Texas Rangers: Rougned Odor

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Athletics 1

September, 25, 2014
Sep 25
10:23
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Oakland Athletics are slumping at the wrong time against the wrong team.

Adrian Beltre hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rangers a 2-1 victory on Thursday night.

It was Beltre's eighth career walk-off. In a season in which the Rangers have to play spoilers in the final month, they've hurt the playoff chances of the Atlanta Braves and now could be doing the same to the Athletics.

Oakland is now a half-game behind Kansas City for the top spot in the AL wild-card chase, and Seattle is only two games behind the Athletics for the second wild-card spot.

The Athletics have lost seven of their past 10 games and are 14-29 since Aug. 10. At that time, they held a four-game lead in the AL West.

As for the Rangers, well, they've won five consecutive games and produced 12 wins in their past 13 games.

How it happened: Beltre beat Oakland reliever Luke Gregerson with a shot just over the right-field wall to win it in the ninth.

The Rangers tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Elvis Andrus singled home Leonys Martin. Martin started the inning with a bunt single and stole second.

Former Ranger Geovany Soto brought home the first run with a bunt toward Colby Lewis in the sixth inning. Brandon Moss, who walked to start the inning and eventually reached third on a single, scored with ease for the 1-0 lead.

Lewis gets a no-decision: In his last start of the season, Lewis pitched wonderfully in getting a no-decision. He held the playoff-contending Athletics to one run and six hits in seven innings, throwing a season-high 113 pitches. Lewis, who tied a season high with five walks, allowed a baserunner in every inning he pitched. In the seventh, he walked Coco Crisp to start the inning but retired the next three hitters with no problems. He struck out Adam Dunn on an 81 mph off-speed pitch to end the inning. Lewis' season ends with him leading the Rangers in innings pitched (170 1/3), starts (29) and tied with Yu Darvish in wins (10) and complete games (two).

One-run games: The Rangers are 24-22 in one-run games and Oakland falls to 21-27 in such games.

Odor as the No. 3: For the 11th time this season, Rougned Odor batted third in the lineup and he went 0-for-4 Thursday night. In the past three games he has batted third, Odor was 3-for-11 with four RBIs, a triple, double and home run. Before the game, interim manager Tim Bogar discussed using Odor lower in the batting order if he gets the second-base job full-time next season. On the season, Odor has 11 hits in 45 at-bats in the 3-hole.

What's next?: RHP Nick Tepesch (5-10, 4.14) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (14-9, 3.63) on Friday night.

Rougned Odor making his case

September, 24, 2014
Sep 24
11:40
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' projected starting second baseman, Jurickson Profar, isn't scheduled to play baseball anytime soon.

He has been shut down because of shoulder problems where even surgery isn't a guarantee of his return.

[+] EnlargeRougned Odor
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezRougned Odor hit a solo homer Wednesday, but the rookie has plenty of reasons to smile with the way he has played lately.
Rougned Odor has been watching Profar trying to rehab while he goes about his business of learning how to be a big leaguer.

Wednesday night as the Rangers played seven rookies, Odor reached base three times, which included a walk, and hit a homer in a 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros.

Odor's homer pushed the Rangers into a 2-0 lead in the seventh and another rookie, Ryan Rua, added to the lead with a three-run shot a few batters later.

But this is about Odor, who is turning into something of a more complete hitter, with a solid glove, and still receiving guidance. Earlier in the season, while Profar was recovering from shoulder surgery, Odor was hacking away at pitches and trying to learn patience.

"I think everybody that watched him play, he hacked and he saw something, he swung," interim manager Tim Bogar said.

As the season progressed, Odor became more patient, and you could see that more than ever in his first two plate appearances Wednesday, when he worked the count deep.

(Read full post)

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Astros 1

September, 24, 2014
Sep 24
10:36
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers rookie right hander Lisalverto Bonilla made some franchise history Wednesday night.

Bonilla became the first Rangers pitcher to win his first three career starts in the 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park.

