ARLINGTON — It was the bats that provided a clutch performance for the Rangers Monday night as they earned a 4-3 win in walk-off fashion to end a four-game losing streak.
A.J. Pierzynski tied the game with a home run over the right field fence, and, three batters later, Geovany Soto hit a walk-off blast just inside the foul pole in left field to give the Rangers the 4-3 win
Late inning heroics at the plate have been rare this month, but starting pitcher Matt Garza noted another reason the walk-off win was unique.
“Not every day you see both your catchers go yard in the same inning,” Garza said. “So it was pretty awesome.”
Soto was mobbed at home plate by his teammates after the walk-off blast. He described being dizzy and not knowing what was happening during the celebration, but it was a happy time.
“I was the happiest guy on the field,” he said.
The scoreless innings streak hit 26 for the Rangers before they finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ian Kinsler roped an RBI single to center field that also ended a scoreless innings streak of 19-and-two-thirds for Angels pitcher Jered Weaver.
Los Angeles took the lead when J.B. Shuck hit his first major league home run in 357 career plate appearances to break the scoreless tie in the fifth inning. An Angel rally then culminated in a Josh Hamilton two-out, two-RBI single to left just past a diving Adrian Beltre. The fifth was the only inning in which the Angels line score read anything other than zero, as Garza finished with his second consecutive quality start. The three-run inning didn’t take any of the shine off of Garza’s second outing as a Ranger, though, Soto said.
“The home run came on a good pitch, so you just have to tip your cap there,” he said. “Then Hamilton hit a fastball right down the [third base] line, which is off character for him.
“There weren’t many pitching mistakes. [Garza] threw a great game for us,” Soto said.
The Rangers pulled to within one with an unearned run in the eighth inning. Elvis Andrus stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Angel catcher Hank Conger. Ian Kinsler hit a sacrifice fly, bringing Andrus head-long into home for the second run of the game.
Neal Cotts, who entered Monday’s game with a 0.85 ERA, worked out of a no-out, first-and-third jam in the bottom of the eighth to keep the deficit at one.
Garza, who was in the locker room during the eighth inning, said Cotts’s performance got him fired up.
“I practically threw the ice bags off when he did that,” he said.
Jason Frasor recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two, to set up the comeback in the final half inning.
“We certainly came out there with intent tonight,” manager Ron Washington said. “We kept grinding and kept grinding and we got it done.”
The walk-off win was the first since May 26 of 2012, when Josh Hamilton hit a two-run home run in the thirteenth inning against Toronto. Washington said he wasn’t thinking about the amount of time that had passed since the last Ranger win of that genre.
“I wanted us to continue to have good at-bats, which we did,” he said.
Garza said he hopes the win will give the Rangers a boost going forward.
“Things like this can turn from a little snowball into something huge rolling down a hill,” Garza said. “That’s kind of where I want us to go, and keep that momentum on our side.”
The Rangers have a chance to win consecutive games for the first time since July 9 when they take the field against Los Angeles Tuesday night.