Once again the Rangers had an opportunity to seal up the AL west as they took on the Angels this afternoon. I have seen some crazy baseball games, but this one might take the cake as the craziest I’ve ever seen. After the top of the fifth, the Angels looked to be rolling with a 5-1 lead. But Texas came back and tied it in the bottom of the fifth. After the Angels went back up by one at 6-5, Texas scored five unanswered runs to go up 10-6 going into the top of the ninth. After back to back solo shots to start the inning, the Angels scored three more as they came all the way back to go up 11-10, which is how the game would end. Jo-Jo Reyes got the win for the Angels while Ross Oldendorf took the loss and Joe Smith picked up the save.
Josh Hamilton gave Texas a 1-0 lead on a solo shot in the bottom of the second. In the top of the fourth longtime Ranger David Murphy singled to bring in Mike Trout and tie the game at one. In the top of the fifth, Carlos Perez doubled to score David Freese and break the tie. Johnny Giavotella followed with a single to bring Perez in. After advancing to third, Giavotella scored on a wild pitch by Chi Chi Gonzalez and Erick Aybar scored on a sac fly to cap a four run inning for the Angels and make it 5-1.
Texas answered in the bottom of the inning as Rougned Odor singled to bring in Elvis Andrus in to score, after he had gotten a leadoff single and stole second. Robinson Chirinos grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Odor was safe after a throwing error. Delino DeShields followed and got a single to score Odor and make it 5-3, still with nobody out. Shin-Soo Choo grounded into a fielder’s choice, but another throwing error allowed the bases to be loaded. Adrian Beltre, who has been red hot lately, singled to center and brought in two runs to tie the game.
Jul 5, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (12) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Angels defeated the Rangers 12-6. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Angels answered with a double by Giavotella to score Freese in the sixth, and take back the lead at 6-5. The Rangers quickly took back the lead on a two run RBI single by Choo and then Beltre singled to bring in Drew Stubbs. It was 8-6 Texas at that point. In the bottom of the seventh, Hamilton hit his second homer of the game, another solo shot, and then Odor followed suit to make it 10-6 Texas. Going into the top of the ninth, it was Tolle-time.
Pitching his fifth straight day, Shawn Tolleson just didn’t look right. Aybar and Kole Calhoun led off the top of the ninth with solo shots to make it 10-8. Jeff Banister quickly pulled him for Oldendorf. The first batter he faced–Mike Trout. He got the Angel’s best player to ground out for the first out of the inning. Albert Pujols came next. In what looked like a routine pop up Odor ran into Mike Napoli, who was playing first, in shallow right. The ball for a hit, a double. Murphy followed and struck out for what should have been the third out of the inning. Next up was Ranger killer C.J. Cron, and he did what he does best. He singled to bring in Pujols and make it 10-9. Collin Cowgill came on to pinch run for him. Freese came up next and singled to move Cowgill to third. Perez was up next, and he singled to bring Cowgill home and tie the game. After that, Giavotella capped it all off with a single to score Kaleb Cowart, who had come on to pinch run for Freese. In the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Andrus got on with a single. He then tried to steal second, and while he was in safely at first his momentum carried him off the bag and he was out to end the game.
Cole Hamels is slated to start the regular season finale tomorrow afternoon with a 2:05 first pitch. However, if the Astros fall tonight, the Rangers will clinch the division and I imagine would rest Hamels for the playoffs. If the Astros win tonight, it will be another interesting final day finish in the AL west division race.