Willie Mays, Mark McGwire, and Nelson Cruz…the only three Major-League players to hit home runs in four-consecutive games to start the season. To be in the same company as a Hall-of-Famer, and another player who many argue should be in the hall, is quite a feat for the outfielder. Cruz is hitting the ball well and as John Rhadigan pointed out in the broadcast, the ball has a different sound coming off the bat when Nelson hits it.
The Rangers played the fourth game of the season against the 3-1 Seattle Mariners. Winning the game 6 to 4, this was another team-effort.
Elvis Andrus started the scoring in Monday’s game with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. This was Elvis’ first home run since September 2, 2009; previous to that he had gone 705 at bats between homers. Viewers of the game on television could see how much fun the clubhouse has. They showed the team give Elvis the silent treatment and then erupt in excitement for the All-Star.
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The Dutch Oven:
The Texas Rangers’ fourth starter of the year Derek Holland picked up the win in last night’s game. Derek threw 105 pitches and went a full six innings. He allowed three runs, all of them earned, one walk and five strikeouts. After the surprising start of Matt Harrison in Sunday’s game, success has been contagious in the rotation. Derek has shown potential at times to be a starting pitcher but hasn’t put it all together just yet. Watching him throw last week in Round Rock, he seemed to be more confident than he has in years past, maybe those goofy t-shirts were all he needed.
The Other Guys:
In addition to Cruz and Andrus, Texas had RBIs from Julio Borbon and Josh Hamilton, Yorvit Torrealba also hit into a double play that scored a run not counted as an RBI. Ian Kinsler picked up his first stolen base of the season.
Darren O’Day came in for the 7th inning of the game, and allowed a one-out single to Jack Wilson. Hit-machine Ichiro Suzuki came up to bat and struck out against O’Day, and the pitcher then forced Chone Figgins to pop out to end the inning.
Waco Texas native Arthur Rhodes pitched the eighth inning. He allowed a double to Milton Bradley, who then worked his way over to third base. Miguel Olivo then hit a single to score Bradley from third, making the game 6-4. Rhodes came back strong, striking out Round Rock native Ryan Langerhans, to end the inning.
Neftali Feliz came into the ninth inning in his first save situation of the season. He struck out the first batter of the inning, pinch hitter Adam Kennedy. He forced a pop-out to right field from Jack Wilson for his second out of the game. To secure the save and Derek’s win he then forced a pop out from Ichiro who had an off night across the board.
Erik Bedard who hasn’t played a game for nearly two years took the mound for the Mariners. Bedard went five innings giving up five runs, three of which were earned. He allowed two walks and only had two strikeouts on the game.
Former Ranger Justin Smoak continued his hitting streak on the game. Smoak hit a double early in the game to extend the streak to fourteen. Smoak, Olivo and Figgins all had RBIs for Seattle. Seattle was 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position. They were given plenty of chances to score in the game but were unable to cash in.
The Mariners are in town for game two of the series. The Rangers will put the untested starter Alexi Ogando on the mound against RHP Michael Pineda making his Major League debut. Game time is at 7:05pm. Stay tuned for our preview later today.
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