In an AL West that is shaping up to be a dog fight all season long, the Rangers need to simply have winning weeks, 4-3, 3-2, and even splitting at 3-3.
If they can keep that up the team can not only compete in the AL West this season, but they can win it.
Monday: W, 6-4 (9-10)
Finishing up their road trip in Baltimore the Rangers won three out of the four games and brought themselves back to within one game of .500.
Tuesday: W, 5-4 (10-10)
The Rangers best pitcher this season by far has been Kevin Millwood, but he has not been getting the run support that his counterparts have been getting.
However this start was a little different and the Ranger offense came from behind in the sixth, scoring three runs to take the lead. When Millwood gave that lead back in the seventh, the Ranger offense responded with another run in the eighth, behind a RBI single from Nelson Cruz.
Wednesday: Rained Out
Side note, this was a painful rain out since I was sitting in a suite directly behind home plate, ARGH! Still it was a good time, thanks again Joe and Donna Driscoll.
Thursday: L, 2-4 (10-11)
Starters Vicente Padilla and Dallas Braden battled for five scoreless innings until the A’s snuck three runs across in the sixth and seventh innings.
The low-light of this was Ranger reliever Eddie Guardado walking Jack Cust on four pitches with the bases loaded and blaming home plate umpire Angel Campos. Campos would eject Guardado before he made it to the dugout, and later Eddie apologized saying that he was just venting his frustrations.
A’s centerfielder Ryan Sweeney made an incredible game-saving catch in the bottom of the eighth inning that robbed a potential three-run homer from Ian Kinsler.
Friday: L, 3-4 (10-12)
Ian Kinsler got the Ranger off on the right foot against the visiting White Sox with his eighth home run of the season and his seventh career lead-off home run.
The Rangers would extend their lead to 3-0, until the sixth inning when starter Scott Feldman loaded the bases. Texas brought on reliever Derek Holland to face Jim Thome, and the veteran beat the rookie, a three-RBI double to left-center field.
Chris Getz’s RBI triple in the seventh gave the White Sox the lead for good and the Rangers dropped the first game of the series.
Saturday/Sunday: W, 9-6 (11-12)
A 46-minute rain delay to start the game, then Ranger starter Brandon McCarthy dominated his former team. The Ranger bats assisted him as well, Blalock launched his seventh home run of the season, a three-run shot in the third.
In the fourth, David Murphy, Nelson Cruz, and Chris Davis started the inning with three straight doubles. This was followed by RBI hits from Kinsler (single), Omar Vizquel (double), Blalock (double), and Marlon Byrd (single), giving the Rangers 9-1 lead.
Then came the rain, again. With the game not yet an official game the two teams sat out a 22-minute rain delay before taking the field for the top of the fifth.
With the game now official, the rain came yet again. This time the two teams sat for a 70-minute rain delay before completing the final four and half innings.
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski blasted a grand slam in the sixth to bring the Sox back to life, they added another run in the seventh, but Frank Francisco pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save of the season.
The game had a total of 138 minutes of rain delays and finally came to an end at 12:10 in the morning.
Sunday: W, 5-1 (12-12)
In front of a national audience on ESPN, the Rangers scored single runs in five of the first six innings and starter Matt Harrison pitched five shutout innings.
Kinsler got the runs started with home run number nine of the season, his eighth lead-off home run of his career, and second of the series.
Batting second for the first time in his career, Elvis Andrus went 2-3 with a double, a single in which he took second on a fielding error, scored a run, and stole third.
With the win, the Rangers won the series against the White Sox and went 3-2 on the week. This week the Rangers have an interesting road trip, starting off with a two-game series with AL West leading Seattle. Then the Rangers travel to Oakland for two games, and finish the road trip off with three games in Chicago.
The Rangers now at 12-12 are still holding in 2nd place in the AL West, 2.5 games behind the Mariners (15-10), and still leading the Angels (10-13) and A’s (9-13).