June 15, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (5) reacts after scoring a run against the Houston Astros in the fifth inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE
- The Rangers have now won 5 of their last 7, and are back to 11 games over .500,
their high water mark for the year. The high water mark for the year is 13 games over .500.
- Yu Darvish was shaky in the early going, giving up 3 of his 7 hits on the game, and both of his walks, in the first three innings. After a Jed Lowrie single brought home Jose Altuve with one out in the third, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead, a discomfiting feeling started to settle in, a sense that things were heading in the wrong direction. Darvish got J.D. Martinez to ground into an inning-ending double play, though, and basically cruised after that, with the only other Astro run of the game coming on a Justin Maxwell home run. It was an 11 K outing for Darvish in 8 innings, allowing 2 hits and 2 runs, dropping his ERA on the year to 3.57.
- Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless 9th inning, and struck out 2 more batters. He now has 33 Ks and 2 walks in 26.2 innings on the year.
- Its funny how the whole hitting with RISP thing balances out. The Rangers were 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position going into the bottom of the fifth. With one out, Ian Kinsler reached base safely on a Chris Johnson throwing error, then Elvis Andrus was hit by a pitch. The Rangers promptly hit five singles in a row, bringing home five runs, and raising the team's average with RISP on the game from .000 to .455. It can turn around quickly. Of course, the Rangers then went 0 for 5 in their next 5 ABs with RISP.
- With Josh Hamilton out tonight -- and supposedly for the weekend -- with an intestinal virus, the Rangers opted to put the struggling Michael Young in the #3 spot. While I think that, if you're going to move Young around in the lineup, you'd want to move him down rather than up, there wasn't a real obvious alternate choice for the spot. Young ended up going 1 for 5, with the one hit being a single that drove in the Rangers' first run.
- Leonys Martin made his 2012 debut, going 0 for 3 with a walk, and playing solid defense in center. He'll presumably be up until Josh Hamilton is healthy again, at which point you'd expect Martin would head back to AAA so that the Rangers will be able to go back to a 7 man bullpen (since Yoshinori Tateyama is likely to be sent down to make room for Justin Grimm on the 25 man roster tomorrow).
- Julio Borbon, passed over for the call up in favor of Martin, went 4 for 4 tonight. While he likely has no future with the Rangers, he's done a good job thus far this season hitting the ball at AAA, and I suspect he'll have some decent value as a trade chip at the deadline.
- Martin Perez, passed over for a call up for a spot start on Saturday in favor of Grimm, went 7 shutout innings tonight, walking and striking out 5 while giving up just 1 hit.
- Only the #1 and #9 hitters for the Rangers were hitless today, while Elvis Andrus picked up 3 hits and Adrian Beltre and David Murphy had a pair of hits apiece. While Mitch Moreland had just one hit, he made it count...it was an 8th inning, 400+ foot home run that boosted the Ranger cushion to 4 runs.
- Late in the game, when there was a one-out popup to Astro right fielder Brian Bogusevic, Dave Barnett said as he caught it, "Bogusevic squeezes out number two."