Blogging from the Ballpark: 7/8

Blogging from the Ballpark: 7/8

Credit: AP

Texas Rangers' Derek Holland pitches during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. The Rangers beat the Athletics 6-0. (AP Photo/Jeffery Washington)


by Josh Davis

Posted on July 8, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 9 at 4:19 PM

ARLINGTON -- Welcome back to's live coverage of Texas Rangers home games this season. Tonight the team has to put last night's fatal accident at the park behind them and continue a four-game series with the Oakland A's. You can read the reactions from today of team president and CEO Nolan Ryan, manager Ron Washington and outfielder Josh Hamilton here.

The team also announced Friday reserve infielder Andres Blanco has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his lower back. The team purchased the contract of infielder Omar Quintanilla from Triple-A Round Rock to fill the created roster spot.

Tonight's game will begin at 7:05 p.m. After that this blog will update as needed following big or scoring plays to form a game narrative. For more straight forward play by play, check out the Gameview.

Napoli's grand slam puts Texas up five:

Rangers starter C.J. Wilson started out nearly as hot as the game-time temperature, a blazing 105 degrees. He had two quick strikeouts then a fly out to end the frame.

In the bottom of the first with one out, Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus singled. That brought out outfielder Josh Hamilton, who received a nice round of supportive applause from the crowd. Hamilton singled as well, bringing up third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Beltre hit a ball hard to the Oakland shortstop Adam Rosales, who couldn't make the play. It was counted as an error by Rosales and Andrus scored. Michael Young then hit a soft ground ball down the left field line that A's third baseman Scott Sizemore watched roll until it was called fair. That loaded the bases before Nelson Cruz struck out for out number two.

First baseman Mike Napoli cleared the bags for Texas with a first-pitch grand slam on a 93-mph fastball. The no-doubter flew an estimated 392 feet to left field and made the score 5-0. After a walk, Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez struck out Craig Gentry to escape the first.

A's add solo homer, Rangers add two:

Wilson added two more strikeouts in the top of the second, but he also allowed his first home run in nearly 45 innings. Scott Sizemore hit a dinger to left off the lefty to make the score 5-1. It had been 44 and one-third of an inning since Wilson had given up a homer.

In the bottom of the frame, Ian Kinsler led off with a full-count home run 390 feet to left field on a fastball over the plate. After two ground outs, Beltre also homered to left on a fastball. That made the total 7-1, Texas.

Gonzalez ended the second with a ground out. Only three of the seven runs he had given up were earned.

Wilson's jam results in one run:

In the bottom of the third, Nelson Cruz made it to third base with one out, but was stranded there after two strikeouts.

The fourth began with C.J. Wilson walking Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp, then giving up a single and another walk. With the bases loaded an no outs, A's first baseman Connor Jackson hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Crisp scored, but that's all Oakland got out of the opportunity. A ground out sent the game to the bottom of the fourth with Texas up, 7-2.

Kinsler walked to lead off the bottom of the inning and then Elvis Andrus singled to put runners at the corners with no outs. Andrus stole second to put both runners into scoring position, but they were remained there after a ground out, a strike out and a Michael Young ground out to end the fourth with the lead sitting at five.

Rangers score in fifth; A's get two off Wilson in sixth:

Mike Napoli had another big swing in the fifth, a hard-hit double to center field. Catcher Yorvit Torrealba followed that with a ground-ball single that scored his teammate. That made the score 8-2.

In the top of the sixth, right fielder David DeJesus got on base with a bunt before stealing second and getting to third on a passed ball. Crisp scored DeJesus with a single, then scored himself on a Josh Willingham double that rolled near the left-field corner. The lead was cut to four still without an out in the inning.

Wilson rebounded with three straight strikeouts, bringing his total for the game to eight. The lefty had thrown 91 pitches (57 strikes) by the middle of the sixth, and the Rangers led, 8-4.

Wilson leaves after seven, Rangers win:

Texas reliever Tommy Hunter came in for C.J. Wilson to begin the eighth. Wilson's final line read seven innings pitched, five hits, four runs (all earned) and three walks to eight strikeouts.

Hunter walked one in the top of the eighth, but more than made up for it with three strikeouts in the frame. The A's retired the side in order in the bottom of the inning on a strikeout followed by two fly outs.

Neftali Feliz came in to close for Texas in the ninth. He walked Connor Jackson in five pitches, then allowed a single by Ryan Sweeney that put runners at the corners. Kurt Suzuki then hit into a double play, though Jackson did score. The game ended with a ground out. Your final score: Rangers 8, Athletics 5.

That's it for tonight's live coverage! Check in later tonight or tomorrow morning for reactions from the clubhouse to tonight's win and join us again the rest of this weekend for more live Rangers action.