The Rangers finally ended their losing streak tonight in a 3-0 win against the Red Sox and are on their way home to Texas. C.J. Wilson finally picked up his first win of the season, although he has had previous quality starts. Chris Davis also left quite an impression on the Rangers front office tonight when he struck out swinging to start the ninth inning.
After suffering 6 straight losses, with the last two being loses by one run, the Rangers were finally able to get quality pitching and shut out the Red Sox on the final game of the series. Starter C.J. Wilson lasted 6.2 innings, only giving up four hits and 2 walks with 2 strike outs. Darren O’Day relieved him and pitched into the first out of the eighth inning giving up 1 hit and no runs. Darren Oliver got the save pitching 1.2 innings only giving up 1 hit with two strikeouts getting his first save of 2010, securing the win for Wilson.
After a tough road trip it will be nice for the Rangers to return home on a one game winning streak rather than a 7 game losing streak. One player who will not be in the lineup or even on the 25 man roster when the Rangers face the Detroit Tigers at 7:05CST tomorrow night is Chris Davis. So far this season in 15 games, Davis has had 48 at-bats. In those 48 at bats he has 9 hits, 5 walks, one rbi and no home runs. He struck out 17 times in the 48 at-bats, essentially strking out once every 2.8 at bats or almost 35% of his at bats. After striking out in the 9th inning tonight it was reported by the Rangers that he was being sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma city.
First base has been the Rangers Achilles Heal since spring training started and personally I felt that Ryan Garko would have assumed the first base role after being acquired from the Mariners after being placed on waivers. In 5 games so far this season in 10 at bats he is still searching for his first hit, although he only has one strikeout. He does have one walk giving him a 0.00 batting average but a .91 on base percentage.
The starting first baseman at Triple-A OKC this season has been Justin Smoak. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 16 round, but did not sign and ended up attending the University of South Carolina. The Rangers then drafted him 11th with their first round pick, although he did not sign a contract until 15 minutes before the signing deadline attempting to get the highest bonus he could get, which ended up being 3.5 million dollars.
Coming into spring training this year Smoak was rated as the number 9 prospect in the major’s for 2010. He is the top rated Rangers position player, although pitcher Neftali Feliz was rated number 7 and he broke camp with the Rangers. In 15 games at Triple-A OKC Smoak has had 15 at bats sporting a .300 batting average. He has also walked 16 times. So he has seemed to impress the Rangers front office enough to send down Chris Davis and recall him. The report of the Davis to Smoak switch was reported on MLB.com and can be found here. He may not hit .300 at the big league level, but a change was needed at first base and if he even hits .250 its an improvement over what the Rangers have had thus far this season.