BY: Richard W. Humphrey
The Sand Francisco Giants arose from a game one loss to come back and win the last two to take the three game series with the Texas Rangers this weekend. The Rangers’ week in the city by the bay ended Sunday with a 3-1 loss to give them a 2-4 record for the week.
It was players weekend. The Rangers and Giants wore special jerseys and caps for all three games. The Rangers caps were red with a blue bill, and the jerseys were powder blue with red sleeves. The players put the name of their choice on the back of the jerseys. They also were allowed to wear specially made shoes and to use specially made bats for the weekend.
The series started with a starting pitching foe with a familiar heritage. Dereck Rodriguez, son of Ivan Rodriguez, was the Giants’ starting pitcher. His chosen players’ weekend name was D-Rod, and D-Rod pitched extremely well with his father in the audience. He held the Rangers hitless through the first four innings, and finished the night allowing two runs on three hits over six innings. It was his ninth consecutive quality start, and his ERA stands at 2.30.
Needless to say, there was a proud Papa smiling over the performance of the Rangers’ opponent’s starting pitcher.
Drew Hutchison was the Ranger starter, and he coughed up four runs in the first inning. He lasted just four innings, getting touched for six runs (all earned) on seven hits.
After six innings, the Giants led 6-2 with D-Rod in line for the win and Hutch (the name on Hutchison’s jersey) for the loss.
Texas scored single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to close to within two at 6-4, as the Giants’ bullpen cracked. Ronald Guzman (Cepeda) grounded out and Robinson Chirinos (Pelo Buche) flew out to start the ninth inning. Shin-Soo Choo (his name in Korean) hit what looked like a game ending ground ball. However, Giants’ second sacker Joe Panik made an error on the play. Choo was safe and the game continued.
Rougned Odor (El Tipo) followed Choo with a game tying home run. Cory Gearrin (Gee Gee) kept the Giants off the scoreboard in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings. A bases loaded walk in the 10th gave the Rangers their first lead of the game at 7-6; and Jose Leclerc (Pico) retired all three batters he faced in the botton of the 10th, including two by strikeout, to make 7-6 the final score and earn his seventh save. Gearrin is 2-1 with the win.
Saturday afternoon’s game was very similar to the Friday’s with a different result. Martin Perez (El De Las Matas) was the Rangers’ starting pitcher, and like Hutch the night before, he gave up four first inning runs.
Like the Friday game, a fielding error brought Odor up to the plate and he homered. This time with two on base in the eighth inning. Like the Friday game, the Rangers rallied in the ninth, loading the bases with two outs.
Unlike Friday’s game, the Rangers failed to score in the ninth inning, making the Giants 5-3 winners. Perez is 2-6 with the loss.
On Sunday, the Rangers faced another starting pitcher with connections to the team. Derek Holland (Last Name) was the Giants’ starter, and he was very good. He pitched into the seventh inning allowing a run on three hits.
Yovani Gallardo (Yo) was the Ranger starter, and he allowed a solo home run in the first inning, and a two run triple in the fourth inning. Gallardo finished five innings allowing the three runs.
Both bullpens were steller. Neither allowed a score. 3-1 was the final score with Holland (7-8) getting the win and Gallardo (7-3) the loss.
The Rangers are back home after an off day on Monday. The Los Angeles Dodgers are in Arlington Tuesday and Wednesday. The Dodgers won both games in a two game series in Los Angeles earlier this season. The Rangers’ announced starting pitchers are Ariel Jurado on Tuesday and Mike Minor on Wednesday. Unfortunately for local fans, the Dodgers will not be using Highland Park High School grad Clayton Kershaw in the series. These two games will be the last inter-league games of the season in Arlington.
* The Rangers’ bullpen allowed just one run in the series in 12 innings.
* Friday night’s win was number 319 for Jeff Banister as manager, tying him for fourth place with Buck Showalter on the all time Ranger list.