Leonys Martin hit a home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to give the Rangers their second consecutive walk-off win, 14-11, over the Angels Tuesday night.
To say it was a wild one in Arlington would be an understatement. There were 25 total runs; 35 total hits; 434 total pitches thrown. And still, somehow, 24 runners were left on base in a game that lasted almost five hours.
The Angels’ Alberto Callaspo was even pulled from the game in the fifth inning after being traded within the AL West division.
Every Ranger in the starting lineup, and 11 of 12 that had a plate appearance in Tuesday’s game, recorded at least one hit.
The Texas bats struck early and often, something they haven’t done much of in the month of July, answering a two-run first inning by Los Angeles with a two-spot of their own.
Three more runs in the third and a single run in the fourth put the Rangers ahead. But the 6-4 lead at the time was only the beginning of the offensive output.
Los Angeles pushed three runs across the plate in the seventh inning, and four more in the eighth inning.
Josh Hamilton drove in 506 runs in his five seasons as a Ranger, but his four RBI in an Angel uniform were crucial in the Angels’ onslaught.
It was Hamilton who stepped to the plate, serenaded as usual with a chorus of boos, with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, his team trailing by two. And he took a Robbie Ross pitch to the left-center gap that cleared the bases and gave the Angels a one-run lead.
The eleventh run of the night for Los Angeles also came off the bat of Hamilton when he poked an RBI single to center field in the eighth inning.
But this game was a marathon, not a sprint.
Down 11-7 in the eighth inning, Geovany Soto stepped into the batter’s box. And Monday’s walk-off hero had more late-inning magic in him, as he launched a home run almost identical to the blast 20 hours earlier into the left field bleachers.
Adrian Beltre brought home the tying run in the bottom of the ninth as the Angels’ Ernesto Frieri blew his second save in as many nights.
After Joe Nathan worked around a leadoff walk to Mike Trout in the tenth inning, two walks and a fielder’s choice in the bottom half of the inning set the stage for Martin’s game-winner.
Derek Holland took the hill for Texas Tuesday with a streak of seven consecutive quality starts, but lacked command in his six innings of work. Holland surrendered four earned runs on eight hits in those six innings, throwing 102 pitches.
However, C.J. Wilson struggled even more for the Angels. Wilson took 109 pitches to get through just four innings of work, surrendering 11 hits and six runs.
The performance of the starters was buried by 12 total relief appearances in the game, and four lead changes by the two offenses.
Joakim Soria was roughed up for the first time in 2013. Robbie Ross surrendered the three-run double by Hamilton, but the three earned runs went against Soria’s ledger.
Manager Ron Washington rearranged the lineup before Monday’s series opener with the Angels. And through two games against the division foe, the shake-up was just what the doctor ordered.
Ian Kinsler’s move to the third spot in the batting order highlights the lineup change, and No. 5 seems to have found his niche. Kinsler followed up a two-RBI performance Monday with two more hits, which included a triple and an RBI single.
Kinsler also swiped a crucial base in the bottom of the ninth to set up Beltre’s game-tying single.
With the win, the Rangers gained ground on the Oakland Athletics for the first time in 32 days. Texas will have a chance to complete a three-game sweep of the Angels Wednesday night at 7:05.
First pitch Wednesday will be thrown just four hours after the 3 p.m. CT MLB trade deadline.