Worth noting from the Texas Rangers’ minor-league system on Friday:
TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK (55-69): RF Hanser Alberto had two hits, including a two-run homer, in a 7-4 loss at Memphis (St. Louis). Alberto is hitting .360 for his last 25 at-bats.
DOUBLE-A FRISCO (28-26, 52-72): LHP Yohander Mendez gave up two runs in five innings for a no-decision in an 8-2 loss to NW Arkansas (Kansas City). Mendez is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA for six starts in the Texas League.
LHP Anthony Gose, who has a 7.88 ERA, was ejected for the second time in seven days.
HIGH-A DOWN EAST (17-37, 52-72): CF Leody Taveras had one of only three hits in a 5-0 loss at Salem (Boston). Taveras has a five-game hitting streak during which he is 7 for 22.
LOW-A HICKORY (32-22, 62-60): 2B Yonny Hernandez stole three bases in four tries during a 6-3 loss at Asheville (Colorado). Hernandez has 37 steals in 48 attempts for the season.
SHORT-SEASON A SPOKANE (13-9, 29-31): RHP Yerry Rodriguez worked seven scoreless innings for a no-decision during a 4-1win at Vancouver (Toronto). For two starts in the Northwest League, Rodriguez has given up two runs with two walks and 14 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
Spokane is tied for first in the NWL’s North second half.
ROOKIE ARIZONA (7-11, 21-25): RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, in his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery, had two scoreless innings in a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Remember last night’s game when the Rangers allowed a bunch of early runs and spent the rest of the evening clawing their way back only to heroically triumph over the hated Angels in the end?
Tonight’s game was kind of the opposite of that with Texas scoring five runs in the second innings as they batted around. Afterward, it was the Angels who starting to chip away at the lead over the rest of the game until they were within a run and ready to force feed the Rangers a taste of their own medicine.
However, unlike last night’s game, when it appeared a reversal of fortune was in order, Texas plated a seventh inning insurance run and kicked the clinging devils from Anaheim off the precipice of a come-from-behind victory.
It turns out, winning either of these ways is equally as satisfying when it makes Mike Scioscia do that face he does. You know the one.
Player of the Game: Carlos Tocci had three hits and scored two runs! I don’t know whether to be impressed or embarrassed for Anaheim.
Up Next: The starting pitcher for the Rangers is currently listed as TBD but Evan Grant mentioned on Twitter that Texas might experiment with an “opener” reliever and then have Martin Perez throw two times through the order in the middle innings. The Angels will be going with a more traditional look with LHP Andrew Heaney set to make the start. First pitch from The Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05 pm CT.
Odor’s two-run single capped a five-run outburst in the second inning off recently acquired Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1), the 14th starting pitcher used by the Angels this season.
Drew Hutchison (2-2) struck out six and allowed two runs over five innings in his third start for the Rangers. Jose Leclerc struck out the side in the ninth for his fourth save.
Gallo’s double into the right-field corner made it 2-0 before he scored on a groundout by Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Odor’s two-run single was the fourth consecutive Rangers hit after that, and he added a sac fly in the seventh inning.
Andrelton Simmons hit a two-run homer, his eighth, that got the Angels within 5-4 in the sixth.
Carlos Tocci had three hits and scored twice for Texas.
Despaigne, acquired Tuesday from the Miami Marlins in exchange for cash considerations, allowed five runs in four innings while becoming the 34th pitcher used by Los Angeles. Two relievers made their big-league debuts in the series opener for the Angels, who had never used more than 31 pitchers in a season.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker, who made only one start before going on the DL with a right forearm strain the first week of the season, is working out in Arizona. Manager Mike Scioscia said ”Shoemaker is making some great strides, and that’s great to see.” The Angels play in Arizona next week.
Rangers: CF Delino DeShields was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a fracture on the tip of his right middle finger. He got hurt in the series opener Thursday night when he got hit by a pitch on an attempted bunt. … 3B Adrian Beltre missed his third consecutive game since coming out Monday night after aggravating his trouble left hamstring that has already landed him on the DL twice this season.
