You can’t blame them for Monday, really.
Imagine being dropped into hostile territory in the middle of a war zone and being asked to hit a fastball while a roving pack of thugs chases you with knives and clubs. You’d be shell shocked too.
That’s what seems to happen to the Rangers when they are air dropped into the crime capital of America.
Oakland is a brutal place to live. So imagine what it must be like to play there.
The city’s official slogan is: “WELCOME TO OAKLAND. CITY OF BROTHERLY THUG.”
So forgive the Rangers for the game they played on Monday night. It’s hard to keep one eye on a 90-mile-an-hour fastball when the other eye has to be looking around to make sure your wallet isn’t being stolen.
Now that they’ve had a day to get their bearings, and purchase kevlar vests, the real Rangers showed up last night.
Martin Perez was just short of brilliant for six and two-third innings. He went seven.
The bullpen induced heart attack moments.
And, the offense kept clicking. Every night it’s somebody different, quite often two or three guys who are coming up big. (Even the two games they have lost on this road trip, they’ve scored five run in each.)
Last night’s heroes were Ryan Rua, who drove in three, Robinson Chirinos, who also drove in three, and Elvis Andrus, who got three hits.
In the end, the Rangers scored early, with seven in the first three, and often, with three in the final two innings, winning 10-6, returning the 14-5 beat down Oakland put on them the night before.
Texas is the first team to win forty games this year in the American League. Everything in clicking with the offense, rotation, defense, and base running (if not the bullpen).
If Texas doesn’t leave Oakland with at least a split in the four games, it would be a real crime.
Derek Holland (5-5, 4.87) vs. Sonny Gray (3-6, 5.34)
Game time: 9:05 pm