That's right, famed Rangers pitchers such as Paul Mirabella, Charlie Hudson, Kevin Brown and even Alexi Ogando haven't done it.

Bonilla shut out the Astros over six solid innings, giving up only four hits and picking up a career-high seven strikeouts as he threw 94 pitches. He has been such a solid pitcher for the Rangers since he was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Sept. 2. After two relief appearances, Bonilla moved to the rotation and has given up only four earned runs over 17 innings with 14 strikeouts.

He won't get another chance to start this season, but he brings his name into a conversation regarding young pitchers who might get a chance to stay with the big club next year.

How it happened: Elvis Andrus broke a scoreless game with a double -- his 35th of the season -- down the left-field line in the fifth inning that scored Leonys Martin from first. As the ball skipped down the line, it went between the legs of third-base umpire Ted Barrett who jumped out of the way. Martin got the inning going when he reached on a bunt single, his 16th of the season.

Andrus now has six RBIs in the last nine games after only having two the previous 28.

The game remained 1-0 until Rougned Odor's solo home run to right in the seventh gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead.

Ryan Rua put the game out of reach with a three-run homer to left center for a 5-0 lead.

The Silver Boot: The Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Astros. It was the fourth time this season the Rangers swept an opponent. When this week started, losing 100 games was a possibility for these streaking Rangers, winners of 11 of 12 games. The Astros have now lost 90.

At this rate, the Astros might tie the Rangers (93) in losses when they visit the New York Mets this weekend. The Silver Boot remains in Houston, but the Rangers finish the season series 8-11, winners of five of the last eight.

Odor's night: Odor reached base three times, on a double, walk and home run. He also stole a base. He has reached safely in 20 of the last 22 games and has four home runs and 20 RBIs in the last 26 games. Odor, who failed to turn a double play in the seventh inning, made up for it with his homer.

How many rookies is it?: The Rangers started seven rookies Wednesday night, tied for the second most in club history. The rookies who played for the Rangers were: Jake Smolinski, Tomas Telis, Luis Sardinas, Daniel Robertson, Rua, Odor and Bonilla. The two other times the Rangers played seven rookies came in the 1982 season, at Oakland and at the California Angels late in the season. The last time seven rookies played, then-rookie Gary Pettis hit a winning home run in the ninth to give the Angels a 7-6 victory over the Rangers. Pettis is the Rangers third base/outfield coach. Danny Darwin took the loss in that game on Oct. 3, 1982.

What's next?: Thursday night: RHP Colby Lewis (10-14, 5.34) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (2-6, 4.52 with Oakland and 10-11, 3.54 overall).

Rangers rookies play dress-up

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
9:11
PM CT
The Texas Rangers are set to embark on their final road trip of the season, a six-game California swing starting Tuesday night in Oakland and ending Sunday in Anaheim.

As part of an annual tradition on most baseball teams, the Rangers' rookies had to dress up in a variety of costumes.

Several, including Tomas Telis, Spencer Patton and Rougned Odor, were outfitted in what could be described as colorful clothing.

Here's a picture from J.P. Arencibia of the spectacle in the Rangers' clubhouse Monday afternoon.

Base Hits: Holland faces favorite team

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
1:00
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- If you want to know how players find their favorite teams, just ask Texas Rangers left-hander Derek Holland: He watched TBS.

Holland, who grew up in Newark, Ohio, watched Atlanta Braves game on television and became a big fan. His brother watched WGN and started loving the Chicago Cubs.

Holland faces the Braves for the first time Friday night at Globe Life Park.

“I was a huge Braves fan and Chipper Jones was my batting idol and I wanted to be like Chipper Jones and that’s why I’m still a switch-hitter,” Holland said. “Between me and my brother, he watched WGN. Those were our two teams growing up.”

Holland has a 0.64 ERA in two starts this season since returning from left knee surgery. His command has been excellent and his knee is fully healed.

“I’m not surprised,” Holland said regarding his command. “I’ve been working on it big time. From the rehab part to the rehab games, my focus has always been trying to command everything. My first two starts, I didn’t have a good command on my fastball and I made sure I was going to fix it. Those were the things I’ve been working on with the pitching staff to get myself prepared. I’m definitely going to get things going.”

