The Texas Rangers (66-46) are still in first place in the AL West. In fact, they have extended their lead over the Houston Astros to 2.5 games, by virtue of going 6-0 this month and since the trade deadline. The latest victim of the Rangers was the Miami Marlins, but the sweep didn't come without a cost.
Texas Rangers third baseman, Josh Jung, breaks thumb
In Sunday's game, rookie phenom third baseman, Josh Jung, sustained a fractured thumb on a 109-mph line drive that hit awkwardly off his glove. Jung was able to keep the ball in front of him and ended up stepping on third, before throwing to second to secure a double play. The runners on first and second did the proper thing, by freezing on the line drive, but it ended up costing them and working in the Rangers' favor.
It is unknown at this point how long Jung will be out with the injury, but there will be more news coming as he is further examined in the days to come. As for now, Robert Murray is reporting that Jonathan Ornelas is being called up from Round Rock to fill the roster spot.
Texas Rangers schedule versus the Oakland A's
Date and Time
Probable Pitcher Rangers
Probable Pitcher A's
Mon 7th - 8:40 CT
Dane Dunning RHP 9-4, 3.14 ERA, 79 SO
Ken Waldichuk LHP 2-7, 6.52 ERA, 89 SO
Tues 8th - 8:40 CT
Max Scherzer RHP 10-4, 4.04 ERA, 130 SO
JP Sears LHP 2-8, 4.07 ERA, 111 SO
Wed 9th - 2:37 CT
Jordan Montgomery LHP 7-9, 3.40 ERA, 114 SO
Texas will be in the Bay Area this week as they first take on the Oakland A's before battling the San Francisco Giants over the weekend. There will be an off day on Thursday between the two series. The Rangers, who are 26-26 on the road this year, will be looking to get back above .500 when not playing in Arlington while on the six-game road trip.
Oakland is still the worst team in MLB this season with a horrific 31-80 record. As bad as the last few seasons have been for the Rangers, they weren't anywhere close to as bad as it currently is in Oakland. That isn't to say that the Rangers should take the A's lightly, because they shouldn't, but on paper this series is one that the Rangers should win. The Athletics have managed to take a game in each of the first two meetings between these two clubs, with the Rangers leading the season series 5-2.
The Rangers rotation will be stacked for the series against the A's as they will send Dane Dunning, Max Scherzer, and Jordan Montgomery to the mound. That is a strong group of arms going for Texas. Dunning has been a huge part of the Rangers success this season and Scherzer and Montgomery will be making their second starts each for the club since being added last week at the trade deadline.
Justin Verlander called the Rangers, "Dallas"...wait, what?
The AL West has been heating up for quite some time, but it feels like it is just getting a little hotter as the summer progresses. In his re-introductory press conference with the Houston Astros, Justin Verlander decided to call the Texas Rangers, "Dallas".
When speaking of the Rangers, Verlander said, "Dallas has been really good." Perhaps it was a simple slip of the tongue, or maybe it was a subtle little dig at the Rangers. Only Verlander actually knows his intent, but one thing is for sure, the intensity of the in-state rivalry is growing to levels we have seldom seen.
Rivalries require two teams to be close to equal. The first several years after the Astros joined the American League, the Rangers dominated them. Then over the last several years, Houston has dominated Texas. Now, with both teams desperately fighting for the AL West, a true rivalry is coming through. Thanks to Verlander, it has taken a whole new slant.