Rangers 3, Braves 2
- You know how, when the Rangers were good, there'd be games where the offense would be shut down by some scrub, and we'd all say, "How is it that the Rangers can't score any runs off of Willie Lumplump?" and rail about losing to a no-name nobody pitcher? That's what the Braves are doing now.
- Lisalverto Bonilla, the latest reliever that the Rangers decided to give a shot at starting in the minors, was pressed into duty today after scheduled starter Scott Baker was scratched with triceps tendinitis. Bonilla responded by allowing just 2 runs in 6 innings of work, allowing 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out just 3, and needing just 78 pitches to work those 6 innings. Not a bad start for a guy pressed into duty because of injury...
- Roman Mendez had another scoreless outing, needing just 11 pitches, while facing 5 batters, to go 1.1 scoreless innings. His ERA is now down to 2.57 in 28 major league innings. The Rangers are in an interesting situation with him, as he's out of options after this season and would have to be put on waivers if the Rangers wanted to send him to the minors, with another team likely to claim him. Given the number of relief options the Rangers have, Mendez's performance in his late season audition may be making him a more attractive trade piece for the Rangers to use this offseason, if they'd prefer to use the last spot or two in the 2015 pen on guys who have options remaining, which would give them more flexibility.
- Michael Kirkman and Spencer Patton each faced a batter, and each retired the batter they faced. Good job, guys!
- And with Neftali Feliz being unavailable after pitching the previous two days, Neal Cotts was brought into the game in the 9th inning, and picked up his first save of the year.
- Once again, the bats are barely worth talking about. Atlanta starter Julio Teheran took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and in fact, every one of the Rangers' three hits today came in the sixth. The victory today was a tribute to the benefit of clustering, I guess.
- We also have Justin Upton to thank for the Rangers winning, as he dropped what would have been an inning-ending fly out by Leonys Martin in the sixth, extending the inning and putting runners at first and second for Elvis Andrus. Elvis had an RBI single, Rougned Odor followed that up with a double that brought two runners home, and that gave the Rangers a lead they wouldn't surrender.
- The only other Ranger baserunner today was the result of an Adam Rosales walk. Luis Sardinas promptly grounded into a double play, which erased Rosales. Teheran faced just three batters in 7 of the 8 innings he pitched, but still picked up the loss.
- And hey, the Rangers have a chance for a sweep of the Braves tomorrow. Woot.