If the Texas Rangers wanted to keep any hope alive when it comes to talking playoffs, a sweep in Tampa would be much appreciated.
Texas walked into St. Petersburg and put their feet up on the furniture at Tropicana Field, taking all three games from the Tampa Bay Rays after Sunday’s 6-5 win, in the process continuing to hang around in the wild card race. Keep in mind; the Rays were sitting in one of the two A.L. wild card spots before the start of the weekend. This was a must-win series if there ever was one approaching the end of July.
The brooms were being brought out of the closet early after the Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the second on a sac fly from Mike Napoli. Rougned Odor followed that up with a solo crush to right to increase the lead by a run.
However, it didn’t last long as the Rays got to starter Tyson Ross, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second and three more in the fourth. Ross struggled with control this time around, walking four in just over four innings of work. All five runs were allowed.
Then the Power Rangers took charge. Joey Gallo went Joey Gallo-mode, taking a pitch middle-in and sending a missile into the right field seats to cut the lead to two. Then in the eighth, Odor doubled the fun with his second homer of the day, a two-run shot to tie the game up at five. The line kept moving when the next batter up, Carlos Gomez, got a hanger over the middle of the plate and launched it to the leftfield bleachers for what would be the game-deciding home run.
Jose LeClerc took the mound in the ninth and was able to seal the deal but did manage to make it interesting. LeClerc walked two but struck out Steven Souza Jr. for the final out to complete the sweep. Important to note here that all three wins for the Rangers were of the comeback variety.
Texas is now two games under .500 at 48-50 but only 2.5 games back in the wild card race. The Rangers return to the friendly confines of The Globe this week to take on another team from the Sunshine State, the Miami Marlins. Lefty Martin Perez gets the ball on Monday night and then it’s Cole Hamels turn Tuesday evening.
First pitch for both games is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Trade Deadline News:
*With the Rangers gauging trade interest in Yu Darvish, the Yankees may be entering the picture. New York reportedly scouted Darvish’s start on Friday. Apparently the Yankees weren’t the only ones in the building as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs were also on hand to take a good look at the Rangers ace.