-4 in the lineup. That included Ben Revere, who is the toughest player to strike out with enough qualifying plate appearances (he had 370 at-bats coming into the game). Revere strikes out just once per 12.4 plate appearance (32 strikeouts all season coming into the game). ... In fact, Tanner Scheppers struck out Revere to end the game. It's a real rarity for him to strike out twice in one game.
Tidbits: Craig Gentry made a nice one-hop throw from deep CF to third base as Revere tagged up. The throw wasn't in time to get the speedy Revere, but it was an impressive attempt. ... Gentry made another good throw to get Justin Morneau at home plate in the sixth. ... Kinsler must have thought there were two outs in the eighth inning and was running all the way to third on a fly ball to right by Elvis Andrus and was doubled up easily.
Up next: The Rangers and Twins will play for the fourth and final time in this series in Arlington with RHP Scott Feldman (6-9, 4.77 ERA) going against RHP Cole De Vries (2-5, 4.89 ERA).