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English: Colby Lewis, Texas Rangers pitcher.

Colby Lewis, Texas Rangers pitcher. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rangers Take The Series With The Red Sox

BY:  Dic Humphrey

Rangerrap.com

Texas returned from their three city road trip and opened a 10 game home stand by taking two of three from Boston.  Texas won the rubber match Wednesday night 5-3 to win the series two games to one.  It was the seventh straight series win at home and 20th series win of the year for Texas.  They are 10-2-1 in their last 13 series.

Derek Holland was Wednesday’s starting and winning pitcher.  He gutted out 7.2 innings to earn his seventh win in 2012 against five losses and reduced his ERA to 4.74.  It was a quality start, as he allowed three earned runs on five hits, while striking out two and walking one.  It was clearly his best start since being activated from the disabled list two days before the All-Star break.

All-Star closer Joe Nathan came on in the ninth inning to nail down the win with his 20th save.  A day after taking a loss in one of his poorest outings, Nathan needed 14 pitches to record three outs and earn the save.

Offensively, the Rangers pounded out 10 hits.  One was a home run, an eighth inning blast from Nelson Cruz, his 19th of the year.  Michael Young and Yorvit Torrealba were the two Rangers with multi-hit games.

Monday’s opener was a solid performance all the way around for the Rangers.  Scott Feldman came out of the bullpen for the spot start after Roy Oswalt was scratched with back issues.  Feldman threw his best game of the year, going seven innings, allowing a run on seven hits, with five strikeouts and no walks to earn the win.  His record improved to 4-6, 5.37.  The run that he surrendered was a second inning home run to his former teammate Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Ron Washington was excited for the win and excited for Feldman, telling the media after the game “It was a tremendous outing and we needed it.”

Feldman likely earned another start next Monday when the Angels invade Arlington for a four game series.

Offensively, the Rangers did the scoreboard damage in two innings.  They followed Saltalamacchia’s home run with a four spot in the third inning, plating the first two runs to take the lead without hitting the ball out of the infield.  Craig Gentry started the inning with an infield single and Ian Kinsler followed with a walk.  They then executed a double steal to move them into scoring position, a play that Washington credited after the game with opening up the inning.  Both scored on Elvis Andrus’s infield single coupled with Dustin Pedroia’s throwing error.  Josh Hamilton drove home Andrus with a double and scored himself on Michael Young’s single to complete the four run inning.

The Rangers then added five more in the sixth inning.  Nelson Cruz led off with a walk and Mike Napoli followed with a home run.  Texas then scratched out three more runs with Gentry both driving in and scoring a run for the 9-1 final

Game two of the series was played hard.  Clay Buchholz held the Ranger offense in check with just a run over seven innings.  Martin Perez just recalled from AAA Round Rock to pitch in Colby Lewis’s rotation spot, also held Boston to one run on five hits over six innings for a no decision.

With the game still tied at one going to ninth, there was no possibility for a Ranger save, so Joe Nathan came on to pitch.  It was a strange outing for sure, as he quickly dispatched the first two batters with a strikeout and an infield pop.  The reliable Nathan had issued just five walks in 38 innings this season before Tuesday night.  He mystifyingly proceeded to walk the third and fourth batters of the inning.  Mike Avilas then drove in the game winner with a soft line drive into short left center field.

The Rangers put the tying run aboard with two outs in the ninth inning when Napoli walked, but failed to score.  2-1 was the final.  Josh Hamilton grounded out in the sixth to score Andrus from third for the only Ranger run of the night.

The Rangers are off on Thursday, and then the home stand continues with the White Sox for three games this weekend.  The pitching matchups include three All-Star pitchers including the pair that faces each other Friday night.  The pitching matchups are:

  • Friday            Yu Darvish (11-6, 3.88) vs. Chris Sale (11-3, 2.37)
  • Saturday      Matt Harrison (12-6, 3.02) vs. Philip Humber (4-5, 6.25)
  • Sunday         Roy Oswalt (3-1, 5.22) vs. Gavin Floyd (8-8, 4.46)

NOTABLE:

The Rangers surpassed the 2,000,000 mark in home attendance on Monday, which was the 46th home date.  That is a new club record.  The old record to surpass the 2,000,000 mark was 50 home dates in 1994, the year the Ballpark in Arlington opened.

Shortly before game time Monday night, the Rangers announced that Colby Lewis had been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his throwing arm, and that he would undergo season ending surgery this Friday.  It’s a tough loss for Texas as Lewis has been especially outstanding in the playoffs the past two years, going 4-1 in eight starts.  It’s an expensive turn of events for Lewis, who is in the final year of his contract.  He would have been able to command a two or three-year contract this winter for $8 to $10 million per season.  That’s gone now, but Jon Daniels did say that he wants Lewis to be part of the organization going forward.

Elvis Andrus was 4-10 in the series, with at least one hit in each game to extend his current hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active streak on the team.

Crue Howell Moreland was born Wednesday afternoon.  His dad Mitch has been in Round Rock making minor league re-hab appearances, and hopes to rejoin the Rangers’ active roster this weekend.

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