OAKLAND SWEEPS

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

The Rangers lost their second series in a row to a last place team as the Oakland Athletics swept this week’s three game series in Arlington. The Oakland sweep extended the Rangers losing streak to a season high five games. Texas fell into a second place tie with Los Angeles in the A. L. West, and trail the first place Astros by five games, four in the loss column.

Last week, the Rangers won four of seven games despite scoring just 18 runs. In this series, the outstanding starting pitching that made last week possible vanished. Chi Chi Gonzalez and Wandy Rodriguez had their worst outings of the year, giving up six and eight runs respectively in short starts. In Thursday’s finale, the bullpen crashed when handed a tie game after six innings.

The Rangers surprisingly activated Adrian Beltre shortly before Tuesday’s series opener. He went 2-12 in the series including 1-4 Tuesday night when the Rangers scored six runs. That’s usually good for a win, but not this time.

Gonzalez couldn’t hold onto the 5-2 lead Ranger hitters staked him to. He was knocked around harder than in any of his previous four starts as he gave up four runs and the lead in the fifth inning. For the night, he allowed six runs on eight hits, one of which was a home run, while lasting 5-2/3rds innings. His ERA ballooned up more than a run to 2.27. He took the loss to even his record at 2-2. The concerning thing about Gonzalez’s start was that this was his first outing in which he faced a team for the second time.

Keone Kela gave up the other two runs in relief on a Ben Zobrist home run. That proved to be the difference in the game as the final score was Oakland 8 -Texas 6.

Former Ranger draft choice Jesse Chavez (4-6) started and won for Oakland. He was less than outstanding as he gave up five runs in five innings on eight hits. He left with the lead though and the Oakland bullpen did the job. Drew Pomeranz, the fourth Oakland reliever, pitched the ninth inning for his first save, as closer Tyler Clippard was unavailable.

On Wednesday, Wandy Rodriguez was hit even harder than Gonzalez. He lasted just four innings, allowing eight runs on 11 hits. Rodriguez’s ERA bounced up almost a full run to 4.06. The outing ended a streak of six consecutive starts in which Rodriguez had allowed three or fewer runs, which was the third longest active streak in the American League.

Oakland struck early plating five runs in the first inning and coming back with three more in the second. After getting down 8-0, the Rangers came back to score two runs in the fifth inning on a Carlos Corporan double. 8-2 was the final score.

Kendall Graveman (4-4) started and earned the win with seven solid innings allowing the two runs on eight hits.

On Thursday, Sonny Gray continued his mastery over the Rangers. He was rocked harder than usual giving up three runs over six innings on nine hits. He did strike out seven. He is now 9-3 for the season with an outstanding 2.09 ERA. He has beaten the Rangers three times this year, and has a 5-0 record at Globe Life Park. His record against Texas is 7-3 with a 1.92 ERA in his career.

Colby Lewis started and turned in a decent outing. Like Gray, he completed six innings and allowed three runs. Keone Kela took the mound in the seventh inning with the game tied at three and promptly gave up two runs on a pair of hits. Kela has been one of two reliable relievers in the Rangers’ bullpen this season, but he looks to be showing the wear and tear of too many appearances. Kela couldn’t finish the seventh inning and neither could Sam Freeman, who relieved him. Freeman was charged with the third run of the inning. Spencer Patton finally put out the fire, but the damage was done.

Oakland took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, and three relievers shutout the Rangers the rest of the way on one hit. Clippard pitched the ninth to earn his 13th save of the year.

Texas has already played five more road games than home games for the season, but they hit the road for seven games in two cities over the next seven days. The trip starts with three games in Toronto, followed by four in Baltimore. (Toronto, Baltimore and Detroit are the only A. L. teams the Rangers have not faced this season.) The announced Ranger starting pitchers for the series in Toronto are Nick Martinez (5-3) on Friday night, Yovani Gallardo (6-6) on Saturday afternoon, and Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-2) on Sunday afternoon. Toronto counters with Mark Buehrle (7-4) on Friday, TBA on Saturday and Drew Hutchison (7-1) on Sunday.

NOTABLE:

* Josh Hamilton is expected to be activated Monday in Baltimore. He began his minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday of this week. The Rangers don’t want to activate him during the Toronto series to keep him off the Rogers Centre astroturf.

* Matt Harrison also made a rehab start for Frisco on Wednesday, giving up five runs on six hits in six innings.

* Wednesday’s game was the first time Wandy Rodriguez has faced the Athletics in his career, the only Major League club Rodriguez had never faced.

* Rougned Odor is batting .333 since returning from the minor leagues on June 15.

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WHITE SOX WALK OFF WITH SERIES

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

Chicago’s Gordon Beckham hit a home run leading off the Sox half of the 11th inning to take a 3-2 win Sunday afternoon over the Rangers. The win tilted this weekend’s series to Chicago two games to one, amazing because the Sox scored runs in just four out of 28 innings in the series. Texas is finished with the Sox in the regular season, as the teams completed their head-to-head competition 3-3, with the home team winning each series two games to one.

Sunday’s game ended what all in all was a very good week for Texas. The offense struggled as the team scored just 18 runs in seven games, yet won four. The team had overnight flights two days apart going from Texas to Los Angeles after Tuesday’s game and from Los Angeles to Chicago after Thursday’s game. The heavily left-handed Ranger batting order faced left-handed starters in five of the seven games. They still turned in a winning week because the pitching was outstanding. The starters allowed just nine runs, eight of which were earned, in 45-2/3rds innings, a 1.58 ERA for the week.

Unfortunately, first place Houston went 5-2 for the week to gain a game in the standings. They lead the Rangers by 3.5 games (three in the loss column) after beating Seattle 6-2 on Sunday afternoon. The Rangers have had sole possession of second place in the West for 18 consecutive days.

Sunday started well for Texas as they quickly broke a string of three consecutive games without an extra base hit. Ryan Rua hit a first inning home run followed by a Prince Fielder double. Fielder was stranded leaving the Rangers’ lead at 1-0.

Sunday’s Ranger starter Yovani Gallardo had command problems, but shut the Pale Hose out for five innings. With a pitch count at 98, Gallardo didn’t come out for the sixth. Ross Detwiler took the mound instead and quickly surrendered the lead, as three of the first four batters singled to tie the game at one. A sacrifice fly followed to put Chicago ahead 2-1.

That lead didn’t last long though. Leonys Martin tied it at two with a solo shot in the seventh inning. The Rangers had great opportunities to score in the 10th and 11th innings as they got a runner to third base with one out. The Sox quelled the rally both times by coaxing ground balls that resulted in inning ending double plays.

