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Texas Rangers Week Three Review: Winning Road Trip

Matthew IrbySenior Analyst IApril 28, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 13:  Pitcher Frank Francisco #50 of the Texas Rangers on April 13, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The Texas Rangers were coming off a very disappointing second week to the season, poor starting pitcher performances, inconsistent bullpen, and lack of timely hitting. 

The Rangers lost both series and went 2-4 for the home stand and the week.

Leaving Arlington the Rangers had series in Toronto and Baltimore in attempts to get the team back on the winning path and back above .500.

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: W, 5-4 (6-7)

The Rangers first game of the road trip was against the always superb Roy Halladay, however their is one team Doc has struggled with in his career, you guessed it. 

The Ranger offense was highlighted by two-run home runs from both Nelson Cruz (second inning) and Ian Kinsler (7th inning), as the team put five runs on Halladay.  Ranger starter Brandon McCarthy went six innings allowing only three runs and closer Frank Francisco got his first career five out save.

Wednesday: L, 7-8 (6-8)

The Rangers rallied late in the game, down four going into the eighth inning, Michael Young scored on a Marlon Byrd ground out.  In the ninth, against Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan, Texas scored three runs, highlighted by a two out, game-tying solo home run from Michael Young.

Texas would eventually lose the game in the 11th, when newly acquired Darren O’Day gave up a RBI single to Kevin Millar. 

O’Day started the day as a Met heading to Triple-A in Florida, took two flights on his way to Toronto, and finished the day as a Ranger reliever wearing Kason Gabbard’s uniform.

Thursday: L, 2-5 (6-9)

Ranger ace Kevin Millwood had his worse outing of the year, he went seven innings, allowing four runs on five hits, but three of the Blue Jays hits cleared the fence (Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, and Alex Rios).  It was the first non-quality start of the season for Millwood.

Toronto starter Scott Richmond shut the Ranger hitters down going six innings, giving up only two runs on six hits and striking out eight.

Friday: W, 5-4 (7-9)

Once again the Rangers were down three runs going into the seventh inning, and once again the bats then came alive.

Hank Blalock led the seventh off with his fourth home run of the season.  In the eighth Byrd singled in Young to cut the Rangers deficit to one run, down 3-4.

In the ninth, with two outs and down to his last strike Kinsler laced a single to left field, and three pitches later Young hit his second game-winning home run in less than a week. 

Saturday: W, 6-5 (8-9)

The Rangers started the season going 0-2 in one run games, but with this win since last Sunday the Rangers have improved that to 4-2.

The Rangers used their muscles to win this game, hitting four home runs that accounted for five of their runs (Kinsler 2, Chris Davis, Andruw Jones). 

The Rangers got eight solid innings from starter Scott Feldman and reliever Derek Holland, but a lack of control from C.J. Wilson let the Orioles score three runs in the ninth, before Francisco shut the door with his fourth of the save of the year.

Sunday: L, 5-8 (8-10)

The Rangers pitching staff struggled to hold the early lead in this game.  The Texas bats scored five runs by the fifth behind home runs from Davis, David Murphy (first hit of the year), and Blalock.

But leading 5-1, Ranger starter McCarthy in the fifth and reliever Jason Jennings in the sixth each allowed three runs in those innings to give the Orioles a 7-5 lead.  Baltimore went on to win the game 8-5.

Monday: W, 6-4 (9-10)

The Rangers did not allow an early four run hole to discouraged them and the team rallied to get Matt Harrison his first win of the season.

In the first two innings he allowed four runs on six hits and one walk, over the next five innings Harrison got 15 of the 16 batters out and also struckout three Oriole hitters.

In that time the Ranger bats rallied, Byrd RBI single in the fourth, Young’s sixth home run of the season in the 5th (two-run homer), and RBI single from Taylor Teagarden and two-RBI single from Murphy.

Francisco picked up his fifth save of the season and third of the series as the Rangers won three out of four against Baltimore.  Texas had a winning road trip, going 4-3 in the games played in Toronto and Baltimore.

Texas comes home for a three game series against the Oakland A’s.

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