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Thoughts on a 5-3 Rangers win

Rangers 5, Rays 3

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 5, Rays 3

  • Back to .500.
  • And the Angels lost, so Texas is 2.5 games back for the 2nd Wild Card spot.
  • Not the best start you'll ever see from Martin Perez, who had issues commanding his breaking ball, leaving it up a little too often against the Rays' all-righty lineup.
  • After a 1-2-3 first, Perez was given a 1-0 lead to start the second, and promptly gave it back, allowing a double and an RBI single to tie the game.  Then, in the third, after getting the lead back, he allowed a pair of runs on an infield single, a HBP, and a two-out double to Evan Longoria.  Longoria wouldn't have come to the plate were it not for replay -- a Brandon Guyer grounder to Adrian Beltre was originally called a 5-3 GIDP, but when challenged, New York determined that Mitch Moreland was pulled off the bag, and Guyer was called safe.  That extra out gave Longoria the chance to give Tampa the lead back.
  • Perez settled down after that, though, staying out of trouble until the 6th, when with two outs, he went single-single-walk, loading the bases for Kevin Kiermaier.  Perez elicited a ground out to third, though, ending the inning and Perez's night.
  • Perez ultimately got a quality start, going 6 IP and allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and a walk.  And he got 15 ground ball outs, compared to just one out in the air -- a pop fly to Elvis that was called an out under the infield fly rule.
  • Jeff Banister turned to Sam Dyson for both the 7th and the 8th, and Dyson gave up 3 hits, but also fanned 3 batters and emerged unscathed.
  • Okay, final two outs of the game...after Shawn Tolleson gave up a one out single to pinch hitter John Jaso and fell behind Grady Sizemore, I was getting a tad worried.  And then Sizemore smoked a ball off the bat that I thought was headed to right field for a single and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate...except it flew right into the glove of Rougned Odor, who made an easy toss to first to double off Jaso and end the game.  Very nice.
  • Odor had some adventures in the field today...along with the 9th inning play, he cut in front of Elvis Andrus on a ball that Elvis made the play on, but that he probably should have just steered clear of, and then whiffed on a pickoff play at second that allowed a runner to go to third, though Perez was given the error.  It all worked out, though.
  • The Rangers also were able to win two -- yes, TWO -- challenges tonight, both on plays on the basepaths where the Rays were trying to advance.  One involved Shin-Soo Choo gunning Guyer out at second trying to stretch a single into a double.  The other was in the 7th, when Curt Casali, who led off the inning with a double off of Dyson, tried to go to third after Adrian Beltre threw to first on a ground out.  Mitch Moreland threw to third to nail Casali, Beltre tagged him out, and then Beltre tagged Casali again when he overslid and came off the bag.  Then, finally, the ball came loose, and the third base umpire claimed that Beltre didn't keep control of the ball on the tag.  Both replays seemed to be fairly obvious, but the Rangers have challenged plays that have seemed obvious at other points this season, only to see them not get overturned, so I wasn't optimistic.  But hey, it all worked out.
  • Also, Elvis seems to be, by far, the Ranger most inclined to turn to the dugout and start signalling for a challenge on a close play.  Seems like he does it anytime he's involved in a close play that goes against the Rangers.
  • The Rangers didn't have a big inning all game, although they appeared poised to in the bottom of the first, starting off the game with a HBP-walk-walk sequence, loading the bases with no one out.  A GIDP by Beltre and a Moreland fly out, however, meant just one run came home, and in the middle innings, we were looking at the first as a big, costly missed opportunity.
  • Josh Hamilton homered in the second inning, but Texas couldn't muster much else until the bottom of the seventh, when Delino DeShields cranked his first major league home run well into the left field seats down the line.  It was remarkable...I didn't think DeShields could hit the ball that far.
  • That tied up the game, and set the stage for the Rangers to take the lead in the 8th.  Going up against Jake McGee, Beltre and Moreland hit back-to-back one out singles, and when Beltre advancing to third drew a throw, Moreland went on to second.  Josh Hamilton hit a sac fly to bring home Beltre, and Elvis then singled home Moreland for the insurance run.
  • And Texas won, and Delino DeShields got interviewed by Emily Jones on TV after the game and got water dumped on him and dropped an f-bomb on live TV, and it was all alright.  The Rangers are at .500, and are still in the race.