Alex Claudio (1-1) surrendered Beckham’s home run in the 11th inning to get tagged with the loss. White Sox reliever Jake Petricka (2-2) earned the win.

In Friday’s series opener, the Rangers’ offense looked really puny as they appeared headed for their second straight shutout, after losing to the Dodgers Thursday night 1-0. The White Sox took a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning, on the strength of Tyler Flowers’ fourth home run of the season in the fifth inning. Chris Sale pitched a masterful game. He held the Rangers hitless for five innings, and allowed just two in eight innings. He was dominant as he struck out 14.

Closer David Robertson took over for Sale in the ninth inning. He quickly got a pop out from Rougned Odor to start the inning, but Sin-Shoo Choo walked. Elvis Andrus followed with a single to center field that moved Choo to second base, and both base runners moved up a base on a Robertson wild pitch. Joey Gallo took a called third strike, his fourth “K” of the game, to get the Rangers down to their last out. Mitch Moreland however lined a single to right field driving in Choo and Andrus to give Texas a 2-1 lead.

Colby Lewis pitched a darn nice game too. He gave up nine hits over eight innings, but the Flowers home run was all the scoring. He struck out seven and walked no one in his best outing of the year. Shawn Tolleson came on to pitch the ninth after the Rangers took the lead. It became a scary ninth as Tolleson walked Geovany Soto and hit Adam Eaton after retiring the first two batters. However, he finally retired the side with a Melky Cabrera pop out to preserve the win.

Lewis (7-3) became the first Ranger pitcher to win seven games. Tolleson is now 10-10 in save opportunities. David Robertson (4-2) was charged with the loss and his fourth blown save.

The offense was puny again on Saturday, mustering just two runs. This time it wasn’t good enough to win, but it should have been. The White Sox put a three spot on the board in the third inning. After one run was in, Andrus missed a tailor made double play ground ball, a double play that would have ended the inning without further White Sox scoring. He later muffed another ground ball to bring his error total to 14 for the season.

Nick Martinez pitched another game in which he seemingly struggled throughout, but with very good results. Three times the White Sox left the bases loaded. A pair of double plays helped. In the end, Martinez completed six innings allowing all three White Sox runs, only two of which were earned. It was Martinez’s 11th quality start in 14 outings, which ties him with three other pitchers for the American League lead.

Eight and nine hitters in the batting order – Carlos Corporan and Rougned Odor – drove in the Ranger runs in the fifth inning.

The final score was White Sox 3 – Rangers 2, which ended an eight game losing streak for Chicago. Martinez (5-3) took the loss. Chicago’s exciting rooking Carlos Rodon (3-1) was the winning pitcher, as he threw his fifth quality start in six outings. David Robertson didn’t falter this time in the ninth inning as he threw just five pitches to retire the Rangers in order and claim his 14th save of the season.

The Rangers now come home for a brief three game home stand against Oakland. The announced starting pitchers are Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1) on Tuesday, Wandy Rodriguez (4-2) on Wednesday, and Colby Lewis (7-3) on Thursday. The Athletics counter with Jesse Chavez (3-6), Kendall Graveman (3-4) and Sonny Gray (8-3). The Tuesday and Wednesday games have the usual 7:05 PM start time. Thursday’s getaway game for both teams starts at 1:05.

NOTABLE:

* A Joey Gallo throwing error ended the Rangers’ eight game errorless streak on Friday night.

* Texas is 9-12 in day games losing the last five since winning at Kansas City on June 6.

* Martin Perez will make a second minor league rehab start on Monday in Frisco, while Matt Harrison will start for Frisco on Wednesday.

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A SPLIT LOOKS GOOD

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

The Rangers split a pair of games with the Dodgers in Los Angeles, winning 5-3 on Wednesday and losing 1-0 on Thursday. That finished their games with the Dodgers this season with the Rangers winning three and losing one. The Dodgers’ starting pitchers in the L. A. portion of the series were Clayton Kershaw, considered by many to be the best pitcher in baseball, and Zack Greinke, certainly one of the top five right-handers in the game. Getting a split against those two starters looks REAL GOOD!

Kershaw, a Highland Park High School graduate, was facing the Rangers, the team he grew up following for the first time in his career. He may have been a bit amped up. He certainly had good strikeout stuff, as he whiffed 10 Rangers in six innings. However, he gave up four earned runs, all driven in by left-handed batters that three weeks earlier were in the minor leagues.

In the second inning, Rougned Odor hit a looping line drive that dropped in front of the centerfielder, a ball that ordinarily would be a hit. Not this time though, as Adam Rosales was thrown out centerfielder to second baseman, a forceout, as Rosales held up to see if the ball would be caught. Prince Fielder scored from third on the play to give Texas an early 1-0 lead.

In the third inning, Ranger pitcher Wandy Rodriguez singled to center field leading off the inning. Two strikeouts later, Joey Gallo blasted a pitch almost into orbit. The two run home run was estimated to travel 439 feet, the second longest home run Kershaw has ever given up. That extended the Rangers lead to 3-0. An inning later, Odor grounded a single into center field to drive home Rosales with the Rangers’ fourth run.

Rodriguez was in and out of trouble most of the night. He gave up 11 base runners (nine hits and two walks). However, he shut the Dodgers out for five innings, before getting scored upon in the sixth. The first two Dodgers of the inning, Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke singled and homered to cut the Ranger lead in half at 4-2. Enrique Hernandez followed with a double. A. J. Ellis then hit a screaming line drive up the middle that Rodriguez caught for out number one, but Alex Guerrero singled home Hernandez to cut the Rangers’ lead to one at 4-3.

Manager Jeff Banister had seen enough at that point. He brought in Jon Edwards, who deepened the Rangers’ hole by walking the only batter he faced. Sam Freeman replaced Edwards and got a strikeout and ground out to end the inning. Freeman was followed by Tanner Scheppers and Keone Kela. The much maligned bullpen gave up no runs or even hits on the night, and Prince Fielder added a home run off Dodger reliever Josh Ravin to make the final score 5-3.

Rodriguez’s outing ended the Rangers’ streak of 12 consecutive games with a quality start, but it was good enough to win on Wednesday night. He’s 4-2. Kela got the save, his first in the Major Leagues. Kershaw fell to 5-4.

The Rangers decided to bring Anthony Ranaudo up from Round Rock to start Thursday, giving the starting rotation an extra day of rest. Ranaudo was terrific! He scattered five hits over 6-2/3rds scoreless innings. He struck out four and walked two.

