Texas Rangers: Mike Trout

Rangers don't back down to Trout

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
ARLINGTON, Texas -- This is what you have to handle if you're a young pitcher like Nick Martinez and a young slugger like Mike Trout: Pitching inside.

[+] EnlargeNick Martinez
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezMike Trout was hit twice Thursday, but Nick Martinez was simply trying to establish his inside fastball.
Martinez, who fell to 3-11 after the Texas Rangers' 7-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night, hit Trout twice with inside fastballs.

Martinez has to establish the inside portion of the plate, if he expects to be around with this team next year, and getting in on hitters is important in his development.

"Just establishing the fastball inside and it got away from me," Martinez said.

Trout also understands the game of baseball and he didn't like it. In the three-game series, he was hit three times, all near the same spot of the left arm and he almost got popped there a fourth time.

Trout said he was fine, yet after getting plunked in the fifth inning he flipped his bat and had an exasperated look on his face.

"You go up there trying to have at-bats not thinking you're going to get hit," said Trout, who has 102 runs scored and 103 RBIs. "They're pitching inside the whole series, I understand it."

It doesn't mean you have to like it.

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Angels 7, Rangers 3

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Los Angeles Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Rangers with a 7-3 victory on Thursday night at Globe Life Park.

The Rangers, who are inching closer to 100 losses, have 92 with 16 games left in the 2014 season.

On the season, the Rangers have been swept 10 times, including twice by the Angels, who have a 13-3 mark against them. The teams play three more times before the season concludes.

In this three-game series, the Angels outscored the Rangers 24-7. L.A. leads the majors with 729 runs.

The Angels (91-55) have won a season-high eight consecutive games and 14 of their past 16.

How it happened: Leonys Martin is making a case to become the full-time leadoff hitter in 2015.

He started the game with a home run, his first in the leadoff spot in his career and fourth by the Rangers this season. It was the first time in the three-game series the Rangers held a lead.

The lead was gone pretty quickly in the second inning.

Rangers starter Nick Martinez got a fastball up to Erick Aybar, who hit a two-run shot to right field that gave the Angels a 2-1 lead.

Martinez worked out of jams in his six innings of work and had the game get away from him in the third. Martin dropped a fly ball as he was attempting to make a sliding catch on a Kole Calhoun fly ball to start the third. Mike Trout was hit by a pitch, and after Martinez retired the next two hitters, it seemed he would get out of it.

David Freese, the Rangers' World Series nemesis, drove in two runs with a single to center for a 4-1 lead.

That was pretty much it for the Rangers, whose bats just can't keep pace with one of the better-hitting teams in the big leagues.

Hitting Trout: In the three-game series, Trout was hit three times, twice on Thursday. He was hit by a pitch in the third and in the fifth by Martinez, who came in with only one hit batsman all season.

After Trout was hit by a pitch in the fifth, he flipped his bat and Angels manager Mike Scioscia glared out onto the field.

Trout appeared to make a questionable slide into second to send a message when Howie Kendrick hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Trout's slide, while hard and legal, forced Rougned Odor to jump high out of the way as he turned the double play.

Andrus fails in the clutch: The Rangers had their biggest chance to get back into this game in the fifth. Down 4-1, the Rangers loaded the bases with two outs for Elvis Andrus. Scioscia made a pitching change, sending in Mike Morin to face Andrus.

On the first pitch, Andrus hit a bouncer to Morin to end the threat.

Andrus did get an eighth-inning double, his 32nd of the season, setting a career high.

What's next?: A three-game interleague series with the Atlanta Braves starts Friday night at The Globe. LHP Derek Holland (1-0, 0.64) faces LHP Alex Wood (10-10, 2.90). This is the Rangers' last interleague series of the season.

Rapid Reaction: Angels 8, Rangers 1

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10

ARLINGTON, Texas -- When you get a steady pitching effort -- and that doesn't happen often for the Texas Rangers -- you need to drive in runs.

That has been a problem of late sometimes.

The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Rangers 8-1 on Wednesday night. Since beating the Houston Astros 13-6 on Aug. 29, the Rangers have scored only 21 runs in the past 11 games. In that span, they've been shut out once, held to one run four times and scored fewer than three runs 10 times.