Base Hits: Leonys Martin had two hits, including a home run, and a walk in Thursday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Martin is making a case to become the full-time leadoff hitter.

“I’m a lot more confident,” said Martin, who has been in the leadoff spot the last six games. “I’m swinging at good pitches.” ... As the No. 3 hitter under interim manager Tim Bogar, Rougned Odor is 2-for-11 with a walk. ... Bogar said closer Neftali Feliz made a statement with his 97 mph fastball to Albert Pujols on Thursday night to strike him out. Pujols struck out four times.

Extra Bases: Tepesch tries to build

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
9:45
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nick Tepesch is all about maintaining a level of consistency.

Tepesch (4-7, 4.46) faces the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night, coming off a solid performance last week in Chicago.

He shut out the White Sox over 5 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, with one walk and two strikeouts in a 79-pitch effort. The Rangers won, 3-1, and extended their win streak to two games.

“Anytime you get the ball, you want to string together good starts,” said Tepesch, who will make his 14th start of the year. “Give the team a chance to win. For me, it’s not game-by-game, I go inning-by-inning and try to break it down more like that. I feel like if you do it like that you make it easier on yourself mentally and you’re not worried about what’s happened or what’s about to happen. It’s about happening right now.”

Tepesch had been on a personal four-game losing streak before that win in Chicago. While he pitched into the sixth inning in each of the losses during the streak, he left the game trailing.

In the White Sox game, he left with the lead.

“I feel like I commanded the ball pretty well the last couple times out and really that’s the name of the game,” he said. “As a pitcher, being able to do what you want with pitches and being effective (is important).”

Scoreless streak ends for bullpen: In Sunday’s victory over the Houston Astros, the Rangers bullpen picked up four scoreless innings. That was extended to five in the early stages of Mondays’ game as Phil Klein pitched a scoreless sixth in relief of Colby Lewis. Nate Adcock and Scott Baker allowed runs to score toward the end of a 7-0 loss to the Rays. Adcock has given up runs in his last two relief appearances.

Hitters' streaks: 3B Adrian Beltre reached base three times Monday night, marking the 19th time he’s done that this season. Beltre has reached base in five of the last eight plate appearances. Rougned Odor’s eighth-inning double extended his hitting streak to a season-high six games. His 17 extra base hits are tied for the fourth-most by a Rangers rookie since 2009.

Pregame: Beltre day off not happening

August, 10, 2014
Aug 10
1:00
PM CT
HOUSTON -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre has played in 95 consecutive games, counting Sunday's contest against the Houston Astros.

After coming off the disabled list with a strained left quad on April 24, Beltre has had just 13 off days due to the Rangers schedule and because manager Ron Washington doesn't want to sit him.

Washington is playing Beltre at third on a regular basis, not because he's forced to, but the because veteran is good at it and there's really nobody else.

"He ain't getting no days off here," Washington said. "How can I give him a day off when he's healthy? We're trying to win ballgames. If I take him out of the lineup ... if I wanted to and felt like I had the luxury of doing it, it didn't matter what I said, I'd listen to him if I made up my mind that he wasn't going to play that's going to be it."

The Rangers have employed six different third basemen this season and currently only Beltre and Adam Rosales can play the position. Including Sunday's contest, Beltre has made 98 starts at third this season while Rosales has played the spot just once.

Beltre's average has dropped of late from .327 to .318 and he's got just five hits in his last 26 at bats.

Odor's education continues: Second baseman Rougned Odor was charged with a first inning error in Saturday night's loss. Odor made a nice play on a ball hit up the middle by Mike Dominguez. Odor flipped the ball out of his glove to shortstop Elvis Andrus, who tried to bare-hand it but couldn't catch it cleanly. It was ruled an error on Andrus, but later changed to Odor.

The play came with two outs and it allowed a run to score.

"I thought we had a play at first base, the runner that put it in play is not a very quick runner," Washington said. "I thought he had a play at first base."

