Interleague play has been wonderful for the Rangers. They started off in Milwaukee taking 2 of three from the Brewers. After that series they headed south to face off against the Florida Marlins and swept them in three games, possibly helping end Freddie Gonzalez’s helm as the manager. After the Florida series they headed back to Texas, but this time to Houston to face off against the Astros and essentially sweeping them in three games.
They finished their National League road trip with a 8-1 record, the only blemish the one loss in Milwaukee. The Pittsburgh Pirates then came to town on Tuesday for a midweek 3 game series before the Astros head to Arlington for a weekend series to finish off interleague play for the Rangers in 2010.
Tommy Hunter picked up his third win in four starts on Tuesday night going 6 innings giving up 9 hits, but only two earned runs. He currently has a record of 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA. Closer Neftali Feliz picked up his 20th save of the season. The offense did quite well with Michael Young hitting his 9 home run of the season, Julio Borbon’s bat is seeming to come alive with his second home run of the season and Josh Hamilton hit his 17 home run of the season in the game.
The next night the offense came alive scoring 13 runs on 17 hits. Alexi Ogando picked up his third win in three appearance sstaying perfect with a 0.00 ERA and Matt Harrison got his first save of the season pitching a eventful ninth inning, although it was good enough to pick up the save. Manager Ron Washington gave Josh Hamilton the day off to rest, and although his bat has been amazing here lately the Rangers didn’t need him in the lineup to assault the Pirates pitching.
In tonight’s game Reliever Frank Francisco picked up his 6th win of the season pitching the ninth inning giving up two hits, but no runs. Opening Day starter Scott Feldman started the game and pitched 6 innings giving up 12 hits and five runs with one walk and seven strikeouts. Feldman hopefully will have a better second half than first half or the Rangers might seriously consider sending him to the minors to get his stuff figured out. He would join Opening Day catcher Jarrod Saltlamacchia, Taylor Teagarden and first baseman Chris Davis.
The Rangers played small ball in the ninth inning of tonight’s game to walk off and sweep the Pirates. Going into the bottom of the ninth, the score was tied at 5-5. Julio Borbon lead off the inning with a ground out bunt. Shortstop Elvis Andrus walked on a full count. Micheal Young then singles on 1-0 pitch moving Andrus to 2nd base. Ian Kinsler then flew out to center field on a 1-2 count, but he moved Andrus to third base. Designated Hitter Vladimir Guerrero then singled on a 1-2 pitch scoring Andrus from third base to end the game.
Darren Oliver relieved Feldman and pitched the seventh and eighth inning with one strikeout and no runs or hits. Josh Hamilton returned to the lineup to go 3 for 4 with one run scored improving his average to .345. The Rangers have now won 11 straight and 12 of their last 13. In the month of June so far they are 18-4. Overall they are 44-28 with a four game lead over the Angels in the West.