There was a little bit of everything for the Rangers' offense en route to an 8-3 win over the Oakland Athletics Friday night.
They hit for power, launching two home runs. They hit for contact, as eight different Rangers recorded hits. They utilized speed on the base paths. They even came back from an early 2-0 deficit for their thirty-first comeback win of the season.
The A’s got on the board first when a two-out rally ended in a two-run double off the bat of Brandon Moss in the bottom of the first inning.
But, as has been the case in the past several games, the Rangers’ bats had an answer. It was Nelson Cruz who responded with a two-run missile over the center field wall at O.co Coliseum.
There was nothing flashy about the Ranger third inning, but they were able to push two more runs across the plate. Adrian Beltre drove in a run on an RBI groundout, and A.J. Pierzynski lofted a two-out, RBI single just out of Jed Lowrie’s reach and into center field.
The bats continued to roll with Jurickson Profar’s first home run since June 27. The two-run blast was also the rookie’s first RBI since July 12.
Pierzynski, quickly becoming the master of the broken bat, shattered another piece of lumber en route to his second straight three-RBI performance and runs no. seven and eight for Texas on Friday.
In their current five-game win streak, the Rangers have scored 35 runs. That total is just one less than the 36 runs they scored in their previous 15 games before the win streak.
Alexi Ogando struggled with his command Friday night, as he aided the Oakland offense with five walks in his four innings of work. In addition to the two-run double by Moss in the first inning, the A’s plated a run on a Coco Crisp double in the fourth.
The story for the Rangers on the mound, though, was working out of jams.
Ogando escaped a first-and-third, one-out situation in the third inning. Robbie Ross was called on to pitch the fifth inning in relief of Ogando, but worked himself into a bases-loaded jam with two outs. But Jason Frasor quelled that Athletic threat by inducing a pop out to center field.
Tanner Scheppers tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning, and Neal Cotts recorded a scoreless eighth before Joakim Soria closed it out in the ninth.
So, it was business as usual for the back of the bullpen.
And what is most encouraging for Rangers fans is that players on this team are starting to pick each other up. When Ogando struggled with his control early in Friday’s game and put the Rangers in a 2-0 hole, Nelson Cruz erased the deficit in the next half inning.
Ross had trouble closing out the fifth inning, but his comrades in the bullpen picked him up and shut down the Oakland attack.
The pitchers struggled to subdue the Los Angeles Angel attack Tuesday, as they gave up 11 runs. But the bats put up 14.
Everyone in a Ranger uniform seems to have grasped the idea that there is something to prove. And that there is no better time to prove it than this week’s games against division foes.
In a division race, in which the Ranger deficit was cut to two-and-a-half games, a well-rounded ball club is an encouraging thing to see.
The Rangers have a chance to cut even further into the Athletics’ division lead in an afternoon start Saturday. Matt Garza will take the bump in Oakland for a 3:05 first pitch.
For continued Rangers news, download WFAA’s “Baseball Texas” mobile app, and follow along on Twitter (@BaseballTX) and Instagram (BaseballTX).