I said it once, I probably said it twice, I’m going to say it now, and I’ll likely say it again: If Martin Perez is a good starting pitcher for the Rangers down the stretch, I think they’ll make the playoffs.
Tonight, Martin Perez was a good starting pitcher and the Rangers climbed back over the endless hurdle that is above .500 baseball as they finished off a big series win over the Anaheim Angels in shutout style.
Marteen allowed seven hits in his seven innings and while he struck out just three Angel hitters, the big key was he didn’t walk anyone. Nobody on the Angels ever even reached third base against ‘Teen.
Jason Grilli came in and walked the first two hitters he saw in the eighth inning but since the bullpen is, I will generously say...depleted, he stayed out there and got the next three Angels in order.
Yes, in 2017, Jason Grilli is a setup reliever for the Texas Rangers.
In the ninth inning, Ricky Rodriguez came and pitched a swift 1-2-3 inning for his first big league save. A few days ago, I’d never heard of Ricky Rodriguez. Tonight, he’s the closer for the 2017 Texas Rangers.
Texas collected just five hits tonight — and just three off Angels starter Troy Scriber — but they made them count as Drew Robinson followed a Brett Nicholas double with a long homer to put Texas ahead and Mike Napoli continued to terrorize his old, old team with a solo dong an inning later.
It was a good night for Texas on the scoreboard watching front as both Minnesota and Kansas City lost, and, of course, the Angels lost as well. The Rangers are just a game back of a Wild Card spot now, which, honestly, seems like a dang miracle.
Bonus: The Astros also lost.
Player of the Game: Drew Robinson isn’t getting much playing time (though he’s getting more of a look with Joey Gallo on the concussion list), but when he’s in there, he seems to do damage.
Tonight, Robinson kicked off the scoring with a two-run home run in the third inning which ultimately proved to be the game-winner as the Rangers kept the Angels off the board.
Up Next: The Rangers begin Players Weekend in Oakland to begin a series against the A’s. Nick Martinez makes rejoins the rotation to make the start opposite Kendall Graveman of Oakland. First pitch from Rickey Henderson Field at Oakland Coliseum is scheduled for 9:05 pm CT. With any luck, the Rangers will stay above .500.