The Rangers started a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals this past Friday. On Friday night Derek Holland took on Jeff Francis and the Texas Rangers won with a jet-stream home run derby. Then on Saturday Alexi Ogando won a low scoring battle.
I had an opportunity to attend this game and it was an electric night, the stadium was packed with over 45 thousand. Just as the sun went out of view the wind really picked up and started whipping around the park.
The Rangers started scoring in the first and didn’t let up. Ian Kinsler got on base on an error by the third baseman, and Michael Young hit a single to right to score him from second. The Rangers put up another four runs in the third, Young had an RBI triple, Adrian Beltre had an RBI double and Mike Napoli had a 2-run homer.
With a five run deficit going into the fourth inning and Royals fought back to tie the game. The Royals had two RBI singles and a three-run homer from Brayan Pena. This is typically where Derek Holland would have gotten frustrated and given up the game, Friday we saw a calm composed Holland come back out of the bullpen and battle through the end of the seven.
Derek wrapped up the game with seven hits and five earned runs. He threw 108 pitches and earned nine strikeouts and two walks. The line score doesn’t accurately show how good he was, aside from the five-run fourth he was great in every other inning of the game. We all hope to see this version of Holland in games to come.
The Rangers came back and won the game 11-6. Kinsler had a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, and David Murphy had a two-run homer in the fifth. Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland both joined the home run party.
Pedro Strop came in for the eighth inning and got into some trouble by loading the bases and then allowed a run, Arthur Rhodes was called in and finished up the inning without any more trouble. Darren Oliver took charge of the ninth and finished the game.
Saturday Night Game:
This game was all about Alexi Ogando, who picked up his third win of the season. Ogando went six innings allowing only one run on five hits. The young starter continues to impress as the season goes on and only allowed a solo home run to start the seventh inning.
From here we continued to be impressed by another young pitcher. Cody Eppley called up from Round Rock came into the game and pitched two innings. In his major league debut Eppley only allowed two hits and no runs. Darren Oliver came into the ninth inning to record the save after Neftali Feliz was placed on the disabled list.
All in all this was a night for the pitchers; the offense was able to get just enough runs to win the game. Mitch Moreland had an RBI double in the second inning. Adrian Beltre picked up a sacrifice fly RBI in the third and Nelson Cruz had an RBI single in that same inning. Three runs were all the boys needed after the performance the pitchers gave.
After a string of losing series the Rangers have won another one, and have an opportunity to sweep the Royals today at 2:05pm.