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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers win

Rangers 4, Orioles 3

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 4, Orioles 3

  • Martin Perez's night tonight was very reminiscent of Cole Hamels yesterday.  One bad inning, in the 5th, but otherwise terrific.  Perez didn't give up a hit until the 4th inning, and appeared to be on cruise control before losing it in the 5th, when the O's went HR, 5-3, single, double, sac fly, single to bring home three runs.  Perez had a 1-2-3 6th, but after a strikeout to start the 7th, Perez gave up back-to-back singles, resulting in Keone Kela coming into the game.
  • Perez's final line:  6.1 IP, 7 hits, 4 Ks, 0 walks, 3 runs.  I'll take that.
  • Keone Kela came in and did Keone Kela things, getting a popout and a K to strand both runners.  Jake Diekman faced three batters in the 8th, retiring a pair before giving up a single to Chris Davis, resulting in Sam Dyson coming in and retiring Steven Pearce for the final out of the 8th.
  • Shawn Tolleson pitched the 9th, because it was a one run game and that's when you bring your closer in.  However, this was Tolleson's 7th appearance in the last 9 days, a very heavy workload, and given that Dyson was in the game and had thrown just 5 pitches in the 8th, I mentioned on Twitter that I'd be on board with Dyson pitching the 9th.  Realistically, I'm not sure there's much difference between Tolleson and Dyson, in terms of quality, and the bottom of the lineup was due up.  In any case, Tolleson replaced Dyson, and gave up a single to the leadoff hitter, Jonathan Schoop.  A groundout moved Schoop to second, then a walk brought Ryan Flaherty up.  A nice play by Mitch Moreland resulted in a fielder's choice, bringing Manny Machado up with runners on the corners and two outs.  Tolleson got Machado looking on a check swing, ending the game and resulting in a tantrum at the plate from Machado, who I suspect may have gotten ejected as a result.
  • It worked out fine, and I'm not surprised Tolleson came into the game -- he's the closer, and expecting anything different is going to leave you disappointed.  But Tolleson and Dyson each have 15 appearances so far this month, while Diekman has 14.  Kela has 10, and he has spent a third of the month in the minors.  Tolleson is now third in the A.L. in appearances, while Kela is fifth.  I have to think Tolleson will be unavailable tomorrow, after 7 appearances in 9 days, and I'm a little concerned about how these guys are going to hold up down the stretch.  Sam Freeman, who we were seemingly seeing every day for a while, has been used once in the last 11 days, while Diekman gets the nod anytime a lefty is needed.  Hopefully, with expanded rosters and more arms available, we'll see the back end workload lessened a little.
  • The offense put up three runs in the third inning -- an outburst I thought at the time might be enough, given how Perez was pitching -- on a DeShields single, a Choo double, and a Beltre home run.  The winning run come across in the 6th, when Elvis Andrus had a two out triple, then Will Venable was walked intentionally to bring up Bobby Wilson.  Wilson doubled home Elvis, karmic retribution for walking a batter intentionally with two outs in the sixth.
  • The offense had some other opportunities they didn't take advantage of -- DeShields led off the bottom of the first with a triple, but didn't score, and the Rangers had two on and two out in the 7th with Brian Matusz coming into the game to face Mitch Moreland, but didn't score.  I figured that was a natural situation to have Mike Napoli pinch hit, but Moreland was left in versus the lefty, and grounded out.
  • Perhaps the weirdest failure-to-convert was in the 4th.  Will Venable led off with a single, and then, on a hit-and-run, Bobby Wilson hit a soft line drive up the middle right to the second baseman...except Venable, on the move, was pulling into second in front of the Schoop, and was hit by the ball.  Much discussion ensued with Jeff Banister, Buck Showalter, and the umpires, and much to Showalter's dismay, Venable was not called for interference, and what would have been an easy double play was instead a single for Wilson, with Venable being called out since he was hit by the ball.  Hanser Alberto then hit a pop up into shallow left that no one could catch...but instead of it being a single, it was a fielder's choice, as Wilson held up and was thrown out at second.  Alberto was then the third out of the inning when he tried to advance on a ball in the dirt, and was thrown out at second.
  • The highlight of the game, though, was this bit -- Adrian Beltre being Adrian Beltre: