In the bottom of the 14th inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, the Texas Rangers were able to walk-it-off with a walk, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2.
Geovany Soto reached on an error by Rays third baseman Evan Longoria to give the Rangers their first baserunner of the inning. Soto's time on base was limited however, as pitcher Nick Martinez came in to replace Soto on the bases. Back-to-back singles from Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo loaded the bases, and after an Elvis Andrus flyout, it was up to Adam Rosales. Sure enough, Rosales walked, Martinez came into score, and the Rangers won their first walk off since April 16.
'I fed off how he pitched to Elvis Andrus' said Rosales. 'I saw the tension I felt in him, I knew he'd really come to me. I was really trying to stay patient with the game on the line like that, bases loaded two outs.'
Earlier in the game after five scoreless innings, the Rays took the lead against Nick Tepesch and the Rangers in the sixth. Desmond Jennings lead off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ben Zobrist for the first run of the day. Then, Matt Joyce hit a triple and scored on a relay throwing error by Rougned Odor to Adrian Beltre, to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.
Texas would snap a skid of 17 scoreless innings in the seventh with bottom of the order taking control. Leonys Martin, who went 4-6 on the night lead off with a single and Geovany Soto followed with a double. Rougned Odor hit a sacrifice fly to score Martin, and advance Soto to third. Shin-Soo Choo doubled to score Soto, and the game was tied at 2-2.
Tepesch started off strong for the Rangers, throwing four no hit innings before allowing a single to Sean Rodriguez in the fifth. By the time he faced the lineup for the third time of the night however, Tepesch had lost the command he had earlier in the game. In the end, Tepesch was given the no decision but the seven innings he pitched helped make the bullpen last.
'He was out there competing real hard tonight and he was able to execute some pitches' said Rangers manager Ron Washington. 'He went out there and got us through the seventh, he did one heck of a job. He really did, he's progressing.'
After Tepesch, the bullpen was outstanding as Neal Cotts, Roman Mendez, Neftali Feliz, Shawn Tolleson all posted shutout innings before Scott Baker ultimately got the win.
The win for Baker Tuesday night was his first of the year, and in fact was the first game the Rangers have won all year with Baker on the mound, previously going 0-20. Though Baker says he hasn't let this stat catch up to him, he is relieved to have finally gotten the win.
'In a way I guess it's just a stat' said Baker. 'But to win a game in the big leagues it means something. I'm very happy obviously, but at the same time it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time.'
The bench, along with the bullpen, deserves a lot of credit for Tuesday night's win. Rosales came off the bench to replace Mike Carp, and besides earning the game winning walk, made a dive at first base to secure an out. Daniel Robertson came in for Jim Adduci, hitting a triple and making another great catch in the outfield. And it was a pitcher, yes a pitcher, in Martinez who scored the game winning run. The Rangers as a team are pieced together, but sometimes, though rarely those pieces work.
Everyone's favorite lizard eater, Miles Mikolas, takes the mound for the Rangers Wednesday night for game three against the Rays. Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT.