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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers loss

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Twins 4, Rangers 3

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Twins 4, Rangers 3

  • I have a hard time getting too upset about this game.  The Twins had 9 extra base hits, and while yes, a couple of them were due to bad decisions by outfielders to dive, the reality is that if you hold the other team to 4 runs when you give up 9 XBHs, you're getting pretty lucky.  The Rangers were fortunate to stay in the game as long as they did...unfortunately, the bats didn't do enough to let the team capitalize on their good fortune.
  • Nick Martinez had a very Nick Martinez game, giving up 3 runs in 7 IP, striking out 5, walking one batter intentionally and one unintentionally, and giving up 8 hits.  It seemed like he was in danger all game, but the Twins ended the game being just 1 for 10 with RISP.  Martinez is now sporting a spiffy 2.76 ERA on the year.
  • Martinez also became the first Ranger pitcher to give up 4 triples in one game, and just the second Ranger pitcher to give up at least 3 triples in a game (the last was Charlie Hough).  Martinez also became the first pitcher since Rick Sutcliffe in 1983 to allow 4 triples in a game.
  • Keone Kela had a very Keone Kela inning, striking out two, allowing a hit and a wild pitch, but escaping with no damage done.  2.30 ERA for Kela.
  • Shawn Tolleson finally cracked...he'd been pretty much untouchable since moving into the closer's role, but today, asked to keep the score tied at 3 in the top of the 9th, Tolleson's command deserted him.  He only threw 8 strikes in 21 pitches, allowed a pair of hits, and allowed the winning run to score.  It happens.  His ERA, coincidentally enough, matches Martinez's -- 2.76.
  • On the offensive side of the ball, Joey Gallo and Leonys Martin each homered in the second off of Philip Hughes, but otherwise, there wasn't much to get excited about.  Hanser Alberto was 2 for 2 with a walk, but other than he and Leonys (who was 2 for 4), no one else got on base more than once for Texas.
  • Jeff Banister remembered Kyle Blanks was on the active roster, and had him pinch hit for Alberto against Twins closer Glenn Perkins with two outs in the ninth.  Blanks popped out to first base, however, ending the game.
  • Also getting off the bench for Texas was Jake Smolinski, who replaced Delino DeShields in the 6th after DeShields hurt his hamstring chasing after a ball that went for a triple in the sixth.  Rougned Odor was removed from the Round Rock game tonight and is being brought up, so I'm guessing that DeShields is disabled list bound.  That leaves the Rangers with only three real outfielders -- Leonys, Choo and Smolinski -- though Blanks and Moreland could potentially play the outfield if you really wanted them to, Adam Rosales has some time in the outfield in the past, and Joey Gallo could get a crash course in the next few days.  Smolinski has been nailed to the bench, and I've assumed that he would lose his roster spot to Ryan Rua when Rua is ready, but Rua has apparently still looked rusty while on his rehab stint with Round Rock.  The Rangers face a bunch of lefthanders at the end of the coming week, so I'm sure the Rangers would like to have Rua sharp and ready to contribute at the major league level before then.
  • The Twins got three triples in the sixth inning, but only scored once.  Eduardo Nunez tripled to lead off the inning, and then scored on Shane Robinson's triple to left field that knocked DeShields out of the game.  Robinson Chirinos ended up picking Robinson off at third base to erase him, however, which meant no one scored on Eduardo Escobar's triple.  So that's kind of neat.
  • Anyway...2.5 games back in the A.L. West now, after Houston won.  Texas plays the Dodgers in a pair on Monday and Tuesday, then goes to Chavez Ravine for a pair against the Dodgers on Wednesday and Thursday.  2-2 in that span would work for me.