Rangers 5, Angels 2
- Funny how this stuff goes...after a disastrous three game sweep by Oakland, heading into Anaheim on a four game losing streak, the Rangers seemed dead in the water going into the top of the 6th. The Angels were up 2-0, but it felt like a 12-0 deficit for Texas, given the lifelessness of the Ranger offense of late. And then, out of nowhere, a Shin-Soo Choo homer, off of a lefty, no less. Then a Alex Rios two run homer. Then two more runs in the 7th. And the Rangers are now at 16-13, two games out in the A.L. West (since the A's lost in Boston earlier today), and with the fourth best record in the American League.
- Let's start with Colby Lewis. As with his first three starts of the season, Colbyashi didn't make it out of the sixth. But again, as with his first three starts of the season, he pitched well, kept the Rangers in the game, and put the team in a position to win. It looked like Lewis would go six full after he retired the first two batters of the sixth inning and got up 0-2 on Collin Cowgill, but he couldn't put Cowgill away, throwing four straight balls to put Cowgill on first. It was his only walk of the game, and resulted in Ron Washington going to the pen.
- Final line for Lewis: 5.2 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 6 Ks, 1 HBP, and 0 home runs. Albert Pujols did hit a blast in the first inning that hit the very top of the fence, but it stayed in the yard and ended up going for a double (though a better throw by Choo would have gotten Pujols out at 2nd).
- Wash went to Aaron Poreda when he hooked Lewis, and while there was a certain amount of consternation about the decision, I understand why the move was made. J.B. Shuck, a lefty, was due up, and he was 2-2 already in the game against Lewis. Poreda gave the Rangers the platoon advantage, and perhaps more importantly, gave the Rangers the opportunity to do something about the running game. Lewis had already allowed three stolen bases, and was doing a particularly poor job of holding the runners. Cowgill was going to go on Lewis at the first opportunity, and with the Rangers having just taken the lead, I think Wash was leery of Cowgill taking second on a steal and putting the Angels in a position to tie the game back with a Shuck single. So he went to Poreda, who Shuck to pop out on what I believe was a 3-1 pitch (though Cowgill, despite multiple throws over, was going on that pitch).
- Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts pitched the 7th, Cotts and Alexi Ogando pitched the 8th, and Joakim Soria pitched the 9th. The relievers only allowed a walk and a single in their 3.1 IP. Good job, bullpen.
- As for the offense, it wasn't great, but it bunched hits together in the 6th and 7th. After the homers in the 6th inning, the Rangers pushed across a couple of runs in the 7th despite Wash's failed attempts to bunt runners over. Lefty starter Hector Santiago was left in the game to start the inning, and gave up a single to Leonys Martin, who led off the inning. Michael Choice was apparently ordered to bunt, despite having the platoon advantage, and despite having J.P. Arencibia, who is hitting worse than the average pitcher right now, on deck. Mike Scioscia, knowing that the Rangers had Mitch Moreland available to hit for Choice if he went to a righthander, let Santiago pitch to Choice, and despite Choice being willing to give himself up, Santiago couldn't throw strikes, resulting in Choice drawing a walk, putting runners on first and second. Scioscia then went to the pen for Kevin Jepsen, setting up the perfect opportunity for Moreland to pinch hit, but Robinson Chirinos was apparently unavailable today because of a stomach problem, so Arencibia stayed in. He tried, and failed, to bunt twice before fanning. Choo managed to bring him one run with an RBI single, however, and Elvis Andrus followed that up with a fielder's choice that ended up scoring Choice when Ian Stewart (who was playing third base in place of David Freese, who had left the game earlier after being hit with a Colby Lewis 0-2 pitch) hit Choice with the throw home.
- As far as the offense goes, Choo went 3-4 before leaving the game in the bottom of the 7th because his ankle was sore, and Alex Rios was 2 for 4. On the bad side, Arencibia and Donnie Murphy were each 0 for 4 with 3 Ks, and Adrian Beltre had another hitless game, though he did draw a walk.
- Tomorrow night is Matt Harrison versus Garrett Richards. Let's make it two in a row, shall we?