Saturday, April 13, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 3, Mariners 1
By Todd Wills
The Rangers scored two runs in the top of the eighth to snap a 1-1 tie as the bullpen held on for a 3-1 victory over Seattle on Saturday night at Safeco Field.
Andrus delivers: Elvis Andrus has had a frustrating start to the season, hitting the baseball on the barrel several times and having outs to show for it as his averages hovers around .250. But he delivered yet another hit with a runner scoring position, this one a two-out single down the right-field line in the top of the eighth to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Andrus is batting .333 with runners in scoring position.
Little Joe again: Rookie reliever Joe Ortiz is having a Robbie Ross start to the season. Remember Ross won four games in April in 2012. Well Ortiz has two victories in the Rangers' first 12 games this season. Ortiz pitched two more scoreless innings in the seventh and the eighth, putting himself in position for the victory.
Small ball works: The Rangers played for one run in the top of the sixth inning and it worked. Trailing 1-0 with their first two batters reaching base, manager Ron Washington went with the sacrifice bunt with Andrus up. He executed, putting two runners in scoring position. Adrian Beltre was then walked to load the bases, setting up Nelson Cruz. He hit into double play, but the Rangers scoring the tying run on a strange play in which Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak dropped Cruz's line drive and threw to second base to remove the force play and Leury Garcia scored before Ian Kinsler was tagged out between second and third base to end the inning.
Leury Leury: Another 22-year-old Ranger, Leury Garcia, made his first start Saturday and had single and also made three exceptional defensive plays, including fielding a ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Bullpen does work: The Rangers called on the bullpen for four more innings and they responded. Robbie Ross worked out of a sixth-inning jam. Ortiz gave up a hit in his two innings. And closer Joe Nathan had a perfect ninth inning for the win.
Ogando minimizes again: Alexi Ogando threw 98 pitches in five innings for a heavy workload. But the right-hander allowed a run or less for the third straight start. He allowed a run while striking out five and walking one.
Up next: The Rangers go for their fourth series win of the season when rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch takes the mound against Seattle right-hander Brandon Maurer. First pitch is 3:10 p.m. Sunday on FSSW.