G65: Rangers get win in series finale, 6-3

Well, this game had a few rather entertaining moments, both of them involving Rays players. One was the pitcher and catcher arguing on the mound after a home run ball by German Duran. Then we saw footage of the two of them continuing to argue in the dugout, eventually going down the walkway, followed by half a dozen players and coaches. We didn’t see THAT, but one has to assume there was some sort of altercation. Matt Garza (the pitcher) did not return for the next inning. His numbers weren’t all that bad, really (4IP, 6H, 3ER, 2HR), so I have to assume he was taken out due to his actions outside the lines. The second entertaining moment was Eric Hinske being ejected in the sixth inning. The final one was Rangers Captain catching a foul ball. Rather enjoyed that.
This game was also monumental in that it’s the game I finally got my three year old to understand that a “Home Run” was not when someone was running. She used to think a home run was when anyone started running. But I convinced her today that Home Run was when someone hit the ball with a bat over the fence, and then they got to run – that was a Home Run. Enjoyed that parental moment a lot. :)
Michael Young and Josh Hamilton were out of the game for rest, mostly. With tomorrow off, it’s not a surprise that you rest guys on the last day before a scheduled day off. To pick up the slack, we recalled German Duran from AAA so that we could stop with the oddball scenarios that ended up with Gerald Laird playing third. Duran playing third allowed Vazquez to sub for Michael Young, who was ailing.
The offense didn’t suffer a whole lot with two of our top three producers out. David Murphy got it started with a home run in the first inning, pulled right over the wedgie in right field. It stayed that way until the fourth inning, when German Duran jacked a two run home run just to the left of the 400 sign in dead center field, promoting the fracas with Matt Garza. We tacked on another run in the fifth on a couple of walks and a single. A couple more singles came in the seventh (single, steal, single), and the eighth on another home run by Ramon Vazquez.
On the Rangers pitching side, Doug Mathis started for the Rangers. After a wobbly first inning where he still put up a zero, Doug got a lot better. In all, Doug went 5.1 innings, giving up just two runs (both towards the end of his time on the hill), both on a home run to BJ Upton. If it wasn’t for THAT, he would have had a donut up there. But donuts are what the pen put up after him. Frank Francisco, Eddie Guardado, & CJ Wilson followed up and combined for 3.2 innings of shutout ball. Probably the reasons for the shutout were that none of the uniform numbers were 45 or 53.
Anyway, it was nice to get a win to end the series and the homestand. It’s weird, as the Rays are a team we can’t seem to beat. Been a series winning for every series since late April except for the two against Tampa Bay.
We head on the road against Kansas City, who isn’t that great overall, but has Jose Guillen going about as a hot as Milton Bradley right now. Then it’s interleague action for the rest of the month, as we have series against the Mets, Braves, Nationals, Astros, & Phillies before we see the AL again on the final day of the month, in Yankee Stadium.