Speed, speed, and more speed were huge for the Rangers in an 8-3 win over the Angels Tuesday night in Anaheim.
Six stolen bases proved to be crucial in the Ranger attack. The Rangers didn’t record an extra base hit, but were able to manufacture eight runs against five Angel pitchers.
Five of those runs came in the final two innings.
Speed made things happen for the Rangers in the top of the first. Leonys Martin singled and stole second base before Elvis Andrus reached on an infield single. A sacrifice fly, a steal of third base by Andrus and two wild pitches allowed the Rangers to put a crooked number on the scoreboard.
The Angel attack was a little different in the first inning.
Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout nailed back-to-back home runs off of Yu Darvish to lead off the Angel half of the inning, and the Ranger lead dissolved after just five pitches.
Darvish hadn’t allowed multiple home runs in a game since June 25, and had never allowed multiple home runs in a single inning in his career.
J.B. Shuck added an RBI single off Darvish in the fourth inning to give Los Angeles the lead.
Martin added to his productive night with an RBI chop-out to second base in the fifth inning. An Engel Beltre sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring position to set up the game-tying RBI by Martin.
A stolen base by Andrus again fueled a Ranger rally in the eighth inning. Andrus advanced to third on a ground ball by Ian Kinsler, and Adrian Beltre plated Andrus with what would be the game-winning RBI single to right field.
Then the game blew open with more small-ball.
The Rangers got more insurance in the ninth inning as they put up a four spot against Nick Maronde and Ernesto Frieri. Two stolen bases and three RBI singles all came with two outs to push the lead to five runs.
Darvish allowed just one run on six hits after the two leadoff home runs, and recorded his eleventh win of the season.
Tanner Scheppers was the only Ranger to relieve Darvish in the game, tossing a scoreless eighth and ninth inning. Scheppers needed just six pitches to get through a 1-2-3 eighth, and worked around a two-out single in the ninth to record the two-inning save.
Jurickson Profar extended his hitting streak to five games in the win, and made two stellar plays at second base behind Darvish.
The Rangers cut their deficit in the division to just one game behind Oakland, which has lost five of six games.
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