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Thoughts on a 7-4 Rangers win

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Rangers 7, Royals 4

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 7, Royals 4

  • Okay.  Bootyholes unclenched, as Ron Washington would say, at least a little.  Panic buttons put down, at least until tomorrow.  Losing streak broken, thanks in large part to our friend Hollywood...and if you are looking for an argument in favor of pushing a bunch of prospect chips in to get a stud pitcher right now, he's a great example of how well that can work.
  • Hamels allowed an unearned run in the first, when Nomar Mazara misplayed a double to allow Cheslor Cuthbert to advance to third on the play, and then score on an Eric Hosmer groundout.  Hamels kept the Royals off the board otherwise, though he labored and needed 105 pitches to record sixteen outs, getting lifted with one on and one out in the sixth for Tony Barnette.  Final line was 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 Ks, and the one unearned run.
  • Sloppy defense cost Hamels some pitches, as well...in the third, an Elvis Andrus error put the leadoff runner on, and then after a GIDP erased him, an Adrian Beltre error put the third batter of the inning on.  Hamels ran into problems in the fourth, when, with two outs, a walk/infield single/walk sequence loaded the bases, and had runners on second and third in the fifth with two outs, but got out with no damage.
  • Barnette pitched 1.2 IP in relief of Hamels, getting the ball to Matt Bush, who pitched a scoreless eighth.  Shawn Tolleson started the ninth with a 7-1 lead, Sam Dyson relieved him, and, well...let's not think about that, shall we?
  • The bats...last night, I mentioned that I thought the bats showed some signs of life, even though it didn't seem to really show up in the box score.  Early on, it looked like that was illusory...Yordano Ventura retired the first nine batters he faced, and it looked like Texas was at risk of blowing a Hamels start with poor hitting.
  • And then Jurickson Profar walked to lead off the fourth, setting the stage for Nomar Mazara.  Mazara has been mired in a deep slump, and while he was hitting 3rd at one point earlier in the season, he's largely been relegated to the 7th or 8th spot of late.  He had two hits yesterday, though, which apparently prompted Jeff Banister to move him to the #2 spot today, behind Profar.  That move paid off in spades, as Mazara had 3 hits and a walk today, including a home run following Profar's walk to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead -- a lead they wouldn't give up the rest of the way.
  • Ventura looked like he was in trouble that inning, as Adrian Beltre doubled and went to third on a wild pitch, and after Rougned Odor struck out to make it two outs, Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland walked, loading the bases for Robinson Chirinos.  Chirinos couldn't make Ventura pay, grounding out, though it just delayed his getting chased.
  • The fourth saw Mazara drive in another run, when he doubled home Delino DeShields with one out, DeShields having reached on a one out walk.  After advancing to third on a fly out, Mazara was stranded when Beltre smoked a ball back up the middle that hit Ventura, and while Beltre was retired, Ventura was knocked out of the game as a result.
  • After Joakim Soria threw a scoreless sixth inning in relief of Ventura, Ned Yost asked him to pitch the seventh as well, and things went badly for the Royals.  Chirinos walked, and after a DeShields bunt and a Profar ground out advanced him to third, Mazara walked, bringing up Ian Desmond, who singled home Chirinos to make it 4-1.  Beltre then went deep, turning it into a 7-1 game, the score that we're going to pretend the game ended by so we can keep things positive and not think about the 9th.
  • Everyone got either a hit or a walk today, and Mazara and Beltre had big games, each doubling and homering.  Mazara has, of course, been mired in a bad slump, and Beltre hasn't done that great lately either...hopefully, this is an indication that the two are breaking out of their recent bad stretches.
  • Houston won but, whatever, who cares...Texas is still up 2.5 games, and has a chance to take the series tomorrow, with A.J. Griffin on the mound.
  • Its been an ugly past three weeks or so...this is the first really good-feeling game in some time.  Hopefully, its a sign of things to come...