Part of the equation of scoring runs is doing damage with runners in scoring position. The Rangers went 1-for-7 in that area Wednesday night and have gone 5-for-41 the past five games.

Rangers starter Nick Tepesch, who has battled with consistency this season, pitched well enough to win, but in 4⅔ innings of work, he gave up three runs and 10 hits. He battled out of some jams during his 93-pitch outing.

His teammates at the plate just didn't provide him with the run support needed.

How it happened: Everything unraveled quickly for Tepesch. He hit No. 2 hitter Mike Trout, but Albert Pujols tripled down the right-field line, his first in four seasons, for a 1-0 lead. Trout, who scored twice Wednesday, has scored 101 times this season. Trout became one of only six major leaguers to score at least 100 times in three different seasons before turning 23.

The Angels added to the lead when Trout scored on Howie Kendrick's double-play grounder in the fifth, and Brennan Boesch drove in another run when he hit into a fielder's choice for a 4-0 lead.

The bases-loaded play to Pujols: It was a gutsy move by interim manager Tim Bogar, and the percentages dictated he did it. Trailing 3-0, Bogar elected to intentionally walk Trout to get to Pujols with one out.

Phil Klein drew a 6-4-3 grounder from Pujols on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning. It was a smart move by Bogar because if he knew Pujols could hit a ball on the ground, doubling him up was nearly assured. Pujols leads the AL in grounding into double plays with 26 and is second in the majors to Miami's Casey McGehee (28).

Andrus returns: Shortstop Elvis Andrus had missed the past two games so the Rangers could see Luis Sardinas. Andrus returned to the lineup and went 1-for-3 with a walk. Andrus' first-inning single snapped an 0-for-10 spell, and he has only four hits in 17 at-bats during this 10-game homestand.

What's next?: The three-game series concludes when RHP Nick Martinez (3-10, 5.03 ERA) takes on RHP Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.81) on Thursday night.

W2W4: Angels at Rangers

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
The Rangers begin a three-game series with AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.

Here’s a preview:

What’s up with the Angels? They own the best record in baseball at 88-55 and have won their last five games. 1B Albert Pujols has a five-game hit streak with 10 hits and eight RBIs during this span. CF Mike Trout has set career-highs in HRs (32) and RBIs (102) this season. LF Josh Hamilton has missed the last four games with a sore right shoulder and his status for this series is uncertain. He has 44 RBIs in 88 games for the Angels. If he doesn’t play, Collin Cowgill takes over. RHP Matt Shoemaker, Wednesday’s starter, was named AL pitcher and rookie of the month. Shoemaker had six wins and a 1.31 ERA in August.

What’s up with the Rangers? The next loss for the Rangers would be the 10th time they’ve reached 90 in a single season. The Rangers are 3-10 against the Angels this season and 1-6 at The Globe. CF Leonys Martin has hit leadoff the last three games and in 17 starts in that spot, he has a slash line of .351/.405/.481. 3B Adrian Beltre has reached base in 23 consecutive games, the second longest active streak in the AL. Who catches will be an issue this week. If Robinson Chirinos (stiff neck) continues to have issues, expect Tomas Telis and J.P. Arencibia to split the duties.

Debuts, debuts, debuts: On Sunday, the Rangers promoted infielder Guilder Rodriguez from Double-A Frisco. When he makes his debut, he will become the 64th player used this season by the Rangers. Currently the Rangers own major league record of using 63 players and 40 pitchers this season. The Rangers lead the majors in rookies used (22) this season and players making their big league debuts (15).

Pitching matchups: Tuesday: RHP Colby Lewis (9-12, 5.42) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.46). Wednesday: RHP Nick Tepesch (4-9, 4.41) vs. RHP Matt Shoemaker (14-4, 3.25). Thursday: RHP Nick Martinez (3-10, 5.03) vs. TBD.

Andrus strives to emulate Jeter, his idol

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Derek Jeter will make his final appearance in Texas as a professional baseball player Wednesday night.

Jeter has morphed into a beloved figure during his 19-year career with the New York Yankees, and there is one man who will take special notice of the pregame ceremony at Globe Life Park and how he handles himself: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.