The Rangers’ bullpen again did a super job. Ross Detwiler, Scheppers and Kela followed Ranaudo. They again did not give up any hits. Kela walked two, and with two outs and a runner on third, Kela balked. That sent Hernandez home with the only run of the game.

1-0 was the final. Kela fell to 4-4 with the loss. L. A. reliever Kenley Jansen (2-0) was the winning pitcher.

The Astros continued their winning ways in Colorado, taking two while the Rangers split. That dropped the Rangers another game behind Houston in the standings. They now trail by 3.5 games, three in the loss column. They lead the third place Angels by two games.

Texas left after Thursday’s game for Chicago arriving at 7:15 Friday morning. The announced starting pitchers are Colby Lewis (6-3) on Friday night, Nick Martinez (5-2) on Saturday afternoon, and Yovani Gallardo (6-6) on Sunday afternoon. The White Sox counter with Chris Sale (6-3) on Friday, TBA on Saturday, and Jose Quintana (3-7) on Sunday.

NOTABLE:

* The Rangers have played eight consecutive errorless games, a season high.

* Anthony Ranaudo was returned to AAA Round Rock, and Jake Smolinski was designated for assignment on Friday. Those moves made room for reliever Alex Claudio to be called up and for outfielder Ryan Rua to be activated from the 60-day disabled list.

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RANGERS SWEEP DODGERS

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas swept the Dodgers in Arlington two games to none to win their ninth series of the year and their fourth straight at home. They are 8-1 in their last nine series after the slow April start. Starting pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Alex Gonzalez extended the Rangers’ streak of consecutive quality starts to 12, the longest in the Majors this season and a new team record.

In the Bayou City, the Astros also swept Colorado on Monday and Tuesday to keep the Rangers 2.5 games out of first place, two in the loss column.

The series opened with a delightful game to watch. Gallardo threw one of his better games as he scattered four hits over seven shutout innings, striking out four and walking three. He was aided by the Rangers’ defense, which not only committed no errors, but turned four double plays. The outing lowered Gallardo’s ERA to 3.16.

For the Dodgers, Carlos Frias was almost as good. He shut out the Rangers for five innings. In the sixth inning, the Rangers finally struck for four runs. Prince Fielder started the scoring parade with a run scoring single after Sin-Shoo Choo and Joey Gallo walked to open the inning. Mitch Moreland followed with another run scoring single to plate a second run. Rougned Odor, just recalled from AAA, completed the scoring with the third run scoring single of the inning, which this time plated two runs after an Elvis Andrus sacrifice bunt.

That was all the Ranger scoring on the night. Tanner Scheppers relieved Gallardo and gave up a home run to Yazmani Grandal leading off the Dodgers’ half of the eighth inning. The situation got even more tense when Alberto Callaspo walked and Joc Pederson singled with one out bringing the tying run to the plate. Scheppers however put out the rally as he coaxed a pop to third base from Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Shawn Tolleson pitched the ninth. He surrendered a lead-off single, but got a fly out, strikeout and ground out to finish the game.

The final score was 4-1. Gallardo evened his record at 6-6 with the win, becoming the second Ranger pitcher to win six games this year. Frias (4-4) was the losing pitcher. Tolleson was credited with his ninth save.

In Tuesday’s series finale, Texas struck first as with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, the Rangers put together a walk, two singles and another walk to push across a run. They added a second run in the fifth inning, driven in by an infield single off Fielder’s bat.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez turned in another start similar to his others. He wasn’t overpowering, but inning after inning, he took the mound and got outs. He turned in eight shutout innings and got within two outs of a complete game win. It was not to be. A walk to Howie Kendrick in the ninth inning was followed by a Justin Turner home run that tied the game at two. That finished Gonzalez’s night, allowing the two runs on five hits and two walks. He receives no decision on the night.

Shawn Tolleson, named as the Rangers closer before the game followed Gonzalez to the mound and had difficulty getting out of the inning, allowing two hits before recording the third out.

Brett Anderson, a native Texan that played at Oklahoma State, pitched a nice game for L. A. He gave up eight hits and two runs over eight innings, and like Gonzalez, he received a no decision for a nice night of work.

The Rangers then disappointingly had to bat in the ninth, but wasted little time. Robinson Chirinos led off the inning and hit the third pitch he saw for a home run to left center off Dodger reliever, Josh Raven. It was the Rangers’ fourth walk-off win of the year. Raven (2-1) took the loss, while Tolleson (2-1) was the winning pitcher.

The teams continue playing Wednesday and Thursday, but the venue moves to Los Angeles. Wandy Rodriguez (3-2) faces Clayton Kershaw (5-3) on Wednesday night, while Colby Lewis (6-3) goes against Zack Greinke (5-2) on Thursday.

NOTABLE:

* Mitch Moreland had a hit in both games to extend his current hitting streak to a career high 11 games.

* Texas starting pitchers have allowed just four home runs in the month of June.

*. TExas has played six consecutive errorless games.

* Texas is 10-11 all time against the Dodgers, and 3-1 against National League competition this season.

* On the injury front. Delino DeShields, Jr. is expected to be out three weeks with the hamstring strain that forced him to the disabled list on Monday. Josh Hamilton’s recovery is progressing faster than expected as he is already swinging a bat.

* This series, the Rangers’ first inter-league home series this season, drew 64,145, an average of 32,073 per game, which is slightly more than the Rangers’ season average of 30,849.

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RANGERS WIN EIGHTH

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

ARLINGTON, Texas – Texas won their eighth series of the year and third straight at home this weekend taking two of three from Minnesota. Houston also won two of three this weekend, so the Rangers stay 2.5 games in the standings and two games in the loss column out of first place in the West. The Rangers got quality starts in all three games to run their streak to 10 consecutive quality starts from the rotation, the longest such streak in the Majors this year, and the longest streak in club history. They also rediscovered their struggling offense as they plated 20 runs in the series, after scoring four or fewer runs in all but one June game prior to the series.

The Rangers won the series on Saturday after winning the first two games. Both games turned in the Rangers’ direction on one play. On Friday night, Twins’ center fielder Aaron Hicks dropped a catchable fly ball; while on Saturday, starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey was unable to handle the relay throw while covering first base to complete a double play. The Rangers took advantage of both plays to win those games. On Sunday, the Twins knocked Ranger pitching around solidly with nine extra base hits, but barely took a 4-3 win to avoid a sweep.

Wandy Rodriguez opened the series with another fine start. He gave up a run in the first inning and ran out of gas with two outs in the seventh inning after 122 pitches; but he left with just that one run on the board after giving up three hits and three walks. Keone Kela got the third out of the seventh to bail him out of the inning without further scoreboard damage.

