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Thoughts on a 4-1 Rangers win

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Rangers 4, Royals 1

MLB: Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 4, Royals 1

  • That was a nice, simple win for the Rangers, a 4-1 victory with some hitting and good pitching and nice defense. It was reminiscent of a couple of years ago, when the Rangers were good.
  • Cole Hamels had some issues early, walking the first batter of the game after getting up 0-2 on him, seeing the runner advance to second on a wild pitch and to third on a stolen base with no outs. After a K, another walk put runners on first and third with one out, but a Salvador Perez GIDP ended the inning.
  • That was largely it as far as trouble went for Hamels, though, other than in the bottom of the fourth when the Royals pushed their one run across on a single-error-GIDP-single sequence. The error, assessed to Isiah Kiner-Falefa at third base, was on a smash that IKF did a good job just to stop, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it got changed to a hit.
  • In any case, it was a Quality Start for Hamels, as he went 7 innings, allowing the one unearned run, striking out 7, walking 3 and allowing 4 hits. Hamels has his ERA down to 3.41 on the season, and at a time when the Rangers are likely looking to move him in advance of the deadline, every solid start helps.
  • Jake Diekman and Keone Kela each threw a scoreless inning apiece, and as with Hamels, both could be on the move.
  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a big game today, going 3 for 3 with two doubles and a walk. He was only in the lineup, it appears, because Rougned Odor got in trouble for violating team rules last night and got put on the bench, while Yohander Mendez, his partner in...well, not crime, but disobedience I guess, got sent down. IKF is the backup catcher as well as a backup infielder right now, and is apparently slated to catch tomorrow.
  • The Rangers scored twice in the second, with a Delino DeShields bases loaded double bringing home a pair, and then twice more in the third, courtesy of an IKF RBI single and then later a Robinson Chirinos grounder that was booted for an error that allowed a run to score. Texas could have scored more with the opportunities they had — 12 hits and 5 walks normally will generate more than 4 runs — but a pair of runners were thrown out at the plate.
  • Also having big days at the plate were Nomar Mazara, who went 3 for 5, and Ronald Guzman, who went 2 for 3 with a walk. And Shin-Soo Choo singled, extending his consecutive on base streak to 33 games.
  • That’s four in a row for Texas, who will be going for the sweep tomorrow. It’s nice to see this team showing some life after an unpleasant seven game losing streak.