BY: Richard W. Humphrey
Kansas City, in a tight race for a playoff berth, swept the Rangers in three games to start the week. Texas scored just five runs in the series to lose 4-3, 2-1, and 4-1. The Rangers are now a season high 33 games under .500 at 53-86 and 30.5 games out of first place. Texas has all but kissed fourth place in the division good-bye as they trail Houston by 7.5 games with 23 to play, and Colorado is 2.5 games ahead of the Rangers in the battle to avoid having the worst record in baseball.
The Royals extended their lead over Detroit in the Central Division to 1.5 games (two in the loss column), as they attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time since winning the World Series in 1985.
Colby Lewis went seven innings in game one, giving up all four runs. Derek Holland followed with a seven inning, one run performance on Tuesday. Nick Tepesch gave up all four runs in Wednesday’s finale, though one was unearned, as he went 6-2/3rds innings. The culprit was the offense as Texas hit no home runs and had just seven extra base hits in the series. Texas was 3-28 batting with runners in scoring position.
Holland and Michael Kirkman appeared in Tuesday’s game to bring the total number of players used this season to 61, and the total number of pitchers used to 38, both new Major League records. Those totals will only grow from here, as two more pitchers have been called up – Lisalverto Bonilla and Spencer Patton. Even more could be called up once Frisco’s playoff run in the Texas League comes to an end.
The season continues at home this weekend with a four game set against Seattle. The announced starting pitchers are Robbie Ross (2-5) on Thursday, Scott Baker (3-3) on Friday, Nick Martinez (3-10) on Saturday and Derek Holland (0-0) on Sunday. Seattle’s starting pitcher for Saturday’s game is Highland Park grad Chris Young who has won 12 games for the Mainers this season.
This is the start of a 10 game home stand, with the Angels and Braves following the Mariners next week. Texas completes the season with a seven game home stand against Houston and Oakland over the final week of the season.
* All but three of the Rangers’ remaining games are against divisional opponents. The exception is the Braves, who will finish up inter-league play over the weekend of September 12, 13 and 14 in Arlington.
* Adrian Beltre had at least one hit in all three games of the Royals’ series to extend his hitting streak to 10 games against Kansas City.