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G8: Rangers wake up, club O’s in G2 of DH, 13-1

After losing game one of the DH 5-0, you wondered what would happen in game 2. For the first two innings, pretty much the same.
The Rangers went down without a fight in their first two frames. 1-2-3 both times. Three groundouts, two flyouts, and a strikeout. Nothing much to say there. Same on the other side, too. We gave up a home run in the second to Adam Jones that put us down 1-0. Given what happened in game one, you kind of thought game two was off to the same feel at that point. But that’s pretty much where it ended.
Before I get to the Rangers offense.. I need to mention Adam Jones’ home run again. That apparently irritated Matt Harrison, as he went all Cliff Lee on the Orioles after that. He didn’t allow anyone else to reach base after that. Period. Retired 18 Orioles in a row until he exited the game after the seventh inning. That’s 1-2-3 innings in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, & 7th. He also had one in the second, sort of – he went 1-2-3 after the home run. :) Harrison looked great. His line was 7 IP, 2H, 1ER, one BB, 3K. The one run came on the home run ball. But man, he was dealing. Many people said if we were going to overcome the loss of Cliff Lee, one of the 3-5 guys would have to step up and pick up that slack. If this is what we’re gonna get from Harrison all season, I’d say yeah, that will be covered.
Adrian Beltre, who was VERY close to dipping below a batting average of .100 got himself on the right track this game. He went 3-5 in Game 2, with 3 RBI’s and three runs scored. Hs average is still just .182, but a few more 2-4, or 3-5 nights, and he’ll be where he needs to be. He’s getting a lot of bad breaks – very hard hit balls right at people.
The fourth was interesting, as it started with a walk. Another single, and a second walk loaded the bases. Kinsler grounded out into a force play at home, which made it still bases loaded and one out. I’m thinking “Uh-oh”. Never ever like to load the bases with nobody out and get nothing. Fortunately, we got three straight hits after that. And all three of them were two RBI hits. It was started with a single to right center, which I thought might have split the outfielders, but not quite. It scored Napoli & Moreland. Andrus then proceeded to steal second, which was huge, as almost immediately Hamilton put a single to the same general vicinity as Elvis’ hit, and Josh scored both Kinsler & Andrus. Beltre followed up with a two run home run, for the third consecutive two out, two RBI hit by the Rangers. It added up to a six spot in the third, and you were feeling OK again.
We added a couple more in the fourth when Napoli jacked a home run into the upper bullpen in left center. Moreland singled, and Josh Rupe came in to relieve. Greeted immediately by an Ian Kinsler double, scoring Moreland.
Picked up another on a sac fly by Nelson Cruz in the 7th.
Nelson Cruz finished off the scoring with a three run home run in the 9th, after Beltre had an RBI double. We finally had a reason to play the bottom of the ninth for the first time this season, but before we get to that…
I need to mention Pedro Strop. What a bizarre case of pitching there. His first six pitches were completely filthy stuff. I mean, it was dazzling to watch. He struck out Mark Reynolds & Robert Andino. Reynolds strikes out all the time anyway, but these six pitches would have struck out anyone. He looked.. I mean I said out loud “Wow” after the Andino K. Then he lost it. Gave up a single to Felix Pie. Then balked TWICE in a row, moving Pie over to third. Proceeded to walk Izturis, and then Nick Markakis. Uh-oh. What happened to the guy in those first six pitches? Fortunately, he got Derrek Lee to strike out without any runs scoring, but man. After the second out of the inning, I was ready to proclaim it a better pitching performance than Harrison’s. While Harrison got the job done, the pitching to the first two batters in the 8th was a show, man. No damage done, but man, it was a Wetteland moment for sure.
Mark Lowe came in for the bottom of the ninth. Let a few base runners onboard, but nobody crossed the plate, which is the ultimate point.
Glad to see the Rangers roar back after being shut out. We’re now 7-1, and look to take the series on Sunday afternoon. Which is amusing, as it’s the first of four consecutive games in a row during the day. All three games in Detroit on M-Wed are day games. That almost never happens. Even when you play the Cubs. In fact, five of the next six games we play are during the day.