Odor, who has five errors on the season, said he's still learning from veterans like Andrus and Beltre and was trying to make a play on a hard hit ball up the middle.

Odor thought he made a strong flip to Andrus, but with the fielders going in different directions at the bag it was a tough play to make.

"I lean on those guys a lot," Odor said of Andrus and Beltre. "I have those guys teaching me a lot of things in this game and that helps a lot."

Base Hits: OF Mike Carp is day-to-day with tightness in his groin. He's available to play if necessary. ... LHP Derek Holland have his fourth rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock. ... RHP Jerome Williams, who was released on Friday, was claimed by the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

Extra Bases: Washington explains ending

August, 9, 2014
Aug 9
10:00
AM CT
HOUSTON -- Alex Rios is sitting out a few days because of a sprained right ankle.

Friday night, he walked slowly into the trainer's room with his ankle and right hand wrapped.

Rios, the Texas Rangers' starting right fielder, is nicked up and trying to get healthy not only for this team, but possibly for another if he gets traded.

Rios was available to pinch-hit against the Houston Astros on Friday night but didn't, particularly in a critical situation of the game.

In the ninth, trailing 4-3, the Rangers had the tying and go-ahead runners on base with one out. Washington elected to keep Daniel Robertson in the game to face Astros closer Chad Qualls.

Righty versus Righty.

Why not send Rios up, a better hitter?

"'Cause they had a lefty going on [in Tony Sipp in the bullpen] out there, and that guy is struggling," Washington said. "And I had [Rios] ready for [Jim] Adduci."

Sipp gave up a grand slam in Thursday's loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, and if he relieves Qualls, Rios enters the game.

Robertson bounced into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

"Robbie had a tough at-bat," Washington said.

You can question the decision, but it made sense for all the right reasons because Washington wanted to get a strong right-handed hitter up against a lefty coming off a poor outing.

Choo's mistake: A fly ball hit by Robbie Grossman landed between right fielder Shin-Soo Choo and Rougned Odor in the sixth inning. While it didn't cause any damage, Washington wasn't pleased with the play.

Odor, the second baseman, came running to right field and at the last second stopped allowing the ball to fall helplessly to the ground for a hit.

"It's his ball all the way," Washington said of Choo, who was playing deep.

Cotts suffers the loss:Left-handed reliever Neal Cotts (2-6) took the loss on Friday night and was credited with his sixth blown save of the season. Cotts is a dependable relief pitcher for the Rangers, but he gave up a two-run, go-ahead homer to Grossman in the eighth inning.

"Grossman, I tried to throw a fastball away and it came back over the middle," Cotts said.

He pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings, spanning three games before Grossman's homer. In his past 14 games, heading into Friday night, Cotts allowed just three earned runs over 14 innings.

His good stretch ended Friday night.

"I made some mistakes," he said. "Just didn't put them away."
It didn't come as a surprise, but Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels said Thursday that second baseman Jurickson Profar's season is over. Profar hasn't played this season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn teres major muscle in his right shoulder.

Daniels said Profar will undergo a MRI on August 12. If all goes well, Profar will start a throwing program in anticipation of getting ready to play in the instructional league in October.

"Our goal is to get him ready to play this winter," Daniels said in a conference call with reporters Thursday.

Losing Profar pushed another young player, Rougned Odor, to the majors. Odor made his debut May 8 and, at 20 years old and 94 days, was the youngest player to appear in a game this season. Odor has played 60 games at second base this season, more than anybody else on the team. The Rangers have used five second basemen in 2014.

Notes: Daniels also said that third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff had a setback in his recovery from back surgery and had to undergo anorther procedure. He is also done for the year. ... Pitchers Alexi Ogando (elbow) and Tanner Scheppers (elbow) are not expected to return this season. Neither is expected to have surgery. ... Prince Fielder (neck) and Mitch Moreland (left ankle) are also out for the season. "If we had been in the pennant race we could have pushed it [with Fielder]," Daniels said. "It just doesn't make sense based on where we are now."

