Rangers get offensive again and split series
AUG 02, 2012 11:35p ET
Maybe they knew there was no need to tinker with an offense that was dismal in July.
The flip of the calendar to August has allowed the Rangers offense to flash back to its April and May form, and Thursday night was no exception. The Rangers salvaged a split of their four-game series against Los Angeles by pounding the Angels 15-9.
Texas, which was in jeopardy of having its lead dropped to two games when they trailed in the 10th inning Wednesday night, will instead head to Kansas City for a series Friday with a 4 1/2-game lead over the Oakland A's in the AL West.
The offense is the reason; the Rangers won the final two games of the series by scoring 26 runs, a total they didn't reach in July until the 17th of the month.
"It's been a lot of fun," said Ian Kinsler, who led off the bottom of the first with a homer and went 3-for-5 and scored four runs. "We're starting to show some excitement. Last night obviously fired us up, brought some life to us. We have a lot of momentum offensively. Tonight was a prototypical game where we score as many runs as we needed."
They needed a lot after Ryan Dempster struggled in his Texas debut, allowing eight runs in 4 2/3 innings and leaving with the team trailing. But as Dempster has found out the last two nights, no deficit is too big when the Texas offense is hitting on all cylinders.
They were Thursday. The Rangers tagged former teammate C.J. Wilson for a career high eight runs in 5 1/3 innings and the game was tied after six innings.
It didn't stay that way, though, as the Rangers broke the game open with four runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth. Mitch Moreland's RBI single gave the Rangers the lead for good but they were far from done. Elvis Andrus followed with a run-scoring single and Josh Hamilton ripped a two-run double to right center to put the Rangers in charge 12-8.
Hamilton finished with four RBI, his most since June. He wasn't the only Texas player to pad his stats though as seven players had at least two hits and eight had at least one RBI.
That kind of production won't happen every night, but it's nice to know that the Rangers are once again capable of doing that after their midsummer offensive swoon.
"It's what we're capable of," said Hamilton, who has 10 RBI in his last nine games. "It's been a while since we've put up a couple of games like that, but everybody through the lineup feels good. It's good to get a couple of new additions and kind of spark a little."
The two additions Hamilton was talking about were catcher Geovany Soto and first baseman Mike Olt. Olt, making his big-league debut, had a single in his first at-bat. Soto, who didn't hit .200 for the Chicago Cubs this season, went 2-for-5 with a two-run double in the eighth and scored two runs.
The production of the last two nights was a far cry from what was on display in the first two games of the series as the Angels outscored Texas 21-10. But the Rangers returned the favor in August. The Angels had a staff ERA of 3.77 after the second game of the series. They left Arlington with that number at 3.93.
"We're capable of putting pressure on a defense and pitchers, and it's just the two nights we finally did it the way we know we're capable of doing it," said Texas manager Ron Washington. "The bottom line is we certainly wanted to win again tonight and we did everything we could to do just that. We rose to the occasion. We got challenged and we answered. I'm pretty happy with what we did in this series."
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