By Martin Iheke
After finishing a successful 7-4 record on their recent road trip, your Texas Rangers returned home to open a nine-game home stand looking to continue the momentum and stay in the wild card race. The Baltimore Orioles came into town for a three-game series, which meant right fielder Nelson Cruz who signed with the Orioles in the offseason would be making his first visit back to Texas. He did not disappoint as he hit his 21st home run of the season helping the Orioles to an 8-3 win. “It’s just one game,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said according to MLB.com. “I thought we were in the game all night, we just didn’t shut it down in the eighth inning,” as he continued. In that eighth inning, the Rangers managed to give up six runs after tying the game at two in the bottom of the 7th inning.
The next night would not get any better as the Orioles would squeak by with a 6-5 win. Rangers starting pitcher Nick Martinez was not very good give up six runs in 5 1/3 innings. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre hit two home runs in the game but it was not enough. The Rangers finally were able to salvage a game to conclude the three-game series with an 8-6 win, last Thursday night. Rangers right fielder Michael Choice had two RBIs in the game including hitting his fourth home run of the season. “It felt good,” Choice said of his homer according to MLB.com. “We did a great job of getting guys in tonight. …When you can put up runs in key situations like that, it definitely takes the pressure off,” as he continued. The win put the Rangers back at .500 with a 30-30 record. It also put their home record at 14-15 on the season and that is not good. Globe Life Park has not been kind to the Rangers this season and that is something that needs to change if they want to have a shot at getting the second wild card spot in the American League.
The Cleveland Indians would be the next opponent in a four-game set. The Rangers would take the first game, 6-4. Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish was not at his best but he was good enough to get his sixth win of the season. “I think the strike zone was a little bit smaller today,” Darvish said according to MLB.com. “So I had to be creative,” as he continued. Unfortunately, the Rangers could not build on a two-winning streak as they would fall, 8-3, last Saturday and 3-2 last Sunday. They are currently 2-4 on the home stand and their overall record is 31-32 putting them back below .500. The injury bug continues to bite the Rangers in the rear as first baseman Mitch Moreland will miss the next three months after having ankle surgery this past Sunday. Reliever Alexi Ogando will not pitch for three weeks after he had an MRI that revealed ligament damage in his elbow. He will not need surgery, but him missing some time already is another blow to a team that cannot seem to catch a break in the injury front this season.
The Rangers will conclude their four-game set against the Indians on Monday night before the Miami Marlins visit for a two-game series starting Tuesday night. The Rangers will have a day off on Thursday before traveling to Seattle to open a three-game series against the Mariners on Friday night.
6/9 vs Indians 7:05 p.m.
6/10 vs Marlins 7:05 p.m.
6/11 vs Marlins 7:05 p.m.
6/13 @Mariners 9:10 p.m.
6/14 @Mariners 9:10 p.m.
6/15 @Mariners 3:10 p.m.