Mikolas can't limit damage in defeat

July, 12, 2014
Jul 12
11:17
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers played some great defense behind Miles Mikolas.

And that's a big reason why the 25-year-old right-hander wore a long face in the clubhouse after the Rangers' 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

"When guys are giving it up for me with everything they have, it makes this hurt worse," Mikolas said.

[+] EnlargeMiles Mikolas
Rick Yeatts/Getty ImagesMiles Mikolas was upset at himself for not being able to keep the Rangers in the game after he pitched five strong innings.
Left fielder Jake Smolinski, for example, made two diving catches that could end up on the season highlight reel.

For five innings, Mikolas limited the dangerous Angels lineup to four hits and an unearned run.

"It was kind of like my first start in Baltimore," Mikolas said. "Five strong innings, but they don't cut the line off there. I've got to do a better job. I wasn't tired."

His pitch count was only at 84 when he departed.

In Baltimore, Mikolas was relieved with one out in the sixth and the Rangers leading 4-1. He gave up only three hits, but left with runners on base. Both eventually scored and he was charged with three runs.

Mikolas' low pitch count influenced Rangers manager Ron Washington to stay with him this time in the sixth.

"Miles did a good job today," Washington said. "He was facing pretty good hitters, give them credit. But he's got to figure out a way to limit the damage. We can't rely on four innings from the bullpen all the time."

The Rangers were clinging to a 2-1 lead when Albert Pujols opened the Angels' sixth with a single to right. With the Rangers' infield in at double-play depth, Josh Hamilton's looper cleared Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor for another single.

"Those were two changeups that I got up," Mikolas said. "If the ball is down to Hamilton, maybe he hits into a double play."

Howie Kendrick and David Freese had RBI hits. Hank Conger broke it open with a two-run double. Washington went to his bullpen when Mikolas walked Collin Cowgill.

Ending the losing streak, now at seven games, is on the minds of all the pitchers. Mikolas is no exception.

"Every pitcher wants to be the guy to get that win," Mikolas said.

Not so clutch: The Rangers were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. That comes after going 0-for-6 on Friday.

"Tonight we had several chances to drive in a run and we didn't do it," Washington said.

Odor, the 20-year-old rookie, produced the only hit with a runner in scoring position, an RBI double in the second inning.

Soto apology: Rangers catcher Geovany Soto apologized to his teammates in a team meeting before Saturday's game. Soto was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of marijuana possession in Grapevine.

Sunday's starter: The Rangers announced after the game that right-hander Scott Baker (0-2, 5.84 ERA) will start in Sunday's 2:05 p.m. CT game against the Angels at Globe Life Park. It will be his fourth start of the season. He is 0-2 with a 5.94 ERA as a starter.

Rapid Reaction: Angels 5, Rangers 2

July, 12, 2014
Jul 12
9:50
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are playing better, but their losing streak continues to grow.

The Los Angeles Angels used the pitching of Jered Weaver and a four-run outburst in the sixth inning to deal Texas a 5-2 defeat Saturday night at Globe Life Park.

The loss was the seventh in succession for the Rangers and their 21st in 24 games.

A few observations:

Great for 5: Rangers starter Miles Mikolas did not look like a pitcher with a 12.46 ERA. That was his ERA when he took the mound for his third career start. Even though he seemed to tire somewhat in a rough sixth inning that skewed his pitching line, the Rangers have to be thrilled that the 25-year-old limited the Angels to one run (unearned) and four hits through five.

The night turned sour for Mikolas in the sixth. Howie Kendrick tied the score by rolling a single to right and David Freese put the Angels ahead on a base hit. Hank Conger made it 5-2, grounding a two-run double between Carlos Pena and the first-base bag.

Just five days earlier, Houston clubbed Mikolas for 12 hits and nine earned runs.

Ground under repair: Rookie second baseman Rougned Odor is a busy guy when he comes to the plate. He scrapes the dirt in the batter's box to get it just right, then draws a couple of lines in the sand with the handle of his bat before settling into his ready position. The routine worked nicely in the second inning when the 20-year-old spanked an RBI double, the key hit for a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Odor picked up another hit, a leadoff single in the seventh.