[+] EnlargeDerek Jeter and Elvis Andrus
AP Photo/Ralph LauerRangers shortstop Elvis Andrus looks up to Derek Jeter for his professionalism on and off the field.
Andrus doesn't wear No. 2 like Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki does. He's not a kid from Jersey who gets wide-eyed just talking to Jeter like is the case for the Angels' Mike Trout.

Andrus is a 25-year old shortstop from Maracay, Venezuela, who idolized Jeter for his professionalism on and off the field. He tries Jeter's signature jump throw from short when the moment fits during games.

If Jeter is the symbol for what a baseball shortstop is supposed to look like, then Andrus wants to be that.

"I think he's a perfect role model for any player, the way he handles himself on the field, especially the way he handles himself away from the field," Andrus said. "He's never been in trouble, he knows how to handle media, especially playing in New York. I can only image how much pressure he has every single day. He's a guy as soon as he steps on the field you can see how professional he is and the thing is everybody on the field respects him, and that's something really hard to earn."

From an intimate space, Andrus learned more about the game playing beside the now-retired Michael Young and Omar Vizquel. Each told him about leadership in a clubhouse and becoming a positive influence on the field.

You see Andrus' attempts at this every night. Any pop fly that hangs over the shallow portions of left field turn into a sprint between Andrus and the left fielder.

Andrus believes he's responsible for handling that.

While he might defer to veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre on pop flies hovering near third, it is Andrus who has emerged as the future of this infield.

Yes, there are younger players waiting for their chance in this organization. Yu Darvish and Beltre are the leading men for this franchise.

But Andrus is trying to make this his team, and particularly turn into the captain of the infield and one day perhaps be the leader of his team like Jeter in New York.

"That's what you strive to be," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not numbers you're striving to be, it's the way you carry yourself. It's character. [Jeter's] personality, his attitude, his commitment to the [game]. Having him around, that makes people realize their goals. That's intangibles. Those are things you can't teach. You can't buy that anywhere. I don't care how much money you got."

Andrus remembers meeting Jeter for the first time at the 2010 All-Star Game. Andrus didn't want to sweat Jeter, so he tried to be smooth.

"I was OK, 'That's my idol, I don't want to push him, bother him,' but he was super cool," Andrus said. "He's a guy you could ask him whatever, and he's willing to help you. No matter who you are, whether you're a rookie or a veteran, he's going to treat you the same way. And that's what you learn from guys, and no matter how big of a baseball player he is, the way he handles himself is he stays humble all the time."

Jeter said he's fortunate and humbled by the pregame ceremonies and the chats he conducts with teammates and players of opposing teams. He knows there are young players trying to be like him.

"I got a chance to play against him," Jeter said of Andrus. "He's fun to watch and play against, and to watch him play, see him develop, see him improve and get to know him a little bit. Talk to him, and it's one of the things I enjoy doing, especially at All-Star Games. You get an opportunity to meet all sorts of personalities, and I've always enjoyed watching him play here in Texas."

Top stats to know: Rangers beat Yankees

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29

Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsYu Darvish was able to hold the Yankees offense to 2 solo homers by Brett Gardner in a win Monday.
The Texas Rangers were able to overcome a two-run deficit by scoring four runs in the fifth inning to beat the New York Yankees. Here are the top stats you need to know about Monday’s game.

Gardner owns Darvish
Rangers’ starter Yu Darvish was able to withstand a big game from Brett Gardner, who launched two home runs off of him. After picking up three hits in four plate appearances Monday, Gardner is now 5-11 in his career against Darvish in 12 plate appearances. Four of those five hits are home runs.

Gardner’s four home runs are tied for the most that Darvish has given up to any player in his career. The others to take the Rangers ace deep that many times are Mike Trout and Brandon Moss.

Darvish limits the damage
Darvish improved to 3-1 in his career against the Bronx Bombers. In 31 1/3 innings against Darvish, the Yankees have lived up to that nickname by hitting six home runs. Unfortunately for New York, all six of those home runs have been solo shots.

Monday, Darvish threw a strike on 74 percent of his pitches, the highest strike rate of his career. He also locked in when there were men on. With the bases empty, the Yankees were 7-17 (.412 BA) against him. With men on, Darvish held the Yankees to two singles in 12 plate appearances.

