Back from DL, Rangers duo come up big vs. Mariners
By Sam Butler
ARLINGTON -- After two months of rolling out different combination after combination, the Rangers finally have the lineup they envisioned at the beginning of the season -- and it's shown.
On Friday, Mike Napoli and Carlos Gomez were each activated off the disabled list and placed in the starting lineup. Two games later, the Rangers have hung 20 combined runs on the Mariners and hit six home runs, topping Seattle on Saturday, 10-4, at Globe Life Park.
Saturday marked the second time in two years the Rangers have scored 10 runs in back-to-back games, and Texas hit three home runs in the sixth inning, the third time since 2014 that has happened.
Napoli and Gomez have been right in the middle of it.
"Squaring the ball up is not easy anyway, but when you have the whole lineup out there, knowing that if you don't do the job, the guy behind you can back you up, it's nice to have that," Adrian Beltre said. "Just knowing that our lineup is complete now from one through nine, we believe in those guys. Hopefully you get a lineup now [that is] fully healthy and do what we need to do."
Gomez, who had been on the DL since May 15 with a strained hamstring before being activated Friday, played four rehab games with Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco before rejoining Texas. He went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and a home run Friday. He added a two-run single in Saturday's win.
Napoli was sidelined for 11 days with back issues, and he played one game with Double-A Frisco, going 0-for-4. His pair of homers on Saturday staved off a Seattle comeback and clinched the series.
"It's huge to get them to play to the name on the back, who they are and what they are," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Today we had [Jonathan] Lucroy hitting in the eight hole and [Joey] Gallo in the ninth hole. In Lucroy's case he had been hitting fourth and fifth, had to be the center piece of the lineup. Gallo's been up and down that lineup.
"To have Gomez and Napoli come back and to be able to insert them into the lineup and do what they do is crucial for us. It's crucial for all those guys, especially the veteran guys."
Robinson Chirinos, Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo also went deep over the two-game stretch to help the Rangers get above .500 for the first time since May 24, when they were 24-23. They've won seven of their last eight games, and having everybody in the offense healthy has made for some perfect timing.
Add in Beltre, who missed the first 52 games with a strained calf before making his season debut on May 29, and the pieces are finally falling into place for the Rangers offense to make some noise.
"For the first time in the whole season, for two days straight we have the nine guys that are supposed to be there," Gomez said. "We believe that this is one of the best lineups in the league. We're going to come after everybody."
Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.