Defensive gems: Leonys Martin banged into the center-field wall chasing down Kole Calhoun's deep drive to start the game. ... Left fielder Jake Smolinski battled the sun in the second to make a diving catch on Josh Hamilton's liner in the alley. ... Smolinski made an even better play in the third, laying out at full stretch to snag Albert Pujols' bid for extra bases with three men on base. Pujols had to settle for a sacrifice fly. ... Elvis Andrus gloved a tricky hop and Odor made a nice turn on an eighth-inning double play.

Streak ends: Adrian Beltre, the American League's leading batter, saw his 15-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-3. Beltre contributed a productive out in the third when his infield out moved Alex Rios to third base with one out. He drew a walk in the fifth.

Missed chances: The Rangers went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position in Friday's 3-0 loss to the Angels. In the first inning against Weaver, the Rangers went 0-for-3 with the heart of the order, Rios, Beltre and Martin going down. Texas did the same in the third, going 0-for-3 after Rios' leadoff double.

Notes: Angels left fielder Collin Cowgill left the game after his fouled bunt attempt struck him in the face. He received stiches to his nose and was taken to a local hospital for further testing. ... Rangers pitching limited Mike Trout to one hit, a soft second-inning single. Trout homered in the first two games of the series.

Up next: The Rangers and Angels complete their four-game series in the final game before the All-Star break with the Angels' left-handed pitcher Tyler Skaggs being opposed by an as yet to be determined Rangers starter. Scott Baker and recently promoted Ryan Feierabend are the likely candidates. Starting time is 2:05 p.m. CT Sunday at Globe Life Park.

Rapid Reaction: Angels 3, Rangers 0

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
10:04
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers got a well-pitched game from Nick Tepesch but came up empty against Los Angeles Angels pitcher Garrett Richards in a 3-0 loss Friday night at Globe Life Park.

Richards limited Texas to five hits in seven shutout innings before turning it over to the bullpen.

The loss was the Rangers' sixth in a row and No. 20 in their last 23 games.

A few observations:

Strong outing: Tepesch pitched better than his statistical line might indicate. He retired the first 10 Angels before Mike Trout broke the string with a 418-foot home run into the Angels' bullpen. It was Trout's second home run of the series and 22nd of the season.

Two defensive plays Rangers infielders couldn't quite make cost Tepesch in the seventh. Shortstop Elvis Andrus just missed flagging down Albert Pujols' leadoff single. Josh Hamilton followed with a base hit off the outstretched glove of Rougned Odor. Erick Aybar followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead and that was the end of the night for Tepesch.

Reliever Neftali Feliz couldn't prevent an inherited runner from scoring.

That smarts!: Rookie Jake Smolinski, batting .571 so far after four starts, stayed in the game after being hit above the left elbow by a Richards pitch in the second inning and promptly made a hard slide into second, breaking up a potential double play. But Smolinski did not return to the field for the third inning because of a left elbow contusion. X-rays were negative.

Collision course: Ron Washington's motivational clubhouse meeting Thursday might have had something to do with a near collision of Rangers in the first inning. Right fielder Alex Rios came running in on Trout's fly to shallow right and second baseman Odor was sprinting out. Rios dived out of the way at the last moment and Odor may have inadvertently contacted Rios as he made the catch. Rios stayed in the game and had two hits.

Wasted chances: The Rangers stranded a runner in scoring position off Richards in five of the first six innings. Leonys Martin failed on two chances, grounding to second in the first and to first base in the third.

15 and counting: Adrian Beltre keeps validating the players' All-Star voting, which saw him on top among third basemen. Beltre extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a third-inning single to right. It is the longest active hitting streak in the American League. Beltre last had a 15-game streak in 2008 when he played for the Seattle Mariners. In the eighth with a man aboard, Beltre drove Trout to the wall with a deep fly out.

Contact problem: Designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo struck out three times for the second straight game.