Tommy Milone matched Rodriguez for the Twins. He shut out Texas over the first six innings, before giving up a two run shot to Elvis Andrus, his third home run of the season, in the seventh that gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Kela looked good to be the winning pitcher at that point, but his win opportunity vanished quickly. Brian Dozier tied the game with a home run leading off the Twins’ eighth inning. Tanner Scheppers surrendered it, but retired the next three batters to keep the game tied.

The Rangers came back with a four spot in the bottom of the eighth inning with all runs scoring with two outs. The first two runs scored on a double off the bat of Mitch Moreland, the catchable ball that Twins’ center fielder Aaron Hicks didn’t catch that would have ended the inning without the Rangers scoring. It was originally ruled an error, but on Saturday, the official scorer changed the ruling to a double for Moreland. Elvis Andrus singled home two more for four RBIs in the game, a career high.

Shawn Tolleson gave up a hit in the ninth before retiring the side to nail down the win. It was a non-save situation.

6-2 was the final score. Aaron Thompson (1-2) took the loss in relief for Minnesota. Scheppers moved to 3-0 with the win, but was also charged with his second blown save of the year.

Texas won Saturday in a rock-em sock-em game. Texas failed to score in the first inning despite getting two hits, but they quickly atoned by putting runs across in the next three innings. They broke the game open in the fourth inning with six runs. Mitch Moreland had the big hit with a three run home run, and it came immediately after the double play that the Twins didn’t turn, a double play that would have ended the inning with the Rangers holding just a 4-3 lead. Joey Gallo followed Moreland’s at-bat with his third round tripper of the year. Gallo’s home run was monstrous – estimated at 461 feet, the fourth longest in the history of the ballpark. It was the third time this season that the Rangers have hit back-to-back home runs.

When the smoke cleared, Texas took a 9-3 lead into the fifth inning. 11-7 was the final score. Colby Lewis completed seven innings after which the rains came and delayed the game for 1:19. Lewis did not return when play resumed, but the three runs that scored in the span of four batters (a walk and three hits) in the third inning was all the Twins could muster off of Lewis. It was his second good outing after three bad ones, and it was good enough to win his team leading sixth game against three losses.

The seeds of Sunday’s loss may have been born in the two innings played after the rain delay. The back end of the Rangers bullpen was entrusted with an 11-3 lead, needing just six outs to end the game. Anthony Bass couldn’t do it. He gave up four runs and could not finish the ninth inning. By games end, defacto closer Shawn Tolleson was warming up in the Rangers’ bullpen.

The Twins started fast on Sunday when Dozier homered leading off the game. A two out walk followed by a double plated another run off Nick Martinez. Martinez gave up eight hits, and seven of them went for extra bases. Amazingly, he held the Twins to just one more run after the first inning. That one scored in a bizarre sixth inning, an inning in which the Twins hit three triples, yet scored just one run. A Robinson Chirinos pick-off at third base made that possible.

Martinez finished with seven innings pitched and three runs allowed , despite giving up four triples, two doubles and a home run. That kept the Rangers’ streak of quality starts alive at 10.

Texas put up two runs in the second inning on solo home runs from Joey Gallo and Leonys Martin. Gallo’s was estimated to travel 416 feet, the shortest of the four home runs he’s hit since arriving from Frisco. Prince Fielder drove in a third run in the fifth inning with a ground out to give the Rangers a brief and their only lead of the day at 3-2.

The game went to the ninth tied at three. Twins’ left-fielder Eddie Rosario doubled off Tolleson to drive in Bryan Buxton, the Twins’ top minor league prospect making his Major League debut, to reclaim the lead at 4-3. It was the second double of the inning that Tolleson allowed. Perhaps he would have been sharper if he had not had to warm up Saturday on the heels of throwing the ninth inning Friday.

Glen Perkins put the Rangers down easily in the ninth inning on eight pitches to earn his 22nd save in 22 tries. Tolleson (1-1) took the loss, and Casey Fien (2-2) was Minnesota’s winning pitcher in relief of starter Phil Hughes.

The Rangers now play the Los Angeles Dodgers four straight games. The first two are in Arlington, and the last two will be played at Dodger Stadium. These will be the third, fourth, fifth and sixth inter-league games for Texas this season. Unfortunately, local fans will not have the opportunity to see Clayton Kershaw, as he will start the Wednesday game in Los Angeles. The Rangers announced starting pitchers are Yovani Gallardo (5-6) and Alex Gonzalez (2-1) at home on Monday and Tuesday. In Los Angeles, Wandy Rodriguez (3-2) will pitch Wednesday and Colby Lewis (6-3) will pitch Thursday. The Dodgers counter with Carlos Frias (4-3) and Brett Anderson (2-4), the former Oklahoma State Cowboy, in Arlington, and Zack Greinke (5-2) pitch on Thursday following Kershaw (5-3).

NOTABLE:

* Colby Lewis’s win Saturday was his 60th as a Ranger which ties him with Darren Oliver for eighth place in Ranger history.

* Delino DeShields, Jr. injured his hamstring attempting a catch near the wall in left-center field in Sunday’s game. He has been placed on the disabled list, and Rougned Odor has been recalled from AAA Round Rock. DeShields is expected to miss at least three weeks. In Monday’s game against the Dodgers, Joey Gallo moves to left field, Hanser Alberto moves to third base, and Odor will play second base.

* The Rangers also had 10 consecutive quality starts in 1978. The six pitchers involved in that streak were Ferguson Jenkins, Jon Matlack, Doc Ellis, Doc Medich, Doyle Alexander and Steve Comer.

* Martin Perez suffered a groin strain from his minor league rehab appearance at Frisco last week. He will not make his next start originally scheduled for Monday night in Round Rock and will be shut down for a week. Texas announced Monday that Perez’s next start will be next Monday, June 22 in Frisco against Midland.

* On Friday night, the Rangers announced the signing of first round draft pick Dillon Tate, who was the first pitcher and fourth player taken in the draft. His signing bonus was $4,200,000, about $800,000 less than the amount for his slot in the draft. They also announced the signing of RHP Jake Lemoine (fourth round), SS Dylan Moore (fifth round), RHP Blake Bass (eighth round), RHP Peter Fairbanks (ninth round), and SS Leon Byrd (10th round). On Monday, the Rangers announced the signing of second and third round picks OF Eric Jenkins and RHP Michael Matuella.

