Rangers 4, Royals 0
- Chi Chi Gonzalez has now thrown 14.2 innings as a major leaguer, and has allowed 0 runs. That's quite the way to start a major league career.
- The Ranger pen had to throw 10.2 innings the previous two days. Shawn Tolleson went 2 innings yesterday, meaning he likely wasn't available today, Anthony Bass had thrown 3.2 innings the day before, and Tanner Scheppers and Sam Freeman had pitched each of the past two days. The one truly rested reliever in the bullpen was Ross Detwiler. The Rangers needed Chi Chi Gonzalez to not just pitch well, but to pitch efficiently and eat innings -- something that hasn't been a strength of his so far in his pro career.
- And how did Chi Chi respond? With a complete game shutout, allowing 2 walks and 3 hits (one of them an Eric Hosmer bunt single) while striking out a pair, throwing 116 pitches. It wasn't the most dominant performance you'll ever see -- he only threw first pitch strikes to half the 30 batters he faced, and the 2 Ks show the Royals were making contact -- but he didn't give up many hard hit balls, he worked quickly, and he did exactly what the Rangers needed him to do.
- There was also some nice play in the field...Delino DeShields threw out Mike Moustakas trying to stretch a single into a double in the first, Elvis Andrus made a nice barehand catch-and-throw on a slow chopper, Hanser Alberto had a couple of nifty snags, and Chi Chi helped his own cause with some solid fielding.
- Texas took the lead two batters into the game, with DeShields starting things off with a shallow line drive into right-center that looked like it would fall for a single. Lorenzo Cain opted to try to make a spectacular diving catch on it and whiffed, resulting in the ball bounding almost to the wall. By the time Alex Rios tracked it down and got it back into the infield, DeShields was in at third with a triple, moments later scoring on a Shin-Soo Choo ground out.
- The other three Ranger runs came in the sixth inning, with Mitch Moreland going the other way for a leadoff home run, and then Robinson Chirinos singling home Elvis Andrus and Leonys Martin for the final two runs, with Leonys scoring in style with a fancy slide that allowed him to sneak in home just ahead of the Rios throw home.
- The Ranger bats were fairly quiet overall, with only 7 hits in total. Moreland and Elvis each had two hits and a walk, Leonys had a hit and a walk, and Elvis and Leonys each stole a pair of bases apiece. The other two hits for Texas were the DeShields triple to start the game and the Chirinos RBI single in the sixth.
- Joey Gallo had another rough night, striking out in all four of his at bats. He's simply stopped getting fastballs, and Edinson Volquez gave him fits tonight with his change up. Gallo has a very bright future ahead of him, but we've seen the past couple of nights that he's got work to do before he's truly ready to be in the majors for good.
- Texas is now in sole possession of 2nd place in the A.L. West, 4.5 games back of Houston, and tied for the 2nd Wild Card spot. Not bad for a team left for dead in late April.