Game 120: Rangers Win Rubber Match & Series Up North


Today’s rubber match pitted Matt Harrison against Henderson Alvarez. It was also a chance for the offense to get clicking again and get Harrison some much needed run support.

The offense did get something going in the third when they were able to get two runs across on Alvarez. David Murphy led off the inning with a ground rule double and Geovany Soto brought him home with a single to make the score 1-1. Mitch Moreland then singled Soto home. After an Ian Kinsler double put Moreland on third and Kinsler at second,  Alvarez got two consecutive strike outs (Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton) and got Adrian Beltre to fly out to end the inning.

In the fourth, with Michael Young on first via a single, Murphy smacked a line drive down the first base line, scoring Young (Murphy was tagged out trying to get to third). With Soto on first, Moreland ended the inning with a strike out.

Andrus scorched a single up the middle to begin the fifth inning. Hamilton then lined a very strong double to left field, scoring Andrus easily and making the score 4-1. Nelson Cruz singled in Hamilton to make the score 5-1. Young then hit a three run home run to make the score 8-1; this was only Young’s fourth HR of the season. Alvarez would conclude his day after a walk to Murphy. Brad Lincoln  gave up a single to Soto, but got a strike out of Moreland and got Kinsler to ground out to end the inning.

A lead off single by Andrus off of Lincoln started the sixth; Hamilton then hit into a force out, leaving him on first and Andrus out at second. Cruz then hit a ground rule double to advance Hamilton to third. Young then followed up with his own ground rule double, sending Hamilton and Cruz home to make the score 10-2. Murphy ended the inning with a ground out.

In the ninth, Chad Jenkins came in to relieve Lincoln and immediately gave up a home run to Murphy. That would end the Rangers very lengthy scoring day.

Harrison threw ninety pitches over eight complete innings of play. He gave up two runs on two hits, walked one and struck out seven; he also only gave up one home run. The first of the two runs scored in the second when, after allowing a single by Yunel Escobar and walking Moises Sierra, Jeff Mathis sacrificed the runners over and a Mike McCoy ground out allowed Escobar to score. Later in the fifth inning, Harrison gave up a solo home run to McCoy. That would end the Blue Jays scoring chances and secure Harrison’s fourteenth win of the season. Mark Lowe pitched the ninth in relief of Harrison and got all three batters in quick succession.

The Rangers return home to face the Baltimore Orioles for a three game set to kick off the home-stand in Arlington.

Game One Probables: Ryan Dempster (6-6, 3.12 ERA) vs. Miguel Gonzales (5-2, 3.38 ERA)