Holland tosses three-hit shutout to complete sweep
By Brittany Ghiroli and Dave Sessions
ARLINGTON -- Texas starter Derek Holland mastered the Orioles in a 6-0, three-hit shutout Sunday, earning a series sweep for the surging Rangers and heaping more misery on a Baltimore club that has begun to see its postseason hopes fade over the past two weeks.
"He was terrific," Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said of Holland. "He was spotting his fastball in and out, his breaking ball was absolutely magnificent, he was making the guys chase, he was ahead in the count the whole game. It was huge for us."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and listen to her podcast.
Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Rangers second baseman recovering from torn fingernail
By Dave Sessions
Special to MLB.com |
ARLINGTON -- Rougned Odor continues to get closer to returning to the Rangers' lineup, manager Jeff Banister said Sunday. The second baseman could be ready to go when the Rangers visit the Padres on Monday, six days after he tore a fingernail on his throwing hand while fielding a ball.
Banister said throwing accurately could be difficult for Odor, who spent some time before Sunday's game working on his throwing.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers maintained their grip on the second Wild Card playoff spot in the American League on Saturday night, while the Orioles continued to slide in the other direction.
Bobby Wilson's RBI double put the Rangers ahead in the bottom of the sixth inning, and they held on for a 4-3 victory over the Orioles at Globe Life Park. The Rangers, with their third straight win, have a 1 1/2-game lead for that second spot; the Orioles, with their ninth loss in the last 10 games, are now 4 1/2 games behind in the Wild Card race.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reinforced their bullpen with non-waiver Trade Deadline deals for left-hander Jake Diekman and right-hander Sam Dyson. Bringing back rookie right-hander Keone Kela from his short interlude at Double-A Frisco has also helped.
The Rangers gave Kela 10 days off in Frisco from Aug. 1-10 to ease his workload and he has been outstanding since his return. On Saturday night, which came to an end with closer Shawn Tolleson's dramatic strikeout of Baltimore's Manny Machado, Kela may have procured the two biggest outs in a 4-3 victory.
ARLINGTON -- The official word on Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton as he recovers from a sore left knee: He is improving, but he is not ready.
That's the assessment of both Hamilton and manager Jeff Banister just two days before Hamilton is eligible to come off the disabled list. Hamilton has been taking batting practice, which suggests he is close to being able to at least pinch-hit, but running is still the issue.
Beltre tips liner with glove, makes barehanded snag
By Chris Landers |
As fans, we've become accustomed to routinely marveling at the exploits of pro ballplayers; we're 90 percent sure that's what's powering Twitter right now. For the athletes themselves, though, it's tough to get too worked up about all of the everyday brilliance they make look so routine -- it's quite literally just part of a day's work, after all.
Which is why Elvis Andrus is so refreshing (you know, plate discipline notwithstanding). Early in Saturday's Orioles-Rangers game, Andrus' partner-in-crime Adrian Beltre made a preposterous grab, deflecting a line drive with his glove before calmly snatching it with his bare hand. It's the kind of play us laypeople couldn't make in a million years, so Andrus took the time to check the Jumbotron and make sure that, yes, he did really just do that.
ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter Cole Hamels had one shaky inning of control issues but was otherwise brilliant, holding the Orioles to two hits over eight innings in a 4-1 victory on Friday night.
The Rangers' victory was their 11th in their last 15 games, and they remain a half-game ahead of the Twins in the American League Wild Card race. The Orioles have lost eight of their last nine and are now 3 1/2 games behind the Rangers.
Profar has been assigned to Class A Hickory on a rehab assignment and went 1-for-4 with a single in his first game, on Thursday night, the first time he has played in a game since Sept. 27, 2013. He has missed two years with a torn muscle in his right shoulder, an injury that was surgically repaired in February.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have had their eye on left-hander Andrew Faulkner ever since he made a couple of cameo appearances in Spring Training.
Back then they saw Faulkner as a possible candidate for their bullpen, and on Friday they made it a reality. Faulkner was called up from Triple-A Round Rock, and right-hander Nick Martinez was sent down after just one day in the bullpen.
ARLINGTON -- Rangers left fielder Will Venable made his first start in five games with a right-hander on the mound for the Blue Jays and made a terrific defensive play in the second inning of a 4-1 win on Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
The Blue Jays had Ben Revere on first with two outs when Cliff Pennington sliced a drive to left field. The ball was not hit deep, but Venable was playing shallow and had to race straight back to catch up. At the last moment, he made a diving catch going away from home plate. If he doesn't catch the ball, Revere would have scored easily.
ARLINGTON -- Tough pitching on a hot afternoon helped the Rangers avoid a sweep as they cooled off the Blue Jays with a 4-1 victory on Thursday.
Five Rangers pitchers combined for the victory, led by starter Yovani Gallardo. He held the Blue Jays scoreless for 5 1/3 innings before relievers Keone Kela, Jake Diekman, Sam Dyson and Shawn Tolleson battled their way through 3 2/3 innings. The Blue Jays had eight baserunners on in the last four innings, but they managed just one run. Toronto was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position on the afternoon.
ARLINGTON -- There's nothing about the Rangers that really computes. Not that they care.
Texas somehow pulled out a 4-1 victory against the American League East-leading Blue Jays at Globe Life Park on Thursday afternoon, and it now has sole possession of the second AL Wild Card spot after the Twins lost to the Rays, 5-4.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have called up Nick Martinez from Triple-A Round Rock to reinforce their bullpen and sent down Spencer Patton.
Martinez has been a reliever on occasion in the past, but he has been used only as a starter this season. Right now, he is needed as a long reliever because the Rangers used Anthony Bass for three innings in a 12-4 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
ARLINGTON -- Justin Smoak hit a two-run home run in the fifth to put the Blue Jays ahead for good and Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam in the sixth in a 12-4 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night. The score was 2-2 when Smoak connected off Rangers starter Colby Lewis for his 13th home run of the season.
The Blue Jays, with their fifth straight win, now lead the Yankees by two games in the American League East. The Rangers, with their second straight loss to the Blue Jays, fell a half-game behind the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot.
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have lost two straight to the Blue Jays, and manager Jeff Banister was quite candid about the meaning of Thursday's series finale.
"When you get punched in the mouth twice, you've got to come out swinging," Banister said after Wednesday's 12-4 loss. "To go where we want to go, we've got to come back and play well tomorrow. We have to have our 'A' game. We have to be focused tomorrow and find a way to grind one out however it goes. We can't give another one away."
ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth inning and stunned the Rangers with a 6-5 victory on Tuesday night. The Blue Jays, with their fourth straight win, are now 15 games over .500 for the first time since 1993 and in sole possession of the American League East lead thanks to the Yankees' loss to the Astros.
ARLINGTON -- So far so good for Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish as he makes his long recovery from Tommy John surgery.
Darvish has resumed his throwing program, and said on Tuesday that he has had no problems. He made 25 throws from 60 feet on Monday in what was his fourth session since resuming his throwing program last week.
ARLINGTON -- The bunt and the threat of the bunt came up big for the Rangers this past weekend in Detroit.
On Saturday, Delino DeShields came to the plate in a scoreless game with one out in the third inning, and he slapped a ground ball past Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos. Detroit was playing in to protect against the threat of a bunt from the speedy DeShields, and Castellanos couldn't react quick enough to field the grounder. The single started a four-run rally in the Rangers' 5-3 victory.