After nearly hitting just poorly enough to lose two games against the Royals over the weekend, Ranger rookie shortstop - and baseball's top prospect - Jurickson Profar hit an 8th inning home run to break a 1-1 tie and prevent the Rangers from potentially losing a game against Kansas City that was started by Yu Darvish.
Profar rounded the bases faster than maybe anyone on the Rangers has in years and he did so with a smile on his face. The cameras showed Profar in the dugout having a lively discussion about the home run with Adrian Beltre moments later and he did so with a smile on his face.
If you're not already in love with this kid, you will be. After all, when you give your team a late-innings lead to swing a frustrating game in your favor, it makes it easy to say that you've arrived.
Todd Wills has the Rapid Reaction to the Rangers' 3-1 win over the Kansas City Royals.
Master T. Tesfatsion is back and he writes the MLB.com game recap on a punctual Profar and an apparently pooped Darvish.
Jeff Wilson's game story focuses on Ron Washington feeling like he's damned if he leaves Darvish in and damned if he takes Darvish out as much as he will soon be damned if plays Profar when Ian Kinsler is back and damned if he doesn't. It's hard out there for a 35 win big league manager.
Keith Whitmire tackles more on Darvish's relatively early exit. Washington said Darvish mentioned that he was tired at 99 pitches late in the game and that triggered Wash making the call to the pen, Darvish's take was thus:
"First of all, I never told him that I was gassed," Darvish said through an interpreter. "What I told him was that after the seventh inning, I told him I was a little bit fatigued, but I told him that I could still pitch.
"But I also told him that it might be better off with [reliever Tanner] Scheppers than taking me out to the mound again in the next inning."
So, I guess split the difference and call it a no-decision.
Gerry Fraley uncharacteristically writes that Profar's youth, energy, and indefinable "it" factor is giving the Rangers the lift they need as they work their way through injuries. Is it possible that Profar has even won the heart of a notorious curmudgeon like Fraley? Therefore, is there anything he can't do?
As Anthony Andro writes, while Joe Nathan looked as good as he has all season while collecting his 17th save yesterday, getting those last three outs was still a pain in the butt. Nathan said that he felt momentarily weak in the left cheek, but, after tests, he has concluded that the ache to the glute is moot.
In other pain-related news: When Adrian Beltre hurts, we hurt. Fraley writes a blog post where he updates Beltre's status and surmises that Beltre might not play until Thursday and probably won't play much this weekend on Toronto's artificial turf.
Tesfatsion handles the MLB.com Notebook and writes on Elvis Andrus talking his way into yesterday's lineup, more on Beltre's status, and various other notes.
Drew Davison's notes cover Beltre's hamstring strain being considered minor but with the Rangers remaining cautious, Alexi Ogando's return on Wednesday, and the process of Leonys Martin's maturation, among other items.
Lastly, the Rangers are off today, but here's a MLB.com preview by Kathleen Gier of Justin Grimm's Fenway debut tomorrow against last year's deadline acquisition Ryan Dempster and the Boston Red Sox.