Jeter passes Yaz
Derek Jeter also had a big game, going 3-4 to give himself 3,420 career hits. That allowed him to pass Boston Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastrzemski for seventh-most all-time in MLB history. Next up, and likely the only other player Jeter will pass on the list, is Honus Wagner who currently has 10 more hits than Jeter.

Did you know?
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Dennis Martinez and Mike Morgan are the only two pitchers to allow a hit to both Derek Jeter and Carl Yastrzemski in their careers.

Martinez is the only one to allow a homer to both.

One mistake enough to doom Tepesch

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
ARLINGTON, Texas -- From the 90 pitches Nick Tepesch delivered, he classified only one as a mistake.

That miss turned into a 418-foot home run by Mike Trout in the fourth inning. And a run was all Los Angeles Angels pitcher Garrett Richards and the Angels' bullpen needed.

[+] EnlargeNick Tepesch
Rick Yeatts/Getty ImagesNick Tepesch gave the Rangers a well-pitched game, but one mistake cost him in a loss.
Tepesch's effort went for naught in a 3-0 loss by the Texas Rangers. In six innings, he was charged with six hits and three earned runs. He didn't issue a walk.

"I felt like I did a pretty good job," the 25-year-old right-hander said. "I made that one mistake to Trout."

The Angels added insurance with two runs in the seventh. Tepesch (3-5) gave up singles to Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Erick Aybar to produce the second Los Angeles run. Another run charged to Tepesch scored on a base hit off reliever Neftali Feliz.

"In that last inning, I thought they made good swings on pretty good pitches," Tepesch said.

Manager Ron Washington was pleased with Tepesch's effort.

"Tepesch pitched extremely well and did what we need him to do," Washington said. "It was a good thing to see. He threw one pitch he'd like to get back."

It was misfortune for Tepesch that he came up against Richards, who improved to 11-2.

"He had a heck of a game and is having a great year," Tepesch said.

Texas went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

"Our guys are working as hard as I am," Tepesch said. "There will be days when I give up runs and they'll have to pick me up again."

Said Washington: "Richards was better than we were tonight. It's tough when you have to face a guy like him. He has tremendous stuff. We just couldn't do it tonight."

Notes: The manager said the team looked "more engaged" in the wake of Thursday's clubhouse meeting. "And we finally got a well-pitched game." ... Rangers designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He also struck out three times Thursday. Washington said Choo probably is pressing because of his competitive nature. "But he's been around the game long enough to handle it," the manager said.

W2W4: Angels at Rangers

July, 10, 2014
Jul 10
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers host the Los Angeles Angels for a four-game series beginning at 7:05 p.m. CT Thursday at Globe Life Park.

While the Rangers are in a tailspin with 18 losses in their past 21 games, the Angels have won eight of 10 and are 16 games over .500.

This is the Angels' first of three visits to Arlington this season. The two previous series between the clubs were played in Anaheim. The Rangers won two of three in early May and were swept in three games this past month.

Keep an eye on:

* Mike Trout is putting together an MVP-type of season, with .303 batting, 20 home runs and 64 RBIs. Rangers pitchers actually handled Trout well in the first six meetings this season and limited him to three hits in 22 at-bats.

* Since being promoted to the Rangers on Monday, Jake Smolinski has rapped out five hits for a .500 batting average in two starts. The Rangers are in position to look at young players, and so far Smolinski is taking advantage.

* Former Ranger Josh Hamilton comes to Arlington in a hitting slump -- batting .120 over the last week. Hamilton's power numbers (five homers, 22 RBIs) have been reduced in part because of a thumb injury that has limited his season to 42 games so far.

* Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has a 13-game hitting streak after two more hits Wednesday, which raised his average to .336. At Globe Life Park, Beltre is batting .371.

* Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick is 14-for-30 in his past eight games, which raised his batting average 17 points to .289. Against the Rangers this season, Kendrick is batting .318.

Lineups: Garza set for return of Trout

September, 26, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout had the day off Wednesday against Oakland, but he was back in the lineup against the Rangers and Matt Garza on Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark as the teams square off for the final four games of the regular season.

Trout, a leading candidate for American League MVP, struggled on the Angels' recent homestand, going 2-for-17, thus the day off.

"He can find it with one swing," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Trout before Thursday's game. "Hopefully he will.

