Wow. What a debut for Jurickson Profar. He became the first Rangers player ever to homer in his first Major League at bat. It basically proved that he can play and after he followed that up with another hit, I would expect him to get more playing time especially considering Ian Kinsler being scratched from the game (which opened the door for Profar to even play).
Profar is the perfect insurance for an injury to either Elvis Andrus or Kinsler. Sure, he doesn’t bring as much to the table but he can step in better than, say, Alberto Gonzalez. I’m not proclaiming Profar to be the best player on the Rangers but it’s a better team with him on it (and everyone else healthy, of course).
After Profar homered off of Zach McAllister, the Rangers got three more homeruns, all of the solo variety in the fifth inning. Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre and David Murphy all went long in a span of four hitters. That was all the Rangers needed as Derek Holland pitched very well and avoided the big inning.
Holland pitched seven innings allowing seven hits and two runs. He walked two and struck out six and all-in-all was exactly what the Rangers needed and will need from him in the future. Holland was incredible in the beginning of the season and has found ways to win ballgames in August and now the beginning of September. If the Rangers offense is on, and the pitching is good, the Rangers are one very tough ballclub to beat. Today might very well be the Rangers at their best. No team can play with them when they put up eight runs and get a quality start from their starting pitcher.
Mark Lowe and Tanner Scheppers finished up the game with an inning each, their first action in the Majors in a while. More importantly, a day of rest for the Rangers top relievers who have been worked hard lately.
Most importantly, it was a series win for the Rangers against an inferior opponent on the road. It allowed them to keep their three game lead on the Athletics and gain another game to open up a 8.5 game lead on the Angels. The Athletics swept the Red Sox and are not appearing to slow down. They will pounce on a Rangers collapse and if they continue their current pace, they might just pass the Rangers if they show any slip at all.
It is now on to another AL Central opponent as they face off against the Kansas City Royals for a three game series that gets underway tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 CT. Yu Darvish will face Bruce Chen. A full series preview will come tomorrow morning.