TUMBLE IN TORONTO

BY:  Richard W. Humphrey

The Rangers finished their three city road trip, their second in a row, on a high note with a 7-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon.  It was the best offensive showing in the otherwise miserable road trip.  The Rangers were 3-6, as they won one game in each series.

The series opening game on Monday night couldn’t have gone much worse.  The high point for the Rangers came when starting pitcher Ariel Jurado retired the Jays without a score in the first inning, and Nomar Mazara hit his 16th home run in the top of the second to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.

From there, the game was downhill for the Rangers.  The Blue Jays rallied for two second inning runs, added three more in the third inning with a double and a pair of home runs, and then broke it open with eight fourth inning runs.

Jurado was knocked out in the fourth inning having been tagged for eight runs on 11 hits.  Adrian Sampson finished the inning, and he was charged with five runs on three hits.  Brett Martin and Jesse Chavez followed Sampson.  Each pitched an inning, and each gave up two runs.  Rafael Montero pitched the seventh inning, and he was the only Ranger pitcher on the night that wasn’t scored upon.  Catcher Jeff Mathis pitched the eighth inning and gave up Toronto’s final two runs.

Willie Calhoun and Rougned Odor homered in the seventh inning, and Jose Trevino singled home a run in the ninth to make the final score 19-4.  Jurado is 6-8 with the loss, and Brock Stewart, who took the mound in the second inning after Neil Ramirez opened with a scoreless first inning, was the winning pitcher.  He’s 2-0.

The Rangers’ offense continued to snooze in game two.  They managed just five hits – two doubles and three singles, and were shutout 3-0.  Lance Lynn was the starting pitcher, and he ended his streak of completing at least six innings.  He gave up a run on four hits over the first five innings, but he needed 101 pitches to labor through five.  Shawn Kelley relieved and surrendered the other two Blue Jay runs.

Lynn is 14-8 with the loss.while Thomas Pannone is 3-5 with the win.  Pannone entered the game in the third inning, after former Ranger Wilmer Font opened the game for Toronto with a two inning stint.  Ken Giles pitched the ninth to earn his 16th save.

Wednesday’s getaway game was an afternoon affair, and the Ranger bats responded to the daylight.  Delino DeShields singled home a run in the second inning, and the Rangers never trailed in the game.  Danny Santana doubled home two runs in the fourth inning, and Elvis Andrus then drove Santana home with a single to extend the lead to 4-0.  Andrus doubled home Santana again in the sixth.  Mazara and Santana homered in the seventh and eighth innings to boost the Ranger run total to seven.

Kolby Allard, the prospect the Rangers received from Atlanta for reliever Chris Martin, made his second Ranger start and was quite good.  He pitched into the sixth inning to earn the win, his first with the Rangers and second in the Majors.  He was charged with three runs, but two of those scored after Allard left the game.  Three Ranger relievers were unscored upon to finish the game, making the final score 7-3.

Allard is 1-0 with the win, and Toronto’s Sean Reid-Foley is 2-1 with the loss.

This weekend is the “player’s weekend”.  Teams will wear special jerseys with  players’ names of their choice on the back.

The Rangers are home this weekend to start an eight game home stand played in seven days.  Minnesota is the first opponent in town starting Thursday night.  The announced pitchers for Texas are Pedro Payano (1-1) on Thursday, Mike Minor (11-7) on Friday, Ariel Jurado (6-8) is Saturday’s starting pitcher, and Lance Lynn (14-8) is scheduled to start Sunday.  Game times (all Central) are 7:05 PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:05 PM on Sunday afternoon.

Prior to Saturday’s game, Josh Hamilton will be inducted into the Texas Rangers’ Hall of Fame.  Hamilton is perhaps the most talented player ever to wear a Ranger uniform, and he was the heart and soul of the only two Ranger teams in history that reached the World Series.  Former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene will also be inducted.

NOTABLE:

*     Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled a runner from second to third base in Monday’s ninth inning.  Jose Trevino followed with a run scoring single.  They were the first two hits with runners in scoring position on the road trip, as the Rangers were 0-26 going into the Monday’s ninth inning.  Texas went 6-40 with runners in scoring position during the nine game road trip.

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