BY: Richard W. Humphrey
Texas salvaged a split in the two game series with Colorado by tossing their seventh shutout of the season at the Rockies Thursday night. Texas won 5-0, after losing the opener 9-2. For the week, Colorado outscored Texas 29-10 in four games. The split in Arlington left the Rangers in third place in the West, trailing Seattle by one-half game (one in the loss column) and leading fourth place Los Angeles by one game. The Rangers are two games behind first place Oakland.
The second verse of the Colorado series looked eerily like the first on Wednesday night, as the Rockies banged out a 9-2 victory. The Rockies scored two in the first inning and added five more in the fourth before Texas even scored. Texas got two back in the bottom half on a two run home run from Adrian Beltre, but Colorado matched those in the fifth inning to complete the scoring for both teams on the night.
Colby Lewis had his roughest start of the season getting knocked out in the fourth inning. He faced 22 batters and 12 of them got hits. The seven earned runs he gave up ran his ERA to 6.12. The loss was his second against two wins in five starts.
Scott Baker, who had been added to the roster earlier in the day finished the game, giving up two runs on four hits and giving the rest of the worn out bullpen a night off.
Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa (4-3) was the Rockies’ winning pitcher. He completed six innings giving up just the two runs on Beltre’s home run. He walked three and struck out four. Four Colorado relievers finished the game.
Texas dropped to .500 with the loss. They had been outscored by the Rockies 29-5 in the first three games of the week. The pitching had not been good, but the offense had been worse. Looking for a spark, the Rangers replaced three on the active roster for Thursday’s game.
Included in the shuffle was Rougned Odor, who was called up from AA Frisco and started Thursday’s game at second base. Odor, who is rated as the Rangers’ number two minor league prospect, went 0-4 in the game, hitting one drive to left field particularly sharply. He started a far from routine double play in the second inning with the bases loaded to quell a Colorado rally. There is no question that the team showed more energy and enthusiasm in their play Thursday night. Odor figures to get the lions share of playing time at second base until Jurickson Profar returns.
Texas stepped out to the early lead with two in the second inning. Leonys Martin was responsible for both runs, driving home the first with a single and later scoring on a wild pitch after stealing third base. Prince Fielder hit his third home run of the season in the sixth, and the Rangers pushed across two more in the seventh with the runs scoring on a single and a wild pitch.
Matt Harrison (1-0) won his first game of the season, and his first game since 2012. He pitched into the sixth inning, allowing just three hits. He did walk four and struck out two. Four relievers completed the shutout, allowing just two hits over the final 3.2 innings. Harrison is still not back to his old form, but he battled on a cool humid night.
The five game home stand concludes with three games this weekend against the Boston Red Sox. Yu Darvish (2-1, 2.87) squares off against Clay Buchholz (2-2, 5.63) in Friday’s opener. Saturday’s matchup is a pair of left-handers – Martin Perez (4-2, 3.59) against Jon Lester (3-4, 2.59). On Mother’s Day, Robbie Ross (1-3, 4.74) goes against John Lackey (4-2, 3.72), the former UT-Arlington hurler. On Friday afternoon, there were fewer than 2,000 tickets remaining for Friday’s game, obstructed view, singles, and standing room for Saturday, and less than 8,000 reserved seats for Sunday.
ROSTER MOVES: On Wednesday, Scott Baker was added to the roster. To make room for the veteran right handed pitcher, Texas moved Pedro Figueroa to the 60-day disabled list from the 15-day DL to create an opening on the 40-man roster. Outfielder Daniel Robertson was optioned to AAA Round Rock to open a spot on the active roster. On Thursday, Baker and infielder Josh Wilson were designated for assignment and infielder Donnie Murphy was placed on the 15-day DL with a stiff neck. Luis Sardinas was recalled from Frisco. Second baseman Rougned Odor’s contract was purchased from AA Frisco, and right handed pitcher Justin Germano’s contract was purchased from Round Rock.
* Adrian Beltre homered Tuesday and Wednesday, his 99th and 100th home runs hit in a Ranger uniform. He became just the fifth player in Major League history to hit 100 home runs for three teams, as he had previously hit 147 in seven years with the Dodgers and 103 in the five years he was with the Mariners. The other four are Darrell Evans (Atlanta, San Francisco and Detroit), Reggie Jackson (Kansas City/Oakland, New York Yankees and California), Alex Rodriguez (Seattle, Texas and New York Yankees), and Jim Thome (Cleveland, Philadelphia and Chicago White Sox).
* The Rangers are now 3-4 in interleague play.