Trout has a career .351 batting average against the Rangers, so Garza and their pitchers know what to expect. Here are the lineups for Thursday's game:

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
RF Alex Rios
3B Adrian Beltre
C A.J. Pierzynski
1B Mitch Moreland
LF Craig Gentry
DH David Murphy
CF Leonys Martin
P Matt Garza

LF J.B. Shuck
SS Erick Aybar
CF Mike Trout
DH Josh Hamilton
2B Howie Kendrick
RF Kole Calhoun
1B Mark Trumbo
C Chris Iannetta
3B Andrew Romine
P Jerome Williams
The Rangers try to even their series with the Los Angeles Angels when left-hander Derek Holland faces Halos right-hander Garrett Richards at 8:05 p.m. Saturday night on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM.

Holland (9-7, 3.07): Holland is winless in a season-high five consecutive starts. ... He is trying to join Kenny Rogers as the only Rangers lefties with three consecutive 10-win seasons. ... Holland allowed three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in his second-shortest start of the season Monday at Oakland and is 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in his last six starts. ... Holland is 7-2 with a 2.99 ERA in 15 road starts. ... He has a 5.79 ERA this season against the Angels and hasn't recorded a decision in three starts.

Richards (5-6, 4.06): The 25-year-old right-hander allowed one run in five innings in an 11-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Monday. He had a career-high seven walks in the start but got out of two bases-loaded jams. ... Richards has been in and out of the rotation, making 12 starts out of his 42 appearances. ... He is 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA at home. ... Richards is 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA since the All-Star break and has a 4.70 ERA in 7 2/3 innings against the Rangers this season.

Hitters: Mike Trout is 9-for-22 with two home runs and six RBIs against Holland. Elvis Andrus is 3-for-10 with two RBIs against Richards.

W2W4: Rangers-Angels

August, 5, 2013
The Rangers are very much in the playoff race, even if it's without outfielder Nelson Cruz.

They'll begin the final 50 games without their leading home run hitter and RBI man with a three-game series at the Los Angeles Angels starting Monday night.

Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss Nelson Cruz accepting his 50-game suspension for using PEDs.

Listen Listen
The Rangers swept three games from the Angels last week in Arlington, winning all three games on walk-off home runs -- and none of them by Cruz.

What kind of drama is on tap for the three games at the Big A in Anaheim? Here's what to watch for:

Rangers dominating so far: The Rangers are 7-2 against the Angels this season, including last week's three-game sweep in Arlington. All three wins came via walk-off home runs -- Geovany Soto, Leonys Martin and Adrian Beltre did the honors -- the first time that has happened in Rangers team history and only the second time in major league history. The Rangers are 48-35 against the Angels since the start of the 2009 season.

Angels bullpen still slumping: The Rangers took advantage of a struggling Angels bullpen to sweep the series in Arlington last week, trailing entering the ninth inning in two games and tied in the other and winning them all. The Halos' bullpen blew a 5-2 lead entering the eighth inning Sunday against Toronto. It was the Angels' fifth blown save in the past nine games. Manager Mike Scioscia pulled closer Ernesto Frieri in a 5-4 game in the top of the ninth after he put two runners on base, and Dane De La Rosa allowed consecutive hits to give up the lead.

Rangers miss Weaver, Wilson: The Rangers will miss the Angels' two best pitchers, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. That comes at a good time with Cruz out of the lineup starting Monday night due to his suspension. The Angels will start right-handers Jerome Williams (5-7, 4.60 ERA), Garrett Richards (3-4, 4.18) and Tommy Hanson (4-2, 5.29) against Texas. The Rangers are 41-37 against right-handers. Williams pitched very well against the Rangers on Wednesday, allowing a run in 7 1/3 innings.

Trout remains hot: The Rangers finally slowed down Angels center fielder Mike Trout in Wednesday's 2-1 victory as Martin Perez got him out all three times he faced him. He did draw a walk against reliever Tanner Scheppers. Trout was 6-for-6 with four walks in his 10 plate appearances in the first two games of last week's series. Trout led all of the major leagues during July with a .476 on-base percentage and a 1.108 OPS. He was the only player to reach base in every game during the month. Trout has reached base in 34 consecutive games.

