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Thoughts on a 9-4 Rangers win

Rangers 9, Tigers 4

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 9, Tigers 4

  • And that’s a sweep.
  • Pedro Payano got the start today, either his second or third, depending on how you treat his outing where he had an opener, and he pitched...okay. Not great, didn’t make it through 5 innings, but he was alright. He gave up a run in the 4th when Rougned Odor threw what should have been a Travis Demeritte inning-ending GIDP relay to first in the dirt where Danny Santana couldn’t scoop it, allowing an unearned run to score. He allowed two more in the fifth, going single-single-sac bunt-double-walk before being pulled.
  • So 4.1 IP, 3 runs (2 earned), 6 hits, 3 walks, 2 Ks. But it’s still pretty unexpected that he pitched that well. Payano, 24, has a 3.45 ERA on the year, after putting up a 5.54 ERA for Frisco last season. Payano was a minor league free agent last offseason who threw 89-91, but the Rangers brought him back on a minor league deal, and suddenly, he’s throwing 93-94 with stuff good enough that he can survive in the major leagues.
  • I’m not sure Payano is anything more than an up-and-down guy, but a year ago he looked like someone not good enough to get AAA hitters out, so the fact he’s progressed to this point is impressive.
  • Emmanuel Clase made his major league debut in the 5th in relief of Payano. The first batter he faced smoked a 99 mph fastball to deep right field, but it stayed in the park, and he ended up finishing the 5th and also pitching the 6th, allowing one K and one walk while not allowing a hit, and putting triple digits on the scoreboard a few times. Not a bad debut.
  • Brett Martin allowed an unearned run in the 7th when Texas again couldn’t turn a double play. This time it was Logan Forsythe who, with one on and one out, threw the first leg of the should’ve-been-GIDP into right field, allowing the runner to score and the batter to get to second. He then booted a scorched ball that was called an infield single, and after Martin got the second out on a 6-4 fielder’s choice, Rafael Montero came in, getting the final out, and then the final two innings as well.
  • Texas got on the board in the first when Shin-Soo Choo doubled, then went to third on a Danny Santana single, with Santana going to second when the Harold Castro throw in missed the cutoff man. Castro then dropped the ball on the exchange when the next batter, Elvis Andrus, flew out, allowing Choo to score and Santana to sneak in to third base, despite a throw that looked like it would have him. Santana then scored on a Nomar Mazara single.
  • Santana brought home the next two runs when, after Choo singled on a ball the ricocheted off of Jordan Zimmermann, he took Zimmermann out of the park to right field.
  • The 7th was the critical inning for the Rangers. Jeff Mathis and Shin-Soo Choo each walked to lead off the inning. Santana grounded out, with each runner advancing. Elvis then grounded out to third, and Mathis, going on contact, was thrown out at home. Nomar walked, bringing up Willie Calhoun with the bases loaded. Calhoun drew two balls, prompting a mound visit, then smoked the 2-0 pitch down the first base line for a triple. A wild pitch on ball four to Rougned Odor then made it an 8-4 game.
  • Texas put a final run on the board in the 8th courtesy of a Delino DeShields walk and a Shin-Soo Choo double, the fifth time in five plate appearances today when Choo reached.
  • So a very nice game all around, getting Texas back above .500 before heading to northern Ohio to take on the Cleveland club.