Apparently facing three aces in three days did not faze Jeff Banister’s squad, as the Texas Rangers came out swinging on Wednesday night, taking down Dodger’s ace Clayton Kershaw and winning yet another series by a final score of 5-3.
Prince Fielder led off the top of the second with a leadoff double and Rougned Odor, in his second game since being recalled from AAA Round Rock, drove in the first run of the game off 2014 NL Cy Young winner and MVP Kershaw.
After Kershaw gave up a leadoff bloop single to Wandy Rodriguez in the top of the 3rd, Joey Gallo drove a 1-2 pitch deep to right-center field for a 2 out, 2 run home-run to put the Rangers on top 3-0 and give Gallo his 5th homer in two weeks.
Texas would strike again in the top of the 4th inning. After Dodger’s catcher A.J. Ellis dropped a third strike on Adam Rosales, Ellis was unable to find the ball and Rosales advanced to first. Kershaw then balked, which advanced Rosales to 2nd and Rougned Odor would collect his second RBI of the night, driving him in with a single back up the middle.
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Rodriguez would run into trouble in the bottom half of the inning when he gave up a two out double to Ellis. Kershaw then came to the plate, slapping a fast ball the other way into left field. With two outs and runners on the corners, Yasiel Puig struck out swinging to end the inning, yet again bailing out Wandy.
Both teams would go quietly in the 5th inning before Rodriguez ran into a jam in the bottom of the 6th. After Justin Turner reached base, Rodriguez left a 1-0 fastball out over the middle of the plate and Scott Van Slyke drove the pitch over the left field wall to cut the Rangers lead in half at 4-2. Don Mattingly then went to his bench, using pinch hitter Alex Correro for Kershaw, who drove in another run and ultimately chased Rodriguez from the game after 5 1/3 innings. Because Wandy did not last 6 inning, this ended the Rangers streak of 12 consecutive quality starts, the longest in franchise history. However, Sam Freeman was able to come into the game and close the door, retiring the next five Dodger’s hitters.
Both teams were retired without event in the 7th and 8th innings before Texas got an insurance run. Prince Fielder, who hit the ball well all night, went the opposite way with a pitch left up in the zone and towered the ball just past the left field foul pole for a solo home run. This proved to be all the Rangers needed, as Keone Kela earned his first save of the season, retiring the side in the ninth.
The Rangers will look to complete the series sweep against the Dodgers tomorrow. Colby Lewis is the scheduled starter for Texas, while Zack Greinke will take the bump for L.A. First pitch is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. PST.
- Kershaw allowed the most runs in this start (4) than any other at home this season.
- Texas’ streak of 12 consecutive quality starts was snapped when Wandy Rodriguez was pulled in the middle of the 6th inning. The streak was the longest in franchise history.
- The Rangers improve to 36-30, and are now just 2.5 games behind the first place Astros in the American League West.