Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Extra Bases: Rangers overcome bullpen hiccup
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Joakim Soria. Robbie Ross. Tanner Scheppers.
All three Texas Rangers relievers had rough nights in a 14-11 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, the Rangers' second walk-off win in two nights.
The Rangers were in position not to need a dramatic win. They led 6-4 going into the seventh inning. The Rangers were 43-3 when leading after six innings entering Tuesday, and they improved that mark, despite the struggles of Soria, Ross and Scheppers.
"We did what we had to do," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We thought we had the game in hand but they battled over there and got three of our best pitchers out there."
Soria and Ross combined to give up three runs in the top of the seventh as the Angels took a 7-6 lead. Soria, who hadn't allowed a run in his first six appearances as a Ranger, got two quick outs and then allowed a single and two walks to load the bases.
With Josh Hamilton coming up, Washington went to Ross for the lefty-lefty matchup. Ross has been struggling against lefties, and it happened again. Hamilton roped a three-run double to give the Angels the 7-6 lead.
The Rangers tied the game at 7-all in the bottom of the seventh on Elvis Andrus' RBI single and looked to Scheppers to keep the game tied in the eighth.
But Scheppers, who has been pitching well since slumping before the All-Star break, allowed four runs on four hits with his own error on a rundown providing the Angels with an extra out.
The Rangers were able to get scoreless innings out of Jason Frasor and Joe Nathan, setting up Leonys Martin for his walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the 10th.
"The pitchers have been picking us up for a long time," Washington said. "Tonight [our hitters] picked them up."