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SERIES STREAK ENDS IN OAKLAND

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

The Rangers streak of winning series ended at six Thursday afternoon in Oakland. The Athletics shut out Texas in the rubber match after the teams had split the first two games of this three game set. It was a disappointing end to the streak as the A’s have the worst record in the American League, and Ranger starting pitchers combined to throw 20 innings allowing just three runs. With numbers like that, better results are expected,

The series began with Nick Martinez bouncing back from his worst start of the year to out pitch Oakland’s ace, Sonny Gray. Martinez threw six shutout innings of one hit ball. He had some command issues which caused him to walk three batters and ran up his pitch count to 103 forcing him out after six innings.

On the other side of the diamond, Gray was dealing almost as effectively. He gave up a run in the third on a soft line drive into no-man’s land between the shortstop, left and center fielders off the bat of Prince Fielder. Delino DeShields, Jr. scored on the play. In the sixth, Mitch Moreland tagged Gray for a monstrous home run, a solo shot to center field. The distance was estimated at 455. That proved to be all the Ranger scoring on the night.

The last three innings after Martinez exited were scary. Jonathan Edwards and Ross Detwiler scuffled through a harrowing seventh inning, but holding the A’s scoreless. Detwiler came back out to start the eighth. Two batters later, Oakland was on the scoreboard with a double and a single, cutting the margin to 2-1 with no outs. However, Tanner Scheppers relieved Detwiler, and he couldn’t have been better. He coaxed a double play ground ball to take the potential tying run off the bases, and then struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Shawn Tolleson gave up a hit, but retired the other three batters he faced in the ninth. He got the save, his eighth. Martinez won his fifth game. He’s 5-2 with an outstanding 2.65 ERA. Sonny Gray took the loss to fall to 7-3.

On Wednesday night, Yovani Gallardo threw another outstanding game for the Rangers. He went seven innings, allowing a pair of earned runs. That lowered his ERA to a very respectable 3.45. He left the game with the Rangers in front 4-2. They took a 3-1 lead in the third inning with Fielder, Moreland and Leonys Martin driving in runs, Martin’s coming on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded. Moreland singled home another run an inning later for the Rangers’ final run of the night.

This time the bullpen didn’t do the job. Sam Freeman faced two batters to start the eighth inning. He retired the first, but gave up a single to the second and was replaced by Scheppers, who gave up a single to right field. From there, the Rangers kicked the ball around trying to throw out the runner on first going to third base. When the dust cleared, one run was in and the batter advanced all the way to third base. He then scored to tie the game at four on the second hit of the inning allowed by Scheppers.

Keone Kela pitched the ninth inning, retiring just one batter before Oakland scored the winning run. Kela took the loss. His record is now 4-3. Oakland reliever Tyler Clippard (1-3) won for the first time this year.

Chi Chi Gonzalez was the Ranger starter in Thursday afternoon’s rubber match. He again pitched well, going seven innings and allowing one run, the first he has allowed in three starts since being called up from Round Rock. On this day though, one run was all that Oakland would need as lefty Scott Kazmir dazzled the Rangers with eight sharp innings of one hit ball. The roof fell in on the Texas bullpen in the eighth inning. Oakland batted around and scored six runs off Freeman, Edwards and Detwiler.

7-0 was the final score. Kazmir improved to 3-4, while Gonzalez fell to 2-1.

The Rangers departed Oakland after Thursday’s game to open a five game home stand, starting with Minnesota this weekend. The surprising Twins arrive in Arlington with a 33-26 record that puts them in second place in the Central Division. They trail first place Kansas City by two games and lead the pre-season favorite to win the division, the Detroit Tigers by 2.5 games. The announced starting pitchers are Wandy Rodriguez (3-2) on Friday night, which is the “University Days Night” that honors Baylor University. Colby Lewis (5-3) and Nick Martinez (5-2) are the starters for Saturday’s and Sunday’s afternoon games. Minnesota counters with Tommy Milone (2-1), Mike Pelfrey (5-2) and Phil Hughes (4-6).

NOTABLE:

* Even with Thursday’s loss in Oakland, the Rangers lead the Major Leagues in road wins with 20.

* Texas won five of seven games in the last home stand, but have just 11 home wins total this season to go with 15 home losses.

* Martin Perez was outstanding in his first minor league rehab start Wednesday in Frisco. He threw 45 pitches (33 strikes) to go 2-2/3rds innings. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session in Arlington this weekend and start for AAA Round Rock on Monday night.

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RANGERS MOVE INTO SECOND

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

The Texas Rangers took sole possession of second place by winning their sixth straight series, as they took two of three from the Royals in Kansas City this weekend. They cashed in three strong starting pitching performances, as the Rangers’ bullpen threw just three innings in the series. The Rangers are now three games over .500 at 30-27, trailing Houston by 3.5 games. The Rangers’ lead over third place Los Angeles, which has lost five games in a row to fall under .500 is two games. Seattle and Oakland bring up the rear of the West Division with losing records.

The series started with the finest pitched game of the Ranger season as rookie Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez followed his winning debut the previous Saturday with a complete game, three hit shutout. He was far from dominating as he struck out just two Royals, but inning after inning, he took the mound and got outs. He finished with 116 pitches, the most he’s thrown this season in any game, but said afterward that there was little thought given to take him out after eight innings. The day off for the Rangers’ bullpen was welcome, as it had thrown five innings the night before in an 11 inning game, including a two inning stint from closer Shawn Tolleson.

The score was 4-0. The Rangers put up a first inning run to give Gonzalez the early lead as they had done in Gonzalez’ first start. Delino DeShields led off with a triple and Shin-Soo Choo grounded to second base to score the only run that Gonzalez would need to win the game. It again was a run that scored largely because of DeShields’ plus-plus speed. Mitch Moreland doubled the lead in the sixth inning with a solo home run, his sixth. Robinson Chirinos doubled the lead to 4-0 with a two run single later in the sixth inning.

Gonzalez is now 2-0, while former Ranger Edinson Volquez took the loss to fall to 4-4.

Wandy Rodriguez followed with seven strong innings in his Saturday start as Texas clinched the series win with a 4-2 victory. Rodriguez allowed a run on six hits. He walked no one and struck out six. Tanner Scheppers and Sam Freeman got through the eighth inning, and Shawn Tolleson earned his eighth save, despite allowing a run in the ninth inning.

The game ended on a controversial strikeout with Alcedes Escobar trying to check his two strike swing at a pitch in the dirt. The pitch skipped away from Chirinos, the Rangers catcher. Escobar apparently thinking the pitch was a ball, stayed in the batters’ box, while Chirinos retrieved the ball and tagged Escobar to record the game’ final out.

