Rangers Jump Out Early, Hang On For Win

Joe Saunders should just skip all future road trip through Arlington. Despite offering nothing the way of consistency for the entire month of June, the Rangers offense jumped all over Saunders last night to the tune of 8 earned runs over 3 2/3 innings. He is now 0-5 with an ERA of 11.62 in 5 career starts in the Ballpark.

Ian Kinsler got the ball rolling early, drilling a lead-off homerun in the bottom of the first, his 19th homer of the year. After a Michael Young walk, Marlon Byrd followed with a 2-run blast.

Rangers starter Scott Feldman allowed three runs in the top of the 2nd, allowing the Angels to tie the game up but Nelson Cruz hit a solo blast to give Texas the lead again in the 3rd. Texas would never trail again.

“We definitely needed to win tonight,” Washington said. “Hopefully tonight is the night we can get back to playing Texas Rangers baseball. We did tonight.”

Marlon Byrd hit 2 homeruns against the Angels on Tuesday, leading Texas to a big win.

Marlon Byrd put a little more distance between the two teams, hitting his 2nd homerun of the night, a 3-run blast, in the bottom of the 5th, putting Texas up 8-3.

“Obviously the way we swung the bats tonight was awesome,” David Murphy said. “Hopefully it will create some momentum for us.”

Despite his early struggles, Scott Feldman settled down, giving Texas six innings of work, picking up his 6th win of the year. He finished his day retiring 13 of the last 14 batter he faced.

“I didn’t do anything different, I was just more aggressive,” Feldman said. “It wasn’t that I was trying to be too fine, but I followed through more and brought everything more toward the plate.”

Despite some struggles at the end of the game from both C.J. Wilson and Frank Francisco (who’s fastball was topping out at just 91 mph), Texas hung on for the big win, keeping them within striking distance of the Angels.



Angels Roll Into Arlington, Roll Over Padilla & Co.

Marlon Byrd and David Murphy had gone back-to-back with solo homeruns in the 3rd and Vicente Padilla was cruising right along for five innings…

Then the 6th inning rolled around and Ranger killer Vladamir Guerrero & Co. pulled things together, stringing together a 4-run inning, highlighted by back-to-back homeruns by Juan Rivera and Kendry Morales. The Morales homer ran Padilla from the game, leaving with a line of 5 runs on 10 hits with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts in 5+ innings pitched.

Juan Rivera put the Angels ahead for good Monday night against the Rangers.

“I tried to control all of my pitches, but they were up a little bit,” Padilla said. “I wasn’t throwing as hard as my last outing. I have problems if I don’t have my fastball. That’s my best pitch.”

The Rangers offense again squandered several opportunities to put runs on the board, leaving the bases loaded in the 1st inning. Their struggles struck again when, with 2 on and nobody out in bottom of the 5th, David Murphy popped out to 2nd base and Marlon Byrd grounded into an inning-ending double play.

“That was the game right there,” said Byrd, who was 3-for-4 on the night. “Three great at-bats and one lousy at-bat. If I get those runs home, it changes the game. I’ve got to get those runs in there. If I do, it’s 3-1, we have a cushion and who knows what happens. I got my pitch and didn’t execute. Just not good hitting on my part.”

The lost opportunity proved to be a privotal moment in the game as Padilla imploded in the top of the 6th.

“That was a huge momentum swing,” Figgins said. “You almost have to be there to understand it, but I’ve seen it so many times. That double play completely changed everything. Double plays are killers, man. We came up after that and went to work. You could feel the change in the game.”

The Rangers went hitless (0-for-5) with runners in scoring position for the seventh time this month and are now hitting just .225 with RISP for the month of June.

With the loss, Texas falls 2 1/2 games behind the Angels in the AL West.


Read more on the Rangers at http://bigbaseballtaint.blogspot.com/.


Rangers Cap Interleague Play With A Dud, Falling 2-0

On the heels of yet another poor offensive effort, Texas turned in the worst statistical home performance they’ve had since the opening of the Ballpark in Arlington in 1994.

In the bottom of the 1st inning, Michael Young singled to center. It was the last hit of the night for the Rangers.

“I’m not going to take anything away from [San Diego starter] Chad Gaudin,” Young said. “He went out there and threw a great game. As an offense you like to think we can push runs across no matter who we’re facing, but it was a combination of us needing better at-bats and him throwing a good game.”

“It’s definitely hard to believe,” outfielder David Murphy said. “It’s getting to the point where … what more can you say? We’re just not swinging the bats like we’re capable of. I wish I could tell you how to solve the problem.”

tommy-hunter-texas-rangers-rookie-p.jpgThe lackluster effort wasted a great pitching effort by Tommy Hunter, recently called up from AAA-Oklahoma to make the spot start. Hunter gave Texas 6 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs and walking none.

“It felt good but it was still a loss,” Hunter said. “That stinks. I tried.”

In an effort to shake up the lineup, Texas has recalled centerfielder and top offensive prospect Julio Borbon. He will hit sixth in the lineup Monday night in game 1 of Angels series. Relief pitcher Willie Eyre was sent down to Oklahoma to make room for Borbon on the roster.

Texas went 9-9 in Interleague play.


Read more on the Rangers at http://bigbaseballtaint.blogspot.com/.