Rangers 4, Royals 2
- You know yesterday's game? This game was a lot like that one, except Wandy Rodriguez wasn't quite as awesome as Chi Chi Gonzalez was, and the bullpen threw a couple of innings instead of zero innings.
- 7 IP, 6 hits, 4 Ks, 0 walks, 1 run allowed by Rodriguez, who is now sporting a 3.25 ERA on the season in 52.2 IP over 9 starts. Not bad for someone the Rangers basically got off the scrap heap to be a AAA depth.
- These things have a way of working themselves out, but if everyone currently in the rotation performs acceptably going forward, the Rangers are going to have some difficult decisions to make when Matt Harrison, Martin Perez and Derek Holland are ready to return in early-, mid-, and late-July.
- Interesting decision by Jeff Banister to bring Shawn Tolleson into the game at the start of the 9th to face Alex Gordon. Sam Freeman had retired Kendrys Morales to end the 8th, and you'd have thought that, having faced just one batter, they'd have Freeman pitch to Gordon to start the 9th. But no, it was Tolleson who came in. The whole "no roles" thing about the bullpen doesn't really seem to apply to the 9th inning...if it is the 9th and a save situation, Tolleson is getting the ball, it seems.
- It looked early like it might be a blowout, as the Rangers scored a pair of runs in the first and in the second, and Yordano Ventura was done after three, making way for Joe Blanton, who was pitching in his third straight game. You'd think that third-straight-game Blanton, at this point in his career, would be a great opportunity for the lefty-heavy Rangers to pile on runs. But no, he went 3.1 IP and didn't give up any runs. Fortunately, it didn't matter.
- The 2-3-4 hitters did stuff today, with Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder, and Mitch Moreland each getting two hits, with Prince also drawing a pair of walks. The other multi-hit game was by Hanser Alberto, who put up 3 hits from the #9 spot, and is now hitting .344/.344/.438 on the year.
- Texas is now in sole possession of second place in the A.L. West, just 3.5 games back of the Astros. Not bad, guys.