Derek Holland pitched another great game as the Rangers completed a sweep of the Orioles with a 6-0 win. The Rangers are surging–having won seven of their last ten games while the slumping Orioles limp out of Arlington at 63-67 and have lost nine of their last ten, including four in a row. Holland had his best outing of the year–throwing all nine innings with 11 strikeouts, allowing just three hits. After this game his ERA for the season dropped below three.
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The Rangers wasted no time getting on the board in this one as they loaded the bases in the first inning without producing an out. Adrian Beltre came to the plate and hit a sac fly to bring in Delino DeShields for the first run of the game as Shin-Soo Choo advanced to third. The next at bat, with Mitch Moreland at the plate, Choo came in to score on a wild pitch.
The Rangers got back on the board in the third inning as Beltre scored on an infield single by Elvis Andrus. In the sixth Hanser Alberto hit an RBI single to score Andrus. Up 4-0, the Rangers tacked on two more with a single by DeShields to score Will Venable, and Chris Gimenez came around to score after an error in the outfield by Steven Pearce. Six runs was well more than enough for Texas as Holland dominated the game.
With this win and a Houston loss, the Rangers are now within three games of the Astros for the division lead. With the Angels losing three straight, the Rangers are now 3.5 games up on the Angels in the AL west. Furthermore, after having the worst record in the American League last season with a final mark of 67-95, the Rangers have already passed last year’s win total as they now sit at 68-61.
After being a sub-.500 team at home most of the season, the Rangers are now even at 32-32 at home this year. Their 36 road wins are still second most in baseball, behind only the St. Louis Cardinals. The road has not been quite as kind to the Rangers in the second half this season, as the Rangers are just 5-5 on the road in August and just 10-9 in road games since the All-Star break. They hit the west coast for 10 straight at San Diego, the LA Angels and Seattle starting tomorrow night, as Colby Lewis squares off against Tyson Ross. The game will start at 9:10 CT.