The Rangers scored early – two runs in the first inning and two more in the second. Mitch Moreland singled home one run, and Elvis Andrus hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a second run in the first inning. Sin-Shoo Choo doubled home two runners in the second to complete the Rangers’ scoring on the day.

Rodriguez is now 3-2. Surprisingly, all three wins have come on the road, and he is 3-1 with a 1.89 ERA in six road starts. Kansas City starter Yodano Ventura suffered the loss. He’s 3-5.

Colby Lewis made the strong start in Sunday’s finale, going seven innings and allowing three runs on eight hits. His Kansas City counter part, Jeremy Guthrie, was perhaps even better. He completed six shutout innings, but was knocked out in the seventh having given up two runs on just three hits. The KC bullpen failed Guthrie though as the Rangers tied the game at three in the seventh inning, with the big hit coming from Leonys Martin – a two run single.

That left the games fate in the hands of the bullpens. Wade Davis shut down Texas in the top of the eighth, facing four batters and giving up a hit. Keone Kela was the Rangers’ victim in the bottom of the inning, as he surrendered a solo home run to Salvadore Perez, his eighth of the year and second of the series. Closer Greg Holland finished off the Rangers with a one-two-three ninth inning on nine pitches.

4-3 was the final score. Kela (4-2) was the losing pitcher, while Davis (3-1) was the winner for the Royals. It was Holland’s ninth save of the season.

The Rangers continue the road trip with three games in Oakland after an off day on Monday. This will be the third series between the two clubs this season, and the A’s hold a 4-3 edge over the Rangers in the first two. Nick Martinez (4-2) starts Tuesday, followed by Yovani Gallardo (5-6) on Wednesday and Chi Chi Gonzalez is scheduled to start Thursday afternoon’s getaway game matinee. The Athletics counter with their ace Sonny Gray (7-2) on Tuesday, Jesse Hahn (3-5) on Wednesday and lefty Scott Kazmir (2-4) on Thursday.

NOTABLE:

* The Rangers are up to sixth this week in Buster Olney’s (ESPN) weekly power ratings.

* Matt Harrison makes his second minor league rehab start on Monday for Round Rock at the Dell Diamond against Oklahoma City.

* Hanser Alberto’s six game hitting streak came to an end on Friday night with an 0-3.

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ANOTHER WALK-OFF; ANOTHER SERIES WIN

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

ARLINGTON, Texas – Thursday night, Texas won the rubber game of the White Sox series 2-1 in 11 innings to win their fifth straight series, the most since winning six straight series late in the 2012 season. Sin-Shoo Choo drove home the game winner with a single that scored Leonys Martin in the final game of the series. Texas is now 12-4 over the last five series and have tied Los Angeles for second place in the division with a 28-26 record that puts them 5.5 games behind first place Houston at exactly the one-third mark of the season. They also are tied in the loss column and trail Tampa Bay by one-half game for the second Wild Card playoff spot.

This series though will be remembered for the debut on the Rangers’ top minor league prospect – Joey Gallo. The 6′-5″ left-handed swinger had a Major League debut Tuesday night that was good enough for a book of Fairy Tales. He smacked a hard shot through first baseman Adam LaRoach in his first at bat that drove home two runs to put the Rangers ahead early. In the third inning, he drove home two more runs with a monstrous home run into the upper deck of the right field porch. He came close to a second home run in his third at bat. The drive hit off the top of the wall in right center for a double. He struck out and walked in his last two plate appearances to finish a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.

Gallo followed that game with one hit in each of the next two in the series, including another upper deck home run Wednesday night. He’s 5-13 at the plate for a .417 batting average with five RBIs after three games.

Right now, he’s ticketed to play third base for the Rangers while Adrian Beltre is on the disabled list. Beltre’s stint is projected to last longer than the 15 day minimum, probably around three weeks. However, Josh Hamilton did not play in the Chicago series and was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a hamstring injury. He’s thought to be out for three to four weeks, so Gallo could figure in the left field situation when Beltre returns.

The teams traded blowout wins in the first two games of the series. The Rangers won Gallo’s debut game 15-2. In addition to Gallo’s marvelous game, Carlos Corporan came off the Rangers bench to replace Robinson Chirinos, who left the game after being hit with a pitch. Corporan hit a home run and drove in a career high five runs. Chirinos was the only position player that did not have a hit in the game, as Texas banged out a season high 19 hits. Eight players had at least two hits, and six players had at least one RBI.

Colby Lewis (5-3) was the winning pitcher as he tossed seven innings while allowing two runs on six hits. Lewis had struggled in his previous three starts, so the outing was a good sign for Ranger fans. Jon Edwards and Anthony Bass faced seven batters in recording the final six outs.

Former Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija was the White Sox’ pitching victim. He gave up nine earned runs in five innings to fall to 5-3, and his ERA ballooned to 4.68.

The Chicagoans repaid Texas on Wednesday with a 9-2 rout. Nick Martinez’s streak of 16 consecutive starts of at least five innings with three or fewer runs allowed came to an end, as he was blasted for seven runs, all earned, on nine hits in 3-1/3rd innings. His record fell to 4-2 with the loss.

Chris Sale pitched a marvelous game for the White Sox. He struck out 13 of the 21 batters he retired, as he allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings. He’s 5-2 with the win with a 3.27 ERA.

In the final game of the series Thursday, Yovani Gallardo turned in another fine outing with six innings of three hit ball. The one run he allowed was unearned. Five relievers completed the final six innings before the Ranger batters broke the 1-1 tie in the 11th. Tanner Scheppers was the final reliever to take the mound and was credited with the win to make his record 2-0.

The team departed after the game for a six game road trip beginning this weekend in Kansas City. Alex Gonzalez (1-0) is scheduled to make his second Major League start on Friday night. He’ll be followed by Wandy Rodriguez (2-2) on Saturday and Colby Lewis (5-3) on Sunday. The Royals counter with Edinson Volquez (4-3), Yordano Venrua (3-4) and Jeremy Guthrie (4-3). Friday’s game is a night game, while Saturday’s and Sunday’s start at 1:10 PM (Central).

NOTABLE:

* Texas is tied with Tampa Bay for most players used this season (42) and most pitchers used (23). The Rangers are second in the Majors for the most rookies used this season – 14 to Tampa Bay’s 15.

* Hanser Alberto has at least one hit in all six games he’s played since being called up last Friday. His batting average is .333. The last Ranger rookie to start with a six game hitting streak was Chris Davis in 2008.

* Matt Harrison completed five innings giving up two runs on five hits in his first minor league rehab start at AAA Round Rock. His fastball was clocked as high as 88. He threw 78 pitches, 49 of which were strikes.

