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Thoughts on a 10-4 Rangers win

Rangers 10, M's 4

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 10, M's 4

  • That's a pretty good way to start off a homestand against the team you're fighting with for first place in the division.  Texas is now up 2 games in the West, with an opportunity to sweep and make it 3 tomorrow.
  • The ongoing adventures of Martin Perez continued tonight, with Perez having command issues and less than his best stuff.  The M's put 3 runs on the board against Perez on a walk and 9 hits, including a Nelson Cruz home run, but Perez battled through and ended up putting up a Quality Start, going 6 innings and throwing 108 pitches, the most he's thrown since returning from Tommy John surgery.  At around 80 pitches after 4 innings, I was sure he'd be done after 4 innings, but he had a quick fifth inning, and then Jeff Banister let him pitch the sixth as well.
  • Perhaps the best thing about this outing from Perez was his ability to keep problems from snowballing on him.  The second looked like it could be problematic, as Dae-Ho Lee singled to start the inning, and then after a Kyle Seager fielder's choice, Chris Iannetta hit an opposite field bloop that hit the very edge of the right field line and bounded into the seats for a ground rule double.  Someone named Stefen Romero then brought Lee home on a sac fly, after which Perez got Luis Sardinas down in the count 1-2, but then couldn't locate and walked him.  With the fluky bloop double and losing Sardinas, it felt like the kind of inning where things might get away from Perez, but he retired the next batter on a grounder to Adrian Beltre to get out of the inning.
  • Cesar Ramos pitched an uneventful seventh and eighth before turning things over to the newly recalled Tom Wilhelmsen for the 9th.  Wilhelmsen walked a batter but otherwise was fine, and hopefully, this is an indicator that whatever was bedeviling him earlier this year was put to rest during his stint in AAA.  We all are quite aware that the Rangers could use another reliable arm in the pen...
  • The Ranger offense jumped on M's starter Nate Karns early and never let up.  Jurickson Profar led things off with a ball to center that Shawn O'Malley dove unsuccessfully for, putting him on second with a double, and after Ian Desmond reached with a bunt single, Nomar Mazara brought home Profar with a sac fly to give Texas a 1-0 lead.  A Rougned Odor two out bloop single in his first plate appearance since coming back from his suspension set things up for Ryan Rua, who made it a 3-0 lead with a double.
  • The Ranger second inning was a long, weird inning that somehow only led to one run.  An Elvis Andrus walk, a wild pitch and a stolen base put him on third with one out.  Profar walked, which led to Desmond singling home Elvis.  A throw home was cut off while Desmond was off of first, and in the ensuing rundown, Profar tried to score.  He was called out after avoiding the tag and the plate before coming back to try to touch home, a replay challenge was issued because the Rangers didn't think Iannetta ever tagged him, and the call ended up getting confirmed despite video evidence that seemed to suggest that Profar was safe...though at the end of the day, its possible, from what I saw, that Profar was never tagged but also never tagged the plate.  Mazara and Adrian Beltre back-to-back walks brought Odor up with the bases loaded and a chance to blow things open, but Odor fanned to end the inning.
  • The Rangers scored again in the third, on an Elvis double and a Bryan Holaday single, before blowing things open with four runs in the fifth with an Odor walk-Rua single-Mitch Moreland single-Elvis home run sequence to start the inning.  The final run came in the eighth, courtesy of a Nomar Mazara opposite field home run.
  • 14 hits and 7 walks for Texas almost makes you wonder how it is that the Rangers didn't score more than 10 runs, as everyone got on base at least once, and everyone other than Beltre had a hit.  Another big game for Ian Desmond, who was 3 for 5, and Rua, Odor and Profar each had 2 hits and a walk.  Elvis also was in the 2 hits and a walk club, and came remarkably close to having back-to-back home runs today, as the next time up after his bomb to left, he hit a high, deep fly to left field that was caught just a few feet shy of the wall.
  • Profar got the start at DH in place of Prince Fielder, who continues to be mired in a wretched season-long slump, and while neither Jeff Banister nor Jon Daniels said so directly, it sounds like Prince is expected to sit at least tomorrow, as well.  With Profar performing, and Joey Gallo continuing to do work in AAA (Gallo was 1 for 3 with a walk today for Round Rock), the situation with Prince and Mitch Moreland (who was 1 for 4 with a walk and 2 Ks today) comes closer and closer to coming to a head.  Profar seems to be giving the team the type of energy from the leadoff spot that Delino DeShields provided last year, and so long as he keeps hitting, he's likely to have the opportunity to whittle away at the playing time of those two guys.
  • Derek Holland gets a chance to complete the sweep tomorrow, in advance of the four game set against the Astros that starts Monday.  Hopefully, Herbie will make an appearance at around 5:00 tomorrow...