Hamilton driving in runs: Former Ranger Josh Hamilton has picked things up from the standpoint of driving in runs. Hamilton, who appeared in Sunday's 6-5 loss as a pinch hitter, has 22 RBIs in his past 23 games. He is batting .280 with a home run and eight RBIs in his past seven games. Hamilton has been at his best this season against his old team, batting .389 with a home run and seven RBIs.

Perez shuts down Trout, Angels

July, 31, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Want to know how well rookie Martin Perez pitched Wednesday night?

Mike Trout was 0-for-3 against him. It was a hidden key in the Rangers' 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels that ultimately was won in the bottom of the ninth on Adrian Beltre's walk-off home run.

[+] EnlargeMartin Perez
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesMartin Perez was the hidden key in the Rangers' win Wednesday.
Trout reached base in all 10 of his plate appearances in the first two games of the series, going 6-for-6 with four walks. The Angels' All-Star center fielder grounded out to first and flew out twice to right field against Perez.

What was Perez's secret?

"Throw strikes," Perez said. "Throw fastballs. When he doesn't have a runner in scoring position, he doesn't swing at first pitch, so I attacked him early."

Perez concentrated on slowing down the game against the Angels' hitters. He had rushed and let the game get away from him in his previous start, allowing seven runs in 3 1/3 innings Saturday in Cleveland.

Perez allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings Wednesday night, and that came on a home run by Josh Hamilton that tied the game in the top of the seventh. And Perez didn't make a mistake there -- Hamilton was able to hit a fastball that was down in the strike zone.

Hamilton got Perez once. Trout didn't, and the Angels' offense was in neutral.

"He's really hot right now," Rangers catcher Geovany Soto said of Trout. "We just tried to get the ball down, and hopefully he gets himself out and keep him off the bases. That's a big part of their offense."

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Angels 1

July, 31, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers walked off again. Adrian Beltre slammed a 2-2 pitch off Los Angeles Angels reliever Michael Kohn over the left-field fence for a 2-1 victory, the Rangers' third walk-off win in three nights.

The Rangers moved within four games of the Oakland Athletics in the American League West.

Beltre does it: Beltre cranked his 23rd home run of the season, hammering a fastball and creating another home plate celebration at Rangers Ballpark.

Perez rebounds: Left-hander Martin Perez pitched a tremendous game, allowing a run in 7 1/3 innings. The lone run scored in the top of the seventh when he tried to get a first-pitch fastball by former Ranger Josh Hamilton. Hamilton crushed it over the center-field fence to tie the score at 1-all. Perez allowed four hits and walked two. He had four strikeouts and needed only 95 pitches to work into the eighth inning.

Cruz homers again: Nelson Cruz crushed his 25th home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the second to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. The home run to left field traveled 389 feet. Cruz has feasted on Angels starter Jerome Williams during his career. Cruz has four home runs and 10 RBIs against him.

On Hamilton: Hamilton's home run was his longest of the season at 442 feet, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In his career with the Rangers, Hamilton hit 20 home runs at or past that distance at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, seven more than anyone else over that span (Nelson Cruz, 13).

Outs on the bases: The Rangers could have had more than a 1-0 lead after three innings if not for three outs on the bases. Leonys Martin probably shouldn't have taken a risk on Elvis Andrus' bloop single to right field and was called out at third base (Martin did appear to slide under the tag of Angels third baseman Chris Nelson). Right after that, Andrus was picked off first base by Williams. In the third inning, catcher Geovany Soto was picked off second base with runners at first and second and no outs.

Andrus extends streak: Andrus extended his hitting streak to a major league-best 13 games with his single in the first inning. Andrus also walked in the bottom of the eighth. He has reached base in 26 of his 28 games.

Murphy/Moreland update: Manager Ron Washington singled out David Murphy and Mitch Moreland as two hitters the Rangers need to get going for the final two months of the season. Murphy, who had a pinch hit Tuesday, was 0-for-3 with a strikeout Wednesday. Moreland was 1-for-3 with a single in the third inning.

Scheppers bounces back: Tanner Scheppers had a tough outing Tuesday night, but he came back Wednesday night and picked up two crucial outs with the go-ahead run at second base. Scheppers got Collin Cowgill to ground out to first, then after an intentional walk of Mike Trout, he struck out the slumping Mark Trumbo.

Better against Trout: Trout had reached base in all 10 plate appearances in the series entering Wednesday, but Perez shut him down. Trout was 0-for-3 with a tapper in front of home plate and two fly balls to right field.

Up next: The Rangers were scheduled for five consecutive Thursdays off in August, but they will play a makeup game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night with an early start of 6:05 CT. Right-hander Yu Darvish (9-5, 2.80 ERA) gets the start for the Rangers while the Diamondbacks have changed starters and will go with right-hander Zeke Spruill (0-0, 2.08). Thursday's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM. The Rangers will then head out for a 10-game road trip, starting with three games against AL West-leading Oakland.

Matchup: Martin Perez vs. Jerome Williams

July, 31, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers go for a three-game sweep against the Los Angeles Angels when left-hander Martin Perez faces Halos right-hander Jerome Williams at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday night on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Deportes 1540 AM.

Perez (3-3, 4.37): Perez tries to turn around a rough stretch where he has allowed four earned runs or more in three consecutive starts. He is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA during the stretch as his season ERA has gone from 2.08 to 4.37. ... Perez took a no-decision in an 11-inning loss at Cleveland on Friday. He allowed a career-high seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in three innings. ... Perez is 3-2 with 4.28 ERA in his seven starts since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock on June 22. ... He is 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA in three home starts. ... Perez has faced the Angels once, pitching in relief and allowing two singles in a scoreless inning.

Williams (5-7, 4.85): Williams, who has also pitched out of the bullpen for the Angels, makes his 15th start and third appearance against the Rangers this season. Williams has five shutout innings against Texas in his first two appearances. ... For his career, he is 1-0 with a 6.68 ERA against the Rangers, but he did win his only career start against Texas. ... Williams has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his last five start and is 0-4 with a 12.50 ERA July starts. ... Williams allowed four earned runs in five innings against Oakland on Friday.

Hitters: Nelson Cruz (9-for-15, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs) and Adrian Beltre (8-for-18, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) have worn out Williams. The current Angels are 1-for-3 against Perez. Mike Trout has a single.

Leonys Martin dreamed about a walk-off hit

July, 31, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Believe it or not, Leonys Martin saw this one coming.

Him up in a crucial moment. Game on the line. And on Tuesday night, he delivered.

Needing just a fly ball to win the game, Martin instead went the dramatic route, lining a three-run home run over the left-field fence for the Texas Rangers' second walk-off win in two nights over the Los Angeles Angels, this time an improbable 14-11 victory.

[+] EnlargeLeonys Martin
AP Photo/Jim CowsertThe Rangers celebrated at home plate again.
"It's the biggest moment that I have had in my whole career," Martin said. "Last night I had a dream like that because of the game last night. I dreamed about it."

The Rangers trailed by a run entering the bottom of the ninth inning and got down to their last out. Geovany Soto, who had a walk-off home run for Monday's 4-3 victory, had hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to put his team within 11-10 and in position to rally against Angels closer Ernesto Frieri.

Frieri, who blew Monday's game, did it again. He allowed a two-out walk to Ian Kinsler. With the count at 0-1, Kinsler stole second base. It put Adrian Beltre in an 0-2 hole, but it didn't bother him. Beltre lined a single past Angels third baseman Tommy Field to tie the game.

That set the stage for Martin, after closer Joe Nathan worked around a walk to Mike Trout in the top of the 10th.

Mitch Moreland, who snapped out of an 0-for-23 slump in the eighth inning with a single, drew a walk to open the bottom of the 10th inning. So did Soto. David Murphy hit a slow roller to third base, but the Angels were able to get only a force play at second base for the first out.

With the winning run at third, Martin was looking to put the ball in play.

"I didn’t want to hit a ground ball," he said.

Well, he didn't. He smoked a 1-2 fastball just over the left-field wall, creating another Rangers celebration at home plate. It's the first time they've had walk-off wins in consecutive games since 1981.

The Rangers gained ground on the Oakland Athletics for the first time since June 27, moving within five games of the first-place A's in the American League West. The Rangers won back-to-back games for the first time since July 8 and 9 in Baltimore.

"We never quit," manager Ron Washington said.

He hopes that's a theme for the rest of the season.



Colby Lewis
10 5.18 133 170
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182