Chris Davis took Adrian Beltre’s place at third on Saturday night after Beltre strained his left hamstring running to third base Friday night. Beltre is on the 15-day DL with a Grade I strain. While that is a huge blow to the team offensively and defensively, Chris Davis should hold up his spot decently well and proved that Saturday night.
Adam Lind sent a double into deep right scoring Eric Thames. The next run didn’t come until the third inning but this time from the Rangers. Josh Hamilton sent a triple into deep right center scoring Ian Kinsler. Davis had an RBI single (scoring David Murphy) to bring the score up to a 2-1 lead for Texas in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Nelson Cruz hits into the gap of centerfield in the bottom of the fifth scoring Josh Hamilton adding an RBI to Cruz’s long list of Josh Hamilton scores giving Cruz another RBI. In the top of the sixth, Toronto gets in a solo home run by J.P. Arencibia bringing the score to 3-2. Thames hit a triple to deep right field scoring Yunel Escobar tying the game 3-3. Jose Bautista gets in a hit off Harrison bringing in a run scored by Thames creating a 4-3 lead over the Rangers.
A Look at the Ninth Inning – When Everything was on the Line
Pinch-hitter Mike Napoli gets the count 3-2 and takes ball four to lead off the ninth. Then three straight sacrifice bunts by Mitch Moreland (first-ever by the way and barely made it to first but did because Adam Lind’s foot came off the bag – he was then replaced by Craig Gentry as a pinch runner), Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus, including a squeeze by Andrus, which tied the game scoring Napoli. Blue Jays’ closer Jon Rauch intentionally walks Josh Hamilton to bring up Michael Young. Young almost gets a homer as the ball goes over the head of OF Corey Patterson but it doesn’t matter because it was enough for the Rangers to win the game. This was Young’s seventh career walk-off hit.
Awesome, awesome game last night – or more so, ninth inning! Because of my excitement that I couldn’t hold in, I think I bothered my two-year-old daughter, who was trying to go to sleep! The fact that these guys were able to execute such a crazy play (the three sac bunts) to such excellence is absolutely incredible. No one wants to win that way, but as Ian Kinsler said after the game, they’ll take it any way they can!
While Matt Harrison allowed four runs Saturday night, he was solid the whole night. He was able to come back from all the struggles he had throughout the night. In fact, prior to allowing the single home run by J.P. Arencibia, he had retired 12 of the previous 13 faced Blue Jays. The lefty struck out eight batters and walked none Saturday night. He was pulled after 7.2 innings at which time Yoshinori Tateyama came in for 1.1 scoreless innings. Mark Love came in to start off the ninth allowing just one hit. Darren Oliver came in to get the final out of the ninth inning and received the win for the night.
The Rangers have now taken 14 of their last 16 and have raised their lead over the Angels in the AL West to four games. They’ll look to take get their third straight win and sweep this series as they face the Blue Jays for the final game of the set Sunday night.