The Texas Rangers did not look good early this week, barely managing a win on Sunday to avoid being swept by the Washington Nationals, and then losing two games to the Baltimore Orioles in the face of Nelson Cruz’s red hot bat. Texas’ bats finally got going after a slow start to the week, and the team had two solid wins behind Robbie Ross, Jr., and Yu Darvish. The Rangers could not hold on to that momentum, though, and finished the week three for six with a .500 record, still stuck in fourth place in the American League West.
Nelson Cruz was welcomed back into his old home park with thunderous applause that the fans may have regretted slightly after he let one fly over the wall, contributing three runs to Baltimore’s 8-3 victory with just one hit. Nelly hit .307 for the series, with three runs and three RBIs, but it was Adam Jones who really stumped Texas’ pitchers, going eight for 14 over the three games with four runs and six RBIs. Jones hit a home run in both Tuesday’s and Thursday’s games.
The Rangers had a few shining moments of their own, though. Friday’s game in particular had rookies Michael Choice and Rougned Odor each adding another home run to their respective counts. Odor has continued to make a name for himself in Arlington, batting .308 over the last week and .278 since he was called up from Triple-A to join the rotating cast at second base.
Texas has had a lot of luck this season with rookies and call-ups. Chris Gimenez, who was brought up to share home plate with Robinson Chirinos, is batting at an impressive .417 over nine total starts, and second baseman Luis Sardinas had three hits on seven at-bats this week. The Rangers improved their season at-home batting average to .259 Friday, but struggled again on Saturday against Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin, managing only three runs on eight hits, leaving them stuck once again with a .500 record.
The Rangers have continued to struggle at the mound this week, with the exception of Darvish and a few relief innings. Nick Martinez, who was impressive in his first 10 starts, faltered on Wednesday against Baltimore, allowing six runs on nine hits in just over five innings. Colby Lewis and Scott Baker each have five earned runs over just five innings pitched. The Rangers’ bullpen has left much to be desired this week as well, with Neal Cotts sitting at an earned run average of 13.5 over two games, while Alexi Ogando’s three-run third of an inning on Tuesday has him at 0-1 for the week. Besides Darvish, Soria and Frasor have been the lone bright spots, each going three scoreless innings in three separate games.
Tepesch allowed four runs on eight hits in Saturday’s loss to Cleveland before being replaced with Ross, who gave up three more runs, and then Carlos Santana hit a two-run homer off of Tanner Scheppers to seal the Indians 8-3 victory. Baker threw a scoreless, hitless ninth inning, but the damage was done, and Texas had only one hit in the final inning before conceding defeat.
The loss to the Indians on Saturday left the Rangers at 31-31 for the season and one game below .500 at home, as they remain stuck in fourth place behind Seattle for the AL West. Texas’ home stand continues with two outings against Cleveland and two games against the Marlins before they head to Seattle to take on the Mariners and vie for third place in the west.
Commentary by Christina Jones
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer Covering the Texas Rangers
Follow Christina’s Coverage in the Rangers Roundup