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ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 22: Mitch Moreland #18 of the Texas Rangers hits a grand slam against the Baltimore Orioles at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on August 22, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
The Texas Rangers seem to be regaining signs of the offensive power that has carried them to success over the past few seasons. Last night the Rangers broke out the boomsticks in a 12-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles and it has them back in 1st place in the American League, with a half-game lead on the New York Yankees.
Adrian Beltre hit 3 home runs by the fourth inning, having many thinking he could hit 4 in a game just like Josh Hamilton did May 8th this year against (coincidentally!) the Baltimore Orioles. Hamilton was the 16th player in MLB history to accomplish this feat, and the Rangers outfielder was routing for his teammate to mash that fourth bomb. But Adrian came up short, grounding out in his final two at bats.
“I told him to do it so we could have figurines together,” said Hamilton. ”I was on base for two of them.”
Beltre hit two of those homeruns in the 4th inning, which also featured a grand slam from Mitch Moreland. According to the record books this is Moreland’s first career Grand Slam, but we all remember differently. Moreland hit one this last May, but the game was called due to rain erasing Moreland’s grand slam from the record books.
It was the third Rangers Grand Slam this season. Nelson Cruz hit one May 13 against the Angels and another May 25 against Toronto.
You probably noticed a lot of references to the month of May. That was right in the middle of the Rangers’ 3 month hot streak, which ended in July. They went 50-29 in those first 3 months despite a mediocre 14-14 in May. The Rangers aren’t necessarily “hot” at the moment. They had a season-changing win over the Los Angeles Angels on August 1st that led to a 4 game winning streak, but have been seemingly inconsistent all month. Overall, though, their 13-8 record for the month gives them a winning percentage of .619, better than their AL-pacing .585 mark.
But the Rangers seem to be heating up at right time. They’re building momentum leading into the last month of the regular season and setting up a good foundation for a deep October run. A 3 home run game from Beltre and a Moreland grand slam are the kind of things that can excite a clubhouse, and this is the perfect time.
August is the third best month of baseball for the Texas Rangers so far in 2011. To be successful in playoff baseball, you only need to really be 3 games above .500 and the Rangers look on pace. And the “boomsticks” waking up might be why.
Mitch Moreland is batting .328 with four doubles, three homers and 13 RBIs in his last 22 games, 19 of which he started, since returning from the disabled list. In the last 7 days Adrian Beltre is batting .407 with two doubles, three homers and 8 RBIs. Nelson Cruz is hitting .333 with 3 doubles and a homer in the last 7 days. Elvis Andrus is batting .337 for the month of August, DH Michael Young is batting .310 and David Murphy is batting .538 over the last 7 days. Even newcomer C Geovany Soto is batting .375 over the last 7 days.
Fans will point out that Josh Hamilton is still slumping. Hamilton is batting .185 over the last 7 days, but for the month of August as a whole he is batting a much more manageable .274 buoyed by 5 doubles, 5 HRs, 18 RBI and 19 runs.
If the Rangers can get back to a their early season consistency the team should be sitting pretty. It’s time to get excited for the next two months of Rangers baseball.