DESERT SPLIT

BY:   Richard W. Humphrey

The Texas Rangers started the week with a split of their two game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.  Texas ran their winning streak to four games with a win on Monday, but lost Tuesday to finish the road trip 4-1.

The overriding focus though was on Tuesday’s trade deadline.  The Rangers made two more trades after arriving in Phoenix sending pitchers Keone Kela and Jake Diekman to the Pirates and Diamondbacks respectively.  Perhaps of more note are the players that weren’t traded – Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo in particular.

General manager Jon Daniels visited in the Fox Southwest television booth Tuesday and summed up the trade activity saying, “Ultimately, we walked away with nine prospects and two guys on the big league club.”  In total the Rangers made five trades.

In addition to the two this week, the Rangers sent Cole Hamels and Jesse Chavez to the Cubs in separate deals, and effectively bought a pitching prospect and a Major League relief pitcher from the Giants by taking on the salary of outfielder Austin Jackson.

As for the games, the Rangers started with a 9-5 win on Monday.  Choo was the star of the game hitting a pair of opposite field home runs to drive in four runs.  The Diamondbacks led 1-0 after one inning and 4-3 after five innings, but the Rangers scored in each of the final five innings of the game for the win.

Martin Perez was the starting pitcher, and he completed five innings allowing four runs, three of which were unearned.  Beltre made the error that led to the unearned runs.  Eddie Butler, the Major League reliever received in the Hamels trade, was the winning pitcher, improving to 2-1 for the season.

On Tuesday, Bartolo Colon got knocked around for five runs on seven hits over five innings.  On this night though, the D-Backs didn’t need much offense to win as their starting pitcher, Zack Godley, was magnificent.  He allowed just two hits over the first seven innings.  T. J. McFarland finished up the final two innings and gave up two more hits to the Rangers.  All four hits were singles.  The final score was 6-0, as the Rangers went 0-2 with runners in scoring position.

Jeffrey Springs, a left-handed reliever, was called up from AAA Round Rock on Tuesday.  He gets the first shot at replacing Diekman in the bullpen.  He made his Major League debut by pitching two innings in relief of Colon.  He did allow a run, but he looked good in striking out three of the six batters he retired.

Texas is off on Wednesday.  This weekend they are back home for four games with Baltimore.  The announced starting pitchers are Yovani Gallardo on Thursday, Ariel Jurado on Friday, Mike Minor on Saturday, and Martin Perez on Sunday.

NOTABLE:

*     Eddie Butler threw just one pitch in Monday’s game to earn the win.

*     Rougned Odor was selected as Player of the Month for the Rangers in July, and he will garner consideration for July Player of the month in the American League.  He hit .341 with six home runs and a .625 slugging percentage in 24 games.

*     Elvis Andrus has a 12 game hitting streak.

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