* Ryan Rua has also joined Round Rock to begin a minor league rehab assignment.

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RANGERS WALK OFF WITH FOURTH STRAIGHT

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

ARLINGTON, Texas – Josh Hamilton came off the bench to slam a double into left center field that scored the tying and winning runs in the Rangers’ 4-3 victory over the Red Sox Sunday afternoon. The win was the Rangers’ third in a row and gave them their fourth straight series win, although just their first at home this season.

The win also moved their record over .500 at 26-25 for the first time since June 6, 2014. Texas has won 10 of their past 12 games to thrust the team into the West Division title consideration. They are now in third place trailing the division leading Astros by five games. They are one game behind second place Los Angeles and 1.5 games ahead of fourth place Seattle.

Hamilton ostensibly had the day off after starting all six games since being activated last Monday, but the off day lasted until the ninth inning. A Gatoraid bath followed the game as he was interviewed on FOX Sports Southwest. For the series, Hamilton hit two home runs and drove in five runs to thank the adoring fans that have made him feel at home.

Game one of the series on Thursday marked his return to Globe Life Ballpark as a Ranger. There was for sure angst over the fan reception he would receive after his rowdy departure from the team following the 2012 season. That was one of the reasons the Rangers activated him with the team on the road. He also came down with a summer cold, but played Thursday anyway.

In the end, all the worry was for naught. The fans welcomed Josh back with open arms. He walked to the plate with one out in the second inning to a standing ovation.

He told MLB.com’s T. R. Sullivan afterward, “It was awesome. It was a good feeling. I appreciated it a lot. To have the fans cheering and standing meant a lot. It brought back good memories. Getting support from the fans makes you want to compete more and give them everything you’ve got.”

He had gone just 1-11 in Cleveland, but wasted no time Thursday night, whacking the first pitch he saw on a line into the right field corner for a double. He singled in the ninth inning to drive home the Rangers’ lone run on the night as Texas lost 5-1.

Nick Martinez was the Rangers hard luck starting and losing pitcher on the night. He gave up six hits and was constantly in trouble, but his defense turned three double plays behind him to hold Boston to two runs over seven innings. He took the loss, his first of the year to drop to 4-1.

Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez made his Major League debut and shut down the Rangers on two hits over 7-2/3rds innings. Boston’s intention was for Rodriguez to make a spot start, but after this performance, Rodriguez will stay for a while. He’s 1-0.

Josh said he felt even worse Friday with his cold, but with the results, he might want to keep the cold the rest of the season. He lined a 2-2 pitch into the right field seats to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second inning. His next time up to bat, he hit almost an identical line drive off Boston starter, knuckleballer Steven Wright. That solo shot gave Texas a 3-2 lead. Hamilton also scored a third run later after impressively working a walk in the eighth inning after getting down 0-2 in the count. Plate discipline is not Josh’s forte, so the walk to some was as impressive as the two home runs.

Yovani Gallardo (5-6) was the winning pitcher in Texas’ 7-4 win. He gave up two runs, only one of which was earned over six innings on four hits and three walks. It dropped his ERA under four at 3.88, in perhaps his best start as a Ranger. Shawn Tolleson pitched the ninth inning to earn his sixth save.

Game three on Saturday may have been the most meaningful to Ranger fans. Alex “Chi-Chi” Gonzalez, the Rangers’ first round draft pick out of Oral Roberts University in 2013, made his Major League debut. Ross Detwiler had been the Rangers’ fifth starter until he hit the disabled list a couple of weeks ago, but Detwiler was told as he began his minor league rehab assignments that he would be a reliever when he returns. I.E., the fifth starter spot was wide open for Gonzalez, and he made the most of the opportunity.

Gonzalez gave up no hits through the first five innings. David “Big Papi” Ortiz led off Boston’s sixth with a double to break up the no-hitter. Gonzalez noted later that he was flattered that Ortiz clapped for him and gave him a nod after reaching second base.

Gonzalez gave up another hit and recorded two more outs before manager Jeff Banister relieved him. When Banister reached the mound, he didn’t immediately take the ball and dismiss Gonzalez. He instead talked with him advising to enjoy the moment. When he finally signaled to the bullpen, Gonzalez left the field to a hearty round of applause with many in attendance standing.

Texas won the game 8-0, the team’s first shutout of the year. Gonzalez (1-0) was the winning pitcher. Wade Mily (4-5), Boston’s most reliable starter this year, was the losing pitcher.

Interestingly, the offense did not come from the middle of the batting order. Three, four and five hitters Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre and Hamilton combined to go 1-12, with the hit being a single from Fielder.

Delino DeShields continues to impress at the top of the order. He racked up three hits and both scored and drove in a run. The bottom three in the batting order, Leonys Martin, Robinson Chirinos and Hanser Alberto each drove in a pair of runs. Texas had a 13 hit attack, but only three went for extra bases – doubles from Elvis Andrus, Martin and Chirinos.

With a two games to one lead going into Sunday, the Rangers had the chance to win their first series at home this season. It was a game that both teams scratched and clawed for runs. Wandy Rodriguez pitched well enough to win, giving up all three runs, only two of which were earned, on nine hits over 5-2/3rds innings.

The win however went to reliever Ross Ohlendorf, who gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth inning before retiring the Red Sox. He’s 1-0. Former Ranger and current Boston closer Koji Uehara was Hamilton’s ninth inning victim. It was Uehara’s second blown save and the loss moved his record to 2-2 for the season.

It was a costly day for Texas however. Adrian Beltre sustained a sprained thumb sliding into second base and will miss a minimum of two weeks. Four stitches were required to close the laceration. There was no immediate announcement as to a roster move to replace Beltre. There will certainly be fan interest in the Rangers bringing up top prospect Joey Gallo, Frisco’s third baseman that has hit nine home runs already this season.

The series closed out May for Texas, which was clearly better than April. They were 19-11, which was 12 more wins than April. Prince Fielder set a new team record for hits in the month of May with 46. (Josh Hamilton holds the Ranger record for most hits in a month with 49 in June, 2010.)

The Red Sox leave with a 22-29 record, making them one of the most disappointing teams in the American League. They aren’t scoring runs, pushing across just 12 in the series, and they committed six errors in the final two games. It was obvious in this series that they are feeling the heat. The Boston media reported increasing crankiness from manager John Farrell, who may be on the hot seat for keeping his job. Red Sox players constantly argued with umpires over called strikes throughout the series.

