The game was 6-5 Royals going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Royals have their closer Joakim Soria on the mound, and Nelson Cruz hits a lead-off homer to tie the ballgame. Mike Napoli hit a line drive to left field for a single. With one on, Soria gets both Mitch Moreland and David Murphy out on strikes. Elvis Andrus (who had a scheduled day off) came to the mound and hit a ground ball to right field, from this play Napoli hoofs it all the way home. The throw to Brayan Pena at home was in time. However instead of slapping the plate to prevent the run, he tags Napoli on the chest…a millisecond after Napoli’s foot hits the plate. Rangers win 7 to 6.
After the play Pena went ballistic jumping around to argue the call, but multiple replays showed that Napoli was indeed safe. This gave the Rangers the series win two games to one. The Rangers are now back in solo first place of the AL West, with a season record of 28 and 25.
Many Rangers contributed to this one, we’ll start with the player of the game Mike Napoli. Napoli had two RBI’s in this game and of course was responsible for the game winner. The 1st Baseman/Catcher was 3 for 4 with a solo home-run and an RBI double. Ian Kinsler was 1 for 3 with a solo home run, Kinsler was ejected from the game after arguing balls and strikes with umpire Mike Estabrook. Michael Young had a two RBI afternoon, going 2 for 4.
The starter Alexi Ogando had a rough six innings. The young righty allowed seven hits and five runs, and his ERA jumped up to 2.33. On the other side Danny Duffy went six innings as well, but only gave up three runs on five hits. Josh Hamilton was 0 for 4 in the game with a strikeout.
Neftali Feliz had another rough inning, allowing a lead off double. The runner Chris Getz made it to third on the play, and then eventually scored on a sac-fly. Nefty varied up his pitches this time but was not successful. My theory of pitch selection is out the window…maybe he needs some time with Round Rock to get everything going again.
Up next the Rangers take on the Tampa Bay Rays in a three game series. They have now won two consecutive series and are looking to pick up a third and continue to lead the AL West.