Blitz Weekly

Texas Rangers Climb Back to .500

Texas Rangers right fielder Shin-Soo Choo cranked his 10th home run of the season over the weekend. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo cranked his 10th home run of the season over the weekend. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

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By Wiley Singleton

The Rangers continued their strong play against two division rivals. To begin the week they squared off against the AL leading Houston Astros. The Astros led the Lone Star Series 6-1 going into the series.

6/12 – Game 1 – Rangers at Astros – The Rangers began the series with the only member of their pitching staff to stay consistently healthy this year: Yu Darvish. Darvish was unbelievable, only allowing one hit to an Astros team that leads the league in average. Darvish held the Astros to one run over seven innings. The only run he gave up was a bloop shot to left field that Nomar Mazara narrowly missed. The Rangers took a two run lead in the second inning on back to back triples. The lead held true and Nomar Mazara hit a crushing three run homer to give the Rangers room to breath. Jeremy Jeffress did not need it. He pitched two shutout innings and the Rangers continued their win streak. Final score: 6-1.

6/13 – Game 2 – Rangers at Astros – Nick Martinez faced off against Brad Peacock in Game 2 of this division rivalry matchup. Martinez was solid, lasting six innings and giving up two runs. Martinez was touched up by Carlos Correa and George Springer for home runs, but they were both solo shots. The keen eye of Shin-Soo Choo cut the lead of the Astros to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth when he drew a bases loaded walk. The game was still 2-1 in the top of the seventh when Rougie Odor pulled a homer into right field off of reliever Chris Devenski. The solo homer tied the game and Odor hit another homer in the subsequent inning to make the game 4-2. Jose Leclerc, Keone Kela, and Matt Bush all turned in scoreless outings. Bush got the save and Rougie Odor flashed his power that has been absent for most of the season.

6/14 – Game 3 – Rangers at Astros – The Rangers were obliterated in Game 3 by the Astros. Tony Barnette and Andrew Cashner were pummeled by the Astros offense and took trips to the DL directly after this game. Jeremy Jeffress pitched one inning and allowed four runs. Dillon Gee gave up two runs and would no longer be on the team at the end of the week. Joey Gallo hit a homer, but other than that the Rangers ended their win streak in a rough way. Rangers take the series 2-1 but fall in Game 3 13-2.

6/16 – Game 1 – Mariners at Rangers – The division rival Seattle Mariners came into Texas opening with their only healthy ace, James Paxton. Paxton got roughed up badly by a Rangers lineup finally at full firepower. Mike Napoli and Carlos Gomez both returned in this game to join Adrian Beltre as part of the Rangers ideal lineup. Gomez came back with a pop, crushing a three run homer and earning four RBIs for the day. Jonathan Lucroy and Adrian Beltre both had two RBIs to support Gomez. Robinson Chirinos continued to display his surprising power this year, logging his eighth homer this year. Delino DeShields continues to be a menace on the basepaths. He logged his 15th steal of the year, contributing to Paxton’s woes. Paxton lasted 3.2 innings and gave up seven runs. He was opposed by Tyson Ross, a former San Diego Padre opening day starter. Ross missed most of last year due to a huge shoulder injury. Ross is an extreme groundball pitcher. He was sharp in this outing, pitching 5.2 innings and only giving up two runs. Alex Claudio pitched two scoreless innings to close out the 10-4 win.

6/17 – Game 2 – Mariners at Rangers – This game was incredibly similar to their Friday night game. A 10-4 Rangers victory with a recently healed player hitting four RBIs. These RBIs came at the hands of Mike Napoli, who pulled two huge homers to left field. This is a good sign, before his injury it appeared Napoli was starting to find his power stroke again. Martin Perez was sub par in his start. He lasted 5.1 innings and gave up four runs. The Rangers offense got out to an early lead, Perez made the game close, but the bullpen was flawless behind him. Leclerc, Claudio, Kela, Jeffress all turned in scoreless outings. Shin-Soo Choo is continuing to play well. He launched a homer in the bottom of the sixth inning after the game had just gotten very close again. Rougie Odor also had a homer this inning. Odor, much like Napoli, is starting to hit for power again despite struggling profoundly early in the year. The Rangers bullpen kept this game from getting messy. Rangers win 10-4.

6/18 – Game 3 – Mariners at Rangers – The Rangers failed to complete the sweep of their division opponent for the second straight series. Yu Darvish was smacked around for four runs in the first inning. Carlos Gomez hit a two run homer in the 2nd to make the game 4-2. Ranger Killer Kyle Seager had an incredible game, hitting three doubles and three RBIs. The Rangers could not touch the Mariners bullpen after Christian Bergman turned in a solid start. Bergman gave up two runs over 5.2 innings. The Rangers fell 7-3 but have a .500 record and a healthy lineup heading into a series with slumping Toronto.

Upcoming Schedule – All Times Central
6/19   vs Blue Jays   7:05 p.m.
6/20   vs Blue Jays   7:05 p.m.
6/21   vs Blue Jays   7:05 p.m.
6/22   vs Blue Jays   1:05 p.m.
6/23   @Yankees      6:05 p.m.
6/24   @Yankees      12:05 p.m.
6/25   @Yankees      1:05 p.m.

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