Texas Rangers Making Strong Case for Playoffs With Win Over Angels

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 21: Adrian Beltre (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 21: Adrian Beltre (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Don’t count out the Texas Rangers as they continue to creep closer into the playoff picture with a win on Monday. The team is now just two games out of the second Wild Card spot, and might not be going away anytime soon.

The Texas Rangers received seven strong innings from veteran lefty Cole Hamels on Monday. He allowed just three hits, and two earned runs over his seven innings of work. That win marked his fourth win in a row and improved Hamels to 9-1 on the season.

It’s time to give credit to where it’s due and manager Jeff Banister has done a great job with the bullpen. The first half of the season was a disaster, but Banister was able to completely turn around this bullpen.

On Monday both Jose Leclerc and Alex Claudio earned their paychecks. They needed a combined 59 pitches to hold down the Angels in the last two innings. It wasn’t an ideal outing for their reliever, but it shows that they might bend, but won’t break.

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It wasn’t easy as Claudio had to battle out of trouble and record his seventh save of the season. The offense came through for the Rangers scoring five runs even without slugger Joey Gallo in the lineup.

Future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre blasted a three-run homer that eventually capped a four run inning for Texas. At the time it broke the 1-1 tie and quickly the scored turned to 5-1. That homer marked Beltre’s 14th of the season, and continues to prove that age is just a number.

The Rangers saw an all around performance from the team in Monday’s victory. The bullpen did crack, but that should be sealed once Jake Diekman, Keone Kela, and Matt Bush return. All three pitchers are currently on the disabled list, but could return soon.

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Next up, right-hander Tyson Ross will look to turn his season around in game two. He has a 9.53 ERA since the All-Star break. He will face off against Angels’ Ricky Nolasco who is posting a 5.16 ERA this season. The Rangers look to creep closer towards the playoff picture Tuesday night.