Rangers 3, Mariners 2
- So, your Texas Rangers the best record in the A.L., and are three games up on Seattle in the A.L. West, after sweeping the M's in a three game set this weekend. The third place team in the division, Houston, is seven games back, and coming into town for a four game series starting Monday. Things are feeling pretty good right now if you're a Rangers fan...
- A terrific outing for Derek Holland today, who basically had one bad pitch -- a Paul Lynde fastball to Nelson Cruz on a 3-1 count that Cruz pulverized for a two run home run -- and otherwise kept everything under control. Holland only needed 92 pitches to throw 7 innings, striking out six, walking two, allowing three hits, and with the two run Cruz home run being responsible for the only runs that came across. That's the sort of effort that is going to quiet down all but the most dedicated Holland critics.
- Matt Bush was brought in for the eighth, for the first time since his ill-fated appearance in Cleveland when he got hit hard but wasn't throw hard (relatively speaking), and the rest seems to have done him good, as he was throwing 98, fanned the first two batters he saw, and gave up a fly ball to the third that should have been caught, but instead was misplayed by Jared Hoying for an E-7. Jake Diekman was then brought in to face pinch hitter Adam Lind, and struck him out the end the threat. Sam Dyson, meanwhile, needed just 8 pitches (all strikes) to close things out in the ninth and pick up the save.
- This is one of those games M's fans will point to if their team just misses the playoffs (and, conversely, that Rangers fans can point to if Texas just makes the playoffs), as Hisashi Iwakuma was dominant today, and the margin of victory was due to defensive miscues in the fifth. With Seattle up 2-0, Rougned Odor reached on a bunt single, and after Mitch Moreland hit into a fielder's choice, Elvis Andrus hit a slow roller that shortstop Luis Sardinas booted, putting runners on first and second with one out. Hoying singled to center, bringing Moreland home and putting Elvis at third, and then Bobby Wilson lofted a fly ball to shallow left field. Elvis returned to third as the catch was made, giving no indication of tagging, and then as soon as Stefen Romero lobbed a throw back into the infield, made a break for home, scoring easily. Jurickson Profar then followed that up with an RBI single that scored Hoying from second (where he advanced while the M's were trying to make a play at the plate on Elvis).
- Other than that, the Rangers didn't really threaten, only getting a runner to second one other time, in the eighth, when Wilson led off with a walk, and went to second on a two out Nomar Mazara single. The offense was largely useless today, except in the fifth...but in the fifth, thanks to some sloppy M's defense and a great headsy play by Elvis, the Rangers pushed enough runs across to secure the win.
- Profar had two more hits today, DHing once again in place of Prince Fielder, who sat for the second day in a row. Prince is expected back in the lineup tomorrow, with Mike Fiers pitching for Houston, but it would seem to be a given that Profar will be in the leadoff spot again, with the question being whether he's at DH while Prince plays first base in place of Mitch Moreland (who was 0 for 3 with a K today), or if he's giving someone else a day off.