Game 156: The Number of the Counting Shall Be Three
By Sarah Powers
After two nights of truly deflating losses, the Rangers came back with a roar to seal win #92 and split the series with Oakland, two games apiece.
The hitting parade started in the first at bat with a blast by Ian Kinsler to put the club up 1-0. With two outs, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, and Michael Young all singled, with Beltre and Cruz scoring on Young’s single. Mike Napoli then crushed his twenty-first home run of the season to conclude the first and put the Rangers up 5-0. Josh Hamilton doubled home Elvis Andrus in the second to make it 6-1; Napoli would then single in Cruz to make it 7-2 at the end of the third. The scoring would conclude in the fourth with RBI singles by Andrus and Cruz. The finally tally: nine runs on fourteen hits.
The pitching was a bit out of sync today, but managed to keep the A’s down enough to get the win.
Matt Harrison went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits; he walked one and struck out two. He also gave up two home runs in the outing. He did have problems getting into a groove and when he was into one, it was interrupted in some fashion. He fought hard. though, and is now 18-10 on the season. Alexi Ogando came in for the seventh and had a pretty clean inning, yielding only one hit and no walks in the inning. Things got interesting with the entrance of Mike Adams in the eighth. He gave up a home run to Yoenis Cespedes, struck out Chris Carter, gave up a home run to Brandon Moss, struck out Josh Donaldson and concluded his outing by giving up a home run to Josh Reddick. It truly was bizarre to see the sequencing, especially since Adams hadn’t given up but one home run all season long. Koji Uehara came in for the last out and saved the inning. A solid ninth by Joe Nathan gave him his thirty-sixth save of the season and the Rangers the win.
As we look ahead to the series against Los Angeles, a clinch could very well happen in front of a home crowd. It happened in Oakland in 2010 and the team was forced to wait on a West Coast game to finish to clinch in 2011. 2012, though, could happen in front of the crowd this way:
If the Rangers and A’s both win tomorrow night, the magic number would be two. On Saturday, Texas vs. Los Angeles will be going on at the same time as Oakland vs. Seattle. If Oakland were to lose that day and the Rangers win, the division would belong to Texas once again. That being said, it would be nice to have the question of Oakland winning or losing answered before the final out in Arlington; a celebration would be more than welcomed.