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Thoughts on a 6-3 Rangers win

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Rangers 6, A’s 3

Rangers 6, A’s 3

  • Yesterdays game was sloppy, demoralizing, and not much fun to watch, with the Rangers failing in seemingly every aspect. And today that was all forgotten...Texas was far from perfect, but performed when they had to in order to pull out a victory and split the four ga,e set.
  • Martin Perez made his season debut today, threw strikes, attacked the zone, but was much too hittable. Staked to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second, Perez got into trouble in the bottom of the third, giving up a pair of one out singles followed by a double and a sac fly that cut the lead in half. Jeff Banister stuck wih Perez until a single-lineout-single sequence in the sixth chased him in favor of Kevin Jepsen, who gave up a sac fly before ending the inning by inducing a groundout, preserving a 4-3 lead.
  • It was a familiar look from Perez, who didn’t walk anyone, but who also didn’t generate many swings and misses, fanning just one batter while allowing ten hits. Perez wasn’t great, but he was good enough to give Texas a chance to win, and that was good enough today.
  • Matt Bush came in for the seventh and walked the first batter he saw on four pitches, then gave up a single to put runners on first and third with no one out. Bush retired Khris Davis on strikes before giving way to Jake Diekman, who fanned Matt Olson and induced a ground out from Matt Chapman to end the inning and escape the jam. Neither Bush nor Diekman look particularly sharp right now, but with Tony Barnette due off the d.l. shortly and Tim Lincecum expected to be ready by May 1, Bush’s combination of struggling and having options could potentially result in him heading to Round Rock before long.
  • Chris Martin and Keone Kela pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th, respectively, but the big play from late came from Nomar Mazara. After being a goat yesterday due to multiple defensive miscues, Mazara got a chance for redemption when, with one out in the 8th, Stephen Piscotty decided to try for two on a ball down the right field line. Mazara fielded it cleanly and threw a strike to second base, getting Piscotty easily and snuffing out the rally.
  • On the offensive side, Texas did the bulk of their damage in the second, when an Adrian Beltre double and a Mazara single put runners on first and third with no one out. Rougned Odor then hit a hot shot up the middle that struck Oakland starter Daniel Mengden in the lower leg, bringing in a run with an infield single. Mengden initially looked like he would have to come out, but he managed to stay in the game to face Ryan Rua. Rus sac bunted right in front of the plate, and Jonathan Lucroy let a gimpy Mengden make the play. Mengden threw the ball away, two more runners scored, and when Drew Robinson followed that up with a single, it brought a fourth run in.
  • Rua, I thought, could have been called for interference for running on the inside of the baseline to first. He wasn’t, though.
  • Robinson was thrown out trying to steal that inning, on a close play the Rangers unsuccessfully challenged. Elvis Andrus, in the sixth, was thrown out trying to steal third on a play that was not close at all. Stealing bases went poorly for Texas this series.
  • The final runs were tacked on by Texas in the ninth, with a Juan Centeno single being followed up by a Shin-Soo Choo home run.
  • Every Ranger had a hit today, except for Rua, who had the key sac bunt that turned into an error, along with a walk, and Joey Gallo, who was 0 for 5, but at least did not strike out.
  • I will take a split on the road pretty much anytime, so no real complaints about the ultimate outcome of this series. Now back home to take on the hated Blue Jays.