Defensive gems: There were quite a few for Texas. Beltre made a nice stop of a tricky hop off the bat of Pujols to end the first. Daniel Robertson covered a lot of ground to chase down Hamilton's fly ball in the fourth. Robinson Chirinos made a perfect throw to Andrus, thwarting Aybar's attempted steal of second in the fourth. First baseman Carlos Pena robbed Kole Calhoun of extra bases by spearing his line drive in the sixth. The Rangers turned a snappy double play started by Beltre in the eighth. It had to be snappy to double up Trout.

Up next: The Rangers and Angels tangle in the third game of the four-game series at 6:15 p.m. CT Saturday with Rangers right-hander Miles Mikolas (0-1, 12.46 ERA) facing off against right-hander Jered Weaver (9-6, 3.50 ERA) at Globe Life Park on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox.

Extra bases: Odor, 20, learning on job

July, 9, 2014
Jul 9
8:00
AM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rookie second baseman Rougned Odor, like many Rangers these days, is fighting a slump.

Odor came into Tuesday’s game batting .173 in his past 17 games.

After going 1-for-3, the 20-year-old's batting average is .263, down 39 points from a high-water .302.

Manager Ron Washington said that even with Odor’s adept baseball instincts, there is a definite learning curve.

“Odor is experiencing baseball at its highest level," Washington said. “It is a constant game of adjustments. You adjust to what the pitcher is trying to do, and then he adjusts. You don’t learn it all in a year. He’s going to be up and down."

On Monday, the Venezuelan showed great range to turn shallow fly balls into outs. But on Tuesday, mixed with two putouts and three assists, Odor committed his fourth error of the season on a ground ball up the middle.

“Odor plays hard," Washington said. “He’s going to be fine. He makes mistakes here and there, but he’s going to be a fine player. He keeps battling every day."

Washington said a strength of Odor's is that he listens and does what is asked of him the first time.

“But even with that, it still takes time in this game," his manager said.

The Rangers wrap up a three-game series against AL West foe Houston with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Globe Life Park. The Astros took the first two games of the series 12-7 and 8-3.

Rapid Reaction: Astros 12, Rangers 7

July, 7, 2014
Jul 7
11:09
PM CT


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers crept a little closer to the AL West basement after a 12-7 loss to the Houston Astros on Monday night before 31,010 at Globe Life Park.

Fourth-place Texas (38-51) leads cellar-dwelling Houston (37-54) by only two games.

The Rangers lost for the 16th time in 19 games while the Astros snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Texas was forced to play from a sizable early deficit for the second time in as many days when Houston scored six runs in the second inning. The Mets jumped to a 5-0 first-inning lead in Sunday’s 8-4 win over Texas.

A few observations. ...

Rough start: Miles Mikolas’ fate in his second Rangers start was settled in the second inning when six consecutive Astros tagged hits and all six scored. The most damaging blow was a bases-clearing triple by No. 9 hitter Marwin Gonzalez.

There was no sign that such an offensive outburst was coming. Mikolas breezed through the first inning, recording three easy outs.

The Astros finished off Mikolas in the fourth on a three-run home run by Jon Singleton, a blast into the right-field stands that landed beyond the Rangers' bullpen and was estimated at 425 feet.

Mikolas’ pitching line included a troubling 12 hits and nine earned runs in 3⅓ innings. Oh, and four visits to the mound, three by pitching coach Mike Maddux and one for removal by manager Ron Washington.

In his first Rangers start at Baltimore, the 25-year-old pitched well. He left with a 4-1 lead after 5⅓ innings and ultimately was charged with three runs on only three hits.

Throwing strike one and two wasn’t a problem for Mikolas. Finishing off Astros hitters proved more difficult. Of his 88 pitches, 63 were for strikes.

On a tear: Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 11 games, his longest of the season, with an RBI double to right-center in the third inning. Two innings later, Beltre connected on a 408-foot home run over the center-field wall, his 12th of the year. Beltre came into the game batting .516 in his past 17 home games. The homer brought the Rangers within three at 9-6, but they could get no closer.

