In tonight’s series debut against the Oakland Athletics Cliff Lee cruised through 9 full innings giving up 5 hits and one unearned run. The unearned run came on an error in the six inning allowing CoCo Crisp to advance to third after attempting to steal second base.
Catcher Bengie Molina threw to second base to attempt to get the out on Crisp’s attempt to steal the base. It was a decent throw to the base but neither shortstop Elvis Andrus nor second baseman Ian Kinsler were covering the bag and the ball sailed into center field. Crisp easily advanced to third base and Kinsler was charged with an error. Lee then gave up a single to Kurt Suzuki which easily scored Crisp in the Athletics only run of the game.
The Rangers started scoring early with Michael Young working a full count walk before Vladimir Guerrero doubled scoring Young from first base. The Rangers were only able to get 4 more hits off of Athletics pitching going into the 10 inning tied at 1-1.
After Lee’s nine full innings the Rangers sent Neftali Feliz to the mound to pitch the 10th inning. He worked around one hit and strike out to keep the score tied at 1-1. Vladimir Guerrero struck out on a 1-2 count to start the inning. Center fielder Josh Hamilton then walked on four straight pitches. Nelson Cruz then homered on a fly ball to left field scoring himself and Josh Hamilton to win the game.
Tonight’s game was the second time out of Lee’s four starts as a Ranger that he pitched 9 innings and either took the loss or a no decision. Thankfully the Rangers ended up winning the game with Feliz taking the win. Lee did set a personal high tonight with 13 strikeouts. Lee threw 118 pitches with 88 of them being strikes, which is pretty impressive considering 74.57% of his pitches were strikes. So the Rangers acquisition of Lee has made perfect sense as they push towards a playoff spot in October.