G101: Rangers beat A’s, 7-5; retake first place

Well, tonight marked the major league debut of a former Ranger manager’s cousin – Sam Narron. I always like watching major league debuts. Partly because I like to see a kid get a shot, partially because of the chance that something very cool could happen (like Brian Sikorski against the Yankees a couple of years ago). Anyway, Sam didn’t fare too well tonight, going 2.2 innings and giving up four runs. I hope he’ll get another shot, as I can’t imagine a major league debut is good for a pitcher’s nerves.
He wasn’t helped by Eric Byrnes, who is batting something like .625 against us this year – Byrnes had two home runs, both against Narron. Byrnes also had a double in this game I believe, and was hit by a pitch, so he was on base most of the night. However, after Narron departed, that ended. Surprisingly, Joaquin Benoit came on, and pitched 4.1 innings, and gave up NO runs, on two hits. He was everything we always wanted him to be. Out of the bullpen. That seems to be where he does best anymore. Might be time to think about him being our long man for a long time. ;)
We didn’t get much going against Rich Harden for the longest time – we didn’t get any runs until the 5th inning when we pushed across two. One was on a Blalock single, and the other was a gift on a wild pitch. That was all the scoring on both sides until the bottom of the 8th, when we broke through for a 5 spot to take the lead on two two run singles by Laynce Nix & Mike Young. Tex also had a solo home run in that inning – so we had a nice win on a big inning, not powered by a big home run.
Two other small things. It was damn hot out there. Yeah, I know it’s Texas, but still – I never really feel uncomfortable out there, even on some of the hottest nights. Tonight I was so uncomfortable, I contemplated leaving the game early. I don’t know if it was where I was sitting (section 212), but I did not enjoy the game from that aspect. I did, however, enjoy the retro uniforms. Hell, even Rangers Captain had a retro uniform on, too, which made me chuckle.
The end result tonight? We’re back in first place.