BY: Richard W. Humphrey
The Texas Rangers won their second series of the year Thursday night by taking the rubber game of a three game set with Boston. Both series wins have been on the road, and the Rangers have 12 road wins this season, second most in the American League to the Yankees 13. Texas scored just eight runs in the series and two of three starters failed to complete six innings; but the much maligned bullpen twice held on to slim leads for the wins. Boston is one of the most disappointing teams in baseball because they simply don’t score. They managed just six runs in the three games off the Rangers who are ranked 10th in the American League in ERA.
Yovani Gallardo was the Ranger starter in game one of the series. He didn’t have his good stuff, and got knocked around for four runs on 10 hits in five innings. After getting down 4-0, the Rangers cut the lead in half with RBI hits from Tommy Field and Robinson Chirinos in the sixth inning. Leonys Martin led off the ninth inning with a home run to cut the deficit to one run at 4-3, but the Rangers’ rally ended there.
4-3 was the final score. Wade Miley (3-4) was Boston’s starting and winning pitcher. Gallardo dropped to 3-6 with the loss. Former Ranger Koji Uehara nailed down the save, his 10th of the season.
On Wednesday, the Rangers summoned Phil Klein from Round Rock to start in place of Ross Detwiler, who was put on the disabled list last Sunday. Klein was with the Rangers for the first 10 days of the season as a reliever. Texas decided to stretch him out as a starter after sending him to Round Rock, where he made two starts before the call-up. Klein pitched far better than would have been expected. He completed 5-1/3 innings in just the fifth start of his professional career. He surrendered five hits, one of which was Xander Bogaarts’ second home run, which was the only run the Sox scored Wednesday.
Four Ranger relievers blanked the Carmines over the final 3-2/3 innings. Shawn Tolleson gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth inning, but no runs to earn his first Major League save.
Texas scored single runs in the second and third innings on an Elvis Andrus sacrifice fly and Robinson Chirinos’ fourth home run. 2-1 was the final score. Klein (1-0) got the win. Joe Kelly (1-3) was Boston’s hard luck starting and losing pitcher.
Thursday’s rubber game was much like Wednesday’s. Texas scored two in the first and a singleton in the fourth. Mitch Moreland drove in two of the three runs, the second coming on his third home run of the season. Wandy Rodriguez started and pitched into the seventh inning to earn the win that evened his record at 2-2 for the year. He allowed one run to lower his ERA to 3.38. Keone Kela finished the seventh and zipped Boston in the eighth, allowing one hit and striking out three of the five batters he faced. Tolleson again earned the save with a spotless ninth inning.
Clay Buchholz (2-5) gave up all three Ranger runs over 7-1/3 innings to take the loss.
The road trip continues in New York this weekend. The Rangers play night games on Friday and Sunday, as they will be featured on the ESPN Sunday Night game. This is not good news, as the team plays an afternoon game in Cleveland on Memorial Day. The Rangers’ announced pitchers for the Yankees series are Colby Lewis (3-2) on Friday night, Nick Martinez (3-0) on Saturday afternoon, and Yovani Gallardo (3-6) on Sunday. The Yankees counter with Michael Pineda (5-1), CC Sabathia (2-5) and Chris Capuano (0-1).
* The Rangers are currently 11-9 for May. The starting rotation has a 3.46 ERA for the month.
* Prince Fielder was 0-4 Thursday to end a nine game hitting streak. He leads the team with a .340 batting average.
* Josh Hamilton rejoined the Round Rock Express Thursday to continue his minor league rehab assignment after playing four games with AA Frisco. He is expected to join the Rangers next week in Cleveland.