Angels lefty Andrew Heaney has gone nearly three years since winning a start on the road. His streak of 16 consecutive winless road starts has already tied Rudy May (1965-69) for the longest such streak in team history. Heaney is 0-2 with a 10.57 ERA in two career starts at Texas. He is 0-5 in 11 road starts this year, and 7-2 in 11 starts at Angel Stadium. The Rangers hadn’t announced a starter by the end of Friday’s game.
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DeShields got hurt in the series opener Thursday night when he got hit by a pitch on an attempted bunt.
Infielder/outfielder Drew Robinson was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock for his third stint with Texas this year.
It is the second time this season that DeShields has gone on the DL. He missed 20 games after a hamate bone fracture in his left hand the first week of the season. He is hitting .204 with 22 RBIs and 18 stolen bases in 85 games.
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The Texas Rangers did something that hasn’t been done since the Dodgers still played in Brooklyn, a loaf of bread only cost a nickel and the world was only two months removed from the Titanic tragedy.
Rangers teammates Jurickson Profar and Rougned Odor turned a triple play without retiring a batter for the first time since June 13, 1912, when those Brooklyn Dodgers did it against the Cincinnati Reds.
Profar seemed to be the only one who knew right away what really happened. Everyone from players to managers, umpires, broadcasters and fans required an explanation, so here goes: Profar short-hopped David Fletcher’s liner down the third-base line, stepped on the bag, tagged out Taylor Ward and threw to Odor for another force-out at second. Bing-bang-boom, see you in another 106 years.
“Every runner thought it was a line drive, that’s why we got a triple play,” said Profar, who thought it was a double play in the moment before realizing Kole Calhoun never left first base, via MLB.com. “I wasn’t sure why the runner at first base didn’t run either, so they thought it was a line drive.”
The Angels were leading 6-3 and threatening to put another crooked number on the board with the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the fourth inning when Profar and Odor turned the triple play. The Rangers rallied with four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull out the comeback win.
“That was a real game-changer,” added Angels manager Mike Scioscia, via MLB.com. “Profar made a great play on it. Fletch hit the ball hard, and they got out of the fourth inning with no damage at a time when we were going to pad our lead and hopefully get far enough in front.”
In addition to being the first triple play in which the batter wasn’t retired since 1912, it was also just the third 5-4 triple play since the expansion era began in 1961, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
ARLINGTON – With the Rangers down by two runs at the start of the seventh inning on Thursday night, manager Jeff Banister made an interesting decision.
Banister went to left-hander Matt Moore, who has been the lost-causes reliever since falling out of the rotation in mid-June. The Rangers were 3-13 when Moore appeared in relief.
Moore continued to climb out from under the rubble of his season by working two scoreless innings. The Rangers responded with four runs in the eighth inning for an 8-6 win, giving Moore his first win since April 17.
“Matt Moore did an exceptional job,” Banister said.
This was Moore’s third consecutive strong relief appearances. In this small sample, which includes two appearances at the New York Yankees last weekend, Moore has allowed only one run and three hits in five innings. He has eight strikeouts and no walks in that span.
For a pitcher who had a 7.60 ERA before the series at the Yankees, this represents progress.
“My overall crispness with each pitch is getting better the more I get out there,” Moore said. “I told them my arm feels alive again.”
Pitching coach Doug Brocail said the difference between Moore’s stuff now and early in the season “is like night and day.” He has shown a consistent 94-mph fastball and the varieties of curveball that made him effective early in his career with Tampa Bay. He froze Albert Pujols with a change-up for an inning-ending strikeout in the eighth.
The difference starts with regular work, Moore said. After going into the bullpen as a long man, he could go weeks between appearances. His last three appearances have come in a span of eight days.
“I always want to figure it out on the mound,” Moore said. “I’ve always liked to get into games. I’ve thought that served me better.”
This has been a trying season for Moore. To his credit, he has never given in and stopped looking for the answers.
“I’m trying to finish this season as strong as I can,” More said. “If that means being in the bullpen for the rest of the year, I’m going to try to be the best bullpen arm I can be.”
If the Rangers like what they see from Moore in this final stretch, they could pay a $750,000 buyout rather than exercise his option at $10 million and try to bring him back next year under a new deal.
Or maybe one of the many contenders looking for a left-handed reliever takes a flier and works out a trade for Moore. A deal would have to be completed by Aug. 31 for Moore to be eligible for the playoffs. Stranger things have happened.