Here's a factoid for you: The Rangers have been in first place off and on for a total of 30 days this season. After beating the Mariners 10-4 tonight, the Rangers have their largest lead in the AL West at two games up. And yet, after these two games and after these last few weeks, it feels like that is not going to remain true for much longer.
One thing that is true is after winning the first two games of this series, the Rangers have secured their ninth straight home series win and have guaranteed they will end this weekend against their top division competitor in first place regardless of what happens in tomorrow's finale.
Tonight, however, we got our Li'l Rougie back and he was good because he is good. Jurickson Profar is still here and the Rangers are now 6-2 in games featuring the former top overall prospect in baseball.
It just feels different now with Yu Darvish back and Profar raking. It feels different with Ian Desmond getting like three hits per night. It feels different with Nomar Mazara being young and yet wise beyond his years at the plate.
Adrian Beltre is the only Ranger batter who didn't get a hit tonight. The Rangers scored 10 runs. There have been many nights over the last few years where the offense lived and died with Adrian Beltre. Not tonight. It just feels different.
Player of the Game: Since Profar has been back it's been difficult to pick a single player of the game for each because the offense has just been humming along and the starters have been giving the Rangers six or so innings of two to three run ball each time out. The Rangers are very good right now.
Elvis Andrus hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the 5th that was the death blow for Seattle. In his next at-bat, he nearly hit another one. He also doubled in tonight's game. Let's look at this tweet from Keith Law:
Elvis Andrus is now slugging .418. He's never slugged .400 in any season of his professional career.— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 5, 2016
The Rangers are winning and Elvis has been a big part of that. It's perhaps time we took notice of that. He's hitting. He's playing solid defense. And he's been a veteran presence for Odor and now Profar at the keystone.
Up Next: The Rangers and Mariners close out this series with Derek Holland trying to help Texas pull off the sweep against RHP Hisashi Iwakuma of Seattle. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 pm CT.