Double trouble: Elvis Andrus grounded into his 16th double play of the season in the third inning. In five previous Rangers seasons, Andrus has never hit into more than 19. The shortstop made amends in his next chance, doubling home three runs in the fourth inning with a drive into the left-field corner.

Getting started: Jake Smolinski, in his first major league at-bat, struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning. Smolinski was promoted from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday when Michael Choice was sent down. Smolinski remained in the game in left field. Astros relievers racked up seven consecutive strikeouts in innings 6-8.

Defensive gems: Rougned Odor’s over-the-shoulder stab of Jose Altuve’s soft fly to center in the second inning robbed the American League’s leading hitter of a hit and an RBI. … Andrus leaped high to spear Chris Carter’s line drive for the final out of the fourth. … Alex Rios covered a lot of ground to chase down a shallow fly ball off the bat of Matt Dominguez for the final out of the sixth. … Left fielder Daniel Robertson robbed the unlucky Carter again with a diving catch near the line in the seventh.

Up next: The Rangers and Astros meet in the middle game of the series at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday with right-hander Phil Irwin (4-1, 2.47 ERA at Triple A Round Rock) making his Rangers debut. He will be opposed by Houston right-hander Brad Peacock (2-5, 4.38 ERA) on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Twins 0

June, 28, 2014
Jun 28
5:47
PM CT

 
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish pitched eight shutout innings, and the Rangers showed some solid offensive execution in a 5-0 victory over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Park.

The Rangers (37-43) scratched for runs in the second and third innings and broke it open with three in the eighth.

A few observations.

Darvish dominates: Through two innings, Darvish had only one strikeout. But he picked up the pace and finished with 10 in eight innings of shutout work. It is the fifth time this season and the 25th time in his career he has reached 10 strikeouts in a game.

Darvish particularly seemed to have the Twins baffled with an off-speed pitch floating over the outside corner to left-handed hitters.

The Twins managed to get only two runners in scoring position. Two singles and a wild pitch put Twins at second and third with two out in the second inning of a scoreless game. Darvish escaped on Pedro Florimon’s fly ball to center.

Home cooking: Adrian Beltre added three more hits, giving him 11 for the homestand (11-for-16). He came into the game as the league’s best hitter at home with a .361 average. Beltre has multiple hits in 13 of his past 16 home games.

Striking first: The Rangers came in with a 26-17 record when scoring first. Chris Gimenez presented Darvish with a 1-0 lead in the second inning, doubling over the head of center fielder Sam Fuld.

Beltre, running with two out, scored from first. Beltre might not have made it but for an errant relay throw from shortstop Florimon that came close to splitting the distance between home and first. Gimenez, who snapped an 0-for-11 streak, was credited with the RBI.

Fundamentals are fun: Aggressive baserunning by Rougned Odor and two well-positioned ground balls gave Texas a 2-0 lead in the third. After a leadoff single, Odor stole second, advanced to third on Shin-Soo Choo’s groundout and raced home on Elvis Andrus' tapper 40 feet from the plate.

Andrus started the game with a streak of 30 consecutive errorless games, spanning 119 chances. His most recent error occurred May 23 in Detroit. The shortstop actually had one chance Saturday that went unrecorded when he flawlessly gloved a green balloon that floated onto the infield grass.

Little things: The Rangers’ execution in a three-run eighth inning had to make manager Ron Washington smile. First, a successful hit-and-run play with Andrus grounding a single through a hole created by Choo breaking for second on the pitch. A couple of pitches later, Choo stayed in a rundown long enough on a fielder’s choice grounder to allow Andrus and Carlos Pena to reach scoring position. Pinch hitter Luis Sardinas dropped a suicide squeeze bunt to make 3-0, and Leonys Martin doubled in the final two runs.

Up next: The Rangers and Twins meet for the final time this season at 2:05 p.m. Sunday in a matchup of right-handers. Colby Lewis (5-5, 5.94 ERA) will be opposed by the Twins’ Kyle Gibson (6-6, 3.92) on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182