Texas Rangers: Tommy Field
July, 31, 2013
By Todd Wills | ESPNDallas.com
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.
"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."
AP Photo/Jim CowsertThe Rangers celebrated at home plate again.
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.