Rangers News: Rangers Sweep Astros, Just Five Back in AL West

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Aug 5, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers relief pitcher Sam Dyson (47) is congratulated by catcher Chris Gimenez (38) after the game against the Houston Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Final. 3. 135. 4. 126

The Texas Rangers (54-53) beat the AL West leading Houston Astros (60-49) 4-3 tonight in Arlington, Texas. Nick Martinez (7-6 3.91 ERA) got the win for the Rangers and Houston ace Scott Kazmir (6-6 2.08 ERA) took the loss for the Astros. Sam Dyson came in and made things interesting, but ultimately got the saved and preserved a huge series sweep for the Texas Rangers.

Nick Martinez got the win tonight and backed up his impressive start against the Giants with another impressive one today. Nick pitched five innings, allowing just one hit, one earned run, and struck out one while walking three. For the Rangers, they got everything they could’ve hoped for from Nick Martinez. Nick has struggled this year, but might have turned the corner as he has put together back-to-back impressive outings. On a hot summer night in Arlington, Texas, balls were flying and it was imperative that he kept the ball down. He held the MLB leaders in HRs at bay and Rangers fans have to be ecstatic. Martinez got to work early and coasted through the first three innings. Then in the fourth inning, he ran into trouble. Newly acquired Carlos Gomez hurt the Rangers all series and led off the 4th with a walk. He then stole second base, putting himself in scoring position with no one out. After getting Carlos Correa to bounce out to short, Jed Lowrie doubled, scoring Gomez easily and making it 4-1 Texas. Martinez then got through five and turned it over to the bullpen.

Phil Klein was called upon for the first time since he got called up and he was rather disappointing. Klien was only able to last 1/3 of an inning, walking two and giving up one hit and two earned runs. Banister immediately turned to Sam Freeman, who looked to be a little gassed after being used the past two days. Freeman went just a 1/3 of an inning as well, walking two and striking out one. Spencer Patton then came in and put out the fire, pitching 1 1/3 solid innings, striking out two and not allowing a single hit. Banister then went to newly acquired Jake Diekman who is looking more and more like an impact player for the Rangers, as he came out of the pen and pitched a scoreless eighth. With Shawn Tolleson working the past two nights, he was unavailable, but Sam Dyson came in and shut the door for the Rangers.

Houston came into tonight having to feel confident, as they had AL ERA leader Scott Kazmir on the mound. Kazmir pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and four runs, although only one was earned. The Astros bullpen came in and shut the Rangers down as they have for much of the series, but for the second night in a row, the Rangers did enough damage against the starter to where it didn’t matter.

The Rangers offense came out tonight and applied the pressure right away and rode a first inning outburst to a huge victory. In the first inning speedster Delino DeShields reached on a slow roller that was fumbled by Kazmir. The Rangers then went right back to it and had Ryan Strausborger’s first MLB AB be a sacrifice bunt. The decision proved to be a good one, as Hank Conger threw it into right field, allowing DeShields to scamper to third. Prince Fielder  followed that with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring DeShields and making it 1-0. But the Rangers weren’t done in the first, as both Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus also recorded RBI singles to push the lead to 3-0. Chris Gimenez then hit a home run in the second inning to make it 4-0 and that was all the Rangers needed to get the victory.

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With the win, the Rangers move to five games back of the Houston Astros in the AL West. Winning the AL West seemed like a pipe dream just three days ago but is no more, as the Rangers have firmly placed themselves back in the race. This is the closest the Rangers have been to the AL West leader since June 30th, and this is also the best the Rangers have played all year. Unfortunately though, the Rangers couldn’t make up any ground in the AL Wild Card and they still find themselves two games back.

The Texas Rangers (54-53) get a much needed off day tomorrow and will travel to Seattle to face the Seattle Mariners (50-59). First pitch is scheduled for 9:10 pm CT at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers will turn to prized possession Cole Hamels (0-0 5.87 ERA) and the Seattle Mariners will hand the ball to Hisashi Iwakuma (2-2 4.47 ERA). Fox Sports Southwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Next: Chronicling Leonys Martin's Struggles

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