The Rangers are off Monday, and then close out the home stand with a three game series against the White Sox on Tuesday. The announced starting pitchers for Texas are Colby Lewis (4-3) on Tuesday, Nick Martinez (4-1) on Wednesday, and Yovani Gallardo (5-6) on Thursday night. The White Sox counter with Jeff Samardzija (4-2), Chris Sale (4-2) and Carlos Rodon (1-0).

NOTABLE:

* ESPN’s baseball correspondent, Buster Olney, published his weekly team power ratings, and the Rangers are now ranked 10th!

* 20% of Boston’s roster for the series were former Rangers. Mike Napoli and Carlos Peguera are position players that saw action for the Red Sox. Koji Uehara, Alexi Ogando and Robbie Ross, Jr. were in the Sox bullpen, and all three pitched in the series.

* The official paid attendance for Saturday’s game was 42,831, the second largest crowd of the season next to opening day.

* Alex Gonzalez rounded up 32 tickets for friends and relatives to watch his Major League debut on Saturday.

* Infielder Tommy Field was designated for assignment, and Hanser Alberto was added to the roster. Alberto has predominantly played shortstop in the minor leagues, but will play mostly second base for Texas. He is regarded as a superior defensive player, but this year, his offense began to blossom at AAA Round Rock where he was hitting .302 in 42 games when he was called up.

* Matt Harrison has been cleared to make his first minor league rehab start Wednesday night for Round Rock. Ross Detwiler made his first minor league rehab appearance Saturday night, and completed two innings for Frisco allowing no runs on one hit, while striking out three batters. Neftali Feliz threw his first bullpen session Sunday.

* Delino DeShields and Leonys Martin share the American League lead with four bunt hits each on the season.

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RANGERS YANK N. Y.’s CHAIN

BY: Richard W. Humphrey

Sunday evening, the Rangers won their fifth straight game and second straight series by beating the Yankees 5-2 on ESPN’s nationally televised game. The win completed a three game sweep of the Yankees after taking two of three from Boston earlier in the week for just the second and third series wins of the season. Texas scored just eight runs total in the Boston series, but broke out the whooping sticks against New York as they scored 30 runs in the series helped greatly by ten home runs. It all added up to the best week of the season for Texas (5-1). It was the Yankees’ 10th loss in their last 11 games, as they have fallen out of first place in the East Division.

Friday night started a pattern of scoring early and often. Texas seemingly took charge of the game with a big seven run third inning that featured home runs from Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland. However, New York came back with four runs in the fourth to make it a game again. Both teams put a singleton on the board in the seventh inning, with the Rangers’ score coming on Fielder’s second home run of the game. That made the score 8-5. Tommy Field drove home two more in the eighth inning to seemingly put the icing on the cake at 10-5.

Instead of icing, those two runs proved to be the margin of victory as New York scored three in the bottom of the eighth and another in the ninth inning before Ross Ohlendorf recorded the 27th out of the game for a 10-9 win.

Colby Lewis was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst. He pitched into the seventh inning, allowing five runs on eight hits. Sam Freeman, Tanner Scheppers and Ohlendorf finished the game, and the Yankees scored at least one run off all three relievers. Lewis (4-2) earned the win, Ohlendorf got the save, his first ever in the Major Leagues, and Michael Pineda (5-2), the Yankees’ best starting pitcher this season, took the loss.

On Saturday afternoon, the Rangers again struck in the third inning again, this time for 10 runs. Sin-Shoo Choo starting the scoring with a single that drove home Jake Smolinski and ended it with a three run home run. In between, Fielder and Elvis Andrus drove home two runs each, while Carlos Corporan and Jake Smolinski knocked in one apiece. 10 runs is the most the Rangers have scored in an inning since August 19, 2013 and ties the New York Mets for the most runs scored in an inning this season.

As written here many times previously, when Nick Martinez pitches, the Rangers score runs and win. Martinez of course was Saturday’s starting pitcher. He completed seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits to run his record to 4-0, as he makes a push for the All-Star team. The outing lowered his ERA to 1.96.

CC Sabathia was once the Yankees ace, but he’s an ace no more. Texas knocked him out of the game in the big third inning. He gave up six of the runs on seven hits and a walk. The loss dropped his record to 2-6. Esmil Rogers gave up seven runs in relief of Sabathia.

The Rangers added five more runs for the 15-4 final score, as Yankees’ outfielder Garrett Jones even saw action on the mound. Fielder hit his eighth home run and ran his RBI total to 30 with the three he drove in Saturday.

Sunday’s game was more closely played. Texas scored one in the first, while New York came back with two runs in their half of the first for the only lead they held in the series. Adam Rosales took the lead back for the Rangers with a two run home run in the second to make the score 3-2. The Rangers added two more in the seventh to extend the lead to 5-2.

Yovani Gallardo started and completed six innings. He allowed two runs on four hits, walking one and striking out six. It was his fifth quality start, and his record improved to 4-6. Three Ranger relievers zipped the Yankees over the final three innings, with Shawn Tolleson pitching the ninth inning for the save, his third of the week and of his career.

Chris Capuano was New York’s losing pitcher. He’s 0-2 on the year.

Texas finished the week with a 21-23 record, good enough for third place in the West. They are 7.5 games behind the first place Astros and one game behind the second place Angels. They are six games ahead of last place Oakland (seven in the loss column) and one-half game ahead of fourth place Seattle.

The Rangers’ road trip concludes with three games in Cleveland beginning Monday afternoon. The announced starting pitchers are Phil Klein (1-0) Monday, Wandy Rodriguez (2-2) Tuesday, and Colby Lewis (4-2) on Wednesday. Cleveland counters with Shaun Marcum (1-0), Danny Salazar (5-1) and Carlos Carrasco (5-4). The Monday and Wednesday games are day games, and the Rangers are 5-6 in day games this season. Josh Hamilton will join the Rangers on Monday after hitting .364 (16-44) with a home run and six RBIs in 12 minor league rehab games with AAA Round Rock and AA Frisco.

NOTABLE:

* Texas now leads the Major Leagues with 15 road wins.

* After Saturday’s outing, Nick Martinez has made 15 consecutive starts in which he has allowed three earned runs or less. That ties the club record held by Rich Hand, who accomplished it in 1972.

* The Rangers have hit at least one home run in nine straight games.

* The Yankees retired Bernie Williams’s number 51 in ceremonies prior to Sunday’s game. There is now a Bernie Williams monument in Monument Park.

* Texas is 18-22 all time on Memorial Day.

* Jeff Banister said before Sunday’s game that Delino DeShields, Jr. is an option to play second base only in an emergency situation.

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