Well, the Rangers finally got one of those guys back from injury that we've been waiting on. Though, it's hard to say the Rangers got Joakim Soria "back" because he'd never played for the Texas Rangers before. But Soria made his Texas debut with a shutout inning of work.
The bullpen went five shutout innings, in fact. Cory Burns, Soria, Jason Frasor, Neal Cotts and Joe Nathan combined to allowed only two hits while striking out seven Astros as the Rangers survived yet another early exit from a starter.
I'm really excited about Soria.
ESPN Dallas' Randy Jennings provides the Rapid Reaction to the Rangers' 5-4 Sunday afternoon victory over the Houston Astros.
Master Tesfatsion's game story focuses on the bullpen's effort yesterday and Soria making his first big league appearance since Sept. 11, 2011
Drew Davison recaps the Rangers' win and writes about the Rangers getting big home runs from A.J. Pierzynski and Adrian Beltre to go along with another stellar day from the 'pen.
Behind the DMN paywall, Gerry Fraley writes about Soria's arrival coming just as the late-inning relief corps had begun to show signs of wear and tear. Also, Fraley notes that Joe Nathan gave Soria the ball from the final out of the game which I think is neat.
Mannymania has begun: MLB.com's Trey Scott writes about Manny Ramirez's debut in Round Rock last night. Ramirez went 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout. Manny's lone hit was a single that came on the first pitch he saw from Royals prospect Yordano Ventura.
Wills adds a little more color to Manny's debut and writes that Manny's been spending most of his time so far working on his swing in the batting cages.
Fraley has a blog post up of Yu Darvish trolling the DFW media by saying he sees himself as a breaking ball pitcher and that he threw too many fastballs to the Astros.
Wills writes about Alexi Ogando's rehab and quotes Ogando as saying that he feels physically better than he has all year despite his fastball sitting in the low 90s in his start on Saturday night. The Rangers hope to get Ogando back right after the All-Star break.
Tesfatsion handles the MLB.com Notebook and writes that Nelson Cruz would decline the chance to participate in the home run derby if asked, an update on various injuries, Ron Washington on Darvish, and other items.
John Henry writes some notes over at the Star-Telegram on Nick Tepesch hitting the disabled list, Darvish getting chippy, and various injury updates.
MLB.com's Derek Wetmore previews tonight's game between the Rangers and Baltimore Orioles which will pit Derek Holland against former Ranger Scott Feldman.
On the trade deadline front, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Rangers have had scouts watching the Chicago White Sox and will likely have their eyes on Chicago tonight as Matt Garza and the Cubs go up against the White Sox looking for his fourth straight win.
Lastly, Tesfatsion details the Rangers' campaign to get Tanner Scheppers elected to the All-Star Game via the Final Vote. If you vote 25 times or more, you'll be entered to win various prizes from the club. Included is the chance to sit next to Nolan Ryan for a couple of innings during a game.
So, the question of the day is, if you were to win, what would you say to Nolan Ryan in the 30 minutes you would have his ear?