The Rangers were able to end a four-game losing streak as they rallied to beat the Angels 5-2 in the first game of a five-game road trip.
Coming into today's game, the Rangers were amidst their longest losing streak of the season, but sixth inning home runs from Shin-Soo Choo and Alex Rios were able to give them the lead over the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels were able to jump to an early 2-0 lead over Rangers' starter Colby Lewis through four innings, off RBI's from J.B Shuck and Howie Kendrick. However, the Rangers' bats were productive enough later in the game to give them a middle-inning, and final, lead.
Shin-Soo Choo lead off the sixth inning with a home run to put the Rangers on the board. A Prince Fielder infield single was followed by another homer from Alex Rios, and the Rangers took a 3-2 lead.
'It is contagious' said Rios about following Choo's home run with one of his own. 'Sometimes, when people get hot, some other people follow that lead. We've been doing great so far and I truly believe that we're just a few steps away from becoming great.'
The Rangers were able to extend their lead to 5-2 in the seventh after Leonys Martin and Michael Choice reached base, and were brought home on RBI's by Choo and Elvis Andrus.
Colby Lewis earned the win for the Rangers, throwing 5 ⅔ innings, though he likely could have gone more. Tonight was easily the best start from Lewis since returning from hip resurfacing surgery, as he proved that he was not only going to be the first MLB player to return from said surgery, but that he was going to return and experience success on the mound as well.
'I think it was [Lewis' best start]' said Rangers' manager Ron Washington. 'He had some crispness to his fastball, and his breaking ball and his changeups. He moved the ball around and stayed off the fat part of their bat most of the time he was out there.'
Lewis however, remains humble as he acknowledges that his start tonight was 'decent', but believes that he could still do better, and pitch through at least six innings.
'I think it was an outing where I was definitely able to throw the fastball where I needed to' said Lewis. 'I was able to command a lot of pitches, changeup was really good tonight, just overall it was a pretty decent outing.'
Though it is still early in the season, Friday night's win was crucial for the Rangers as they were able to rebound from four straight losses to their AL West rivals, the Mariners and Athletics. Though the Rangers experienced early success against teams in their division, they had begun to struggle in games played in the last week. Friday's win against the Angels gives the team the edge in the division that they will need to continue to establish early on.
'When you play divisional games they're very important' said Rios. 'You just can't take them for granted. Coming from a bad homestand, winning this game is going to get us going again and hopefully we can continue to have success.'
Friday's game was something special for the Rangers, as they were able to not only end a four-game losing streak, but a home run drought as well. After struggling to hit and pitch in recent games, the performances from Lewis, Choo, Rios and team may have been enough to pick the Rangers back up and get them where they need to be.
'It was certainly something we needed, and it all started with Colby on the mound' said Wash. 'And then, we were able to string some offense together and put some runs on the board. We played great defense out there tonight and it was just overall, a team game.'
Tonight's win gives the Rangers sixteen wins in their last twenty appearances against the Angels. Game two against the Angels is slated for Saturday, May 3 at 8:05 p.m. CT.