It was lining up to be another 2017 Texas Rangers game. The offense was ice cold. And what little chances they had on the base paths got erased by boneheaded running.
But Martin Perez kept the Rangers close in what was his finest outing of the year. Luckily, he was facing the equally inept offense of the San Diego Padres, and had given up just one run when he was forcibly extracted from the game in the middle of a gem, like removing a perfectly good tooth because you think eventually it will get a cavity.
It looked like this game was going to end like forty percent of Rangers games have ended thus far. With the team scoring two runs or fewer.
They were well on their way to another snoozefest when Mike Napoli, the poster boy (really, one of nine poster boys) for the Rangers offensive ineptitude, woke up from his season-long slumber.
Bringing a .160 average and a .320 slugging percentage into the game, Napoli hit a seventh inning home run to put the Rangers on the board and give them a measure of respectability. They wouldn’t be shut out in this one, at least.
Then, after tying it in the ninth, and with two runners on and just out, Napoli stepped up to the plate again and hit a mammoth shot way up into the left field bleachers to complete an unlikely come-from-behind, bottom-of-the-ninth victory.
It felt good to do to someone else what has been done to the Rangers far too many times this season.
The Rangers are, if nothing else, the kings of the under .500 crowd. Thankfully, twenty-six of the thirty-six games they have played so far are against under .500 teams. And with the three victories in a row now against San Diego, that now makes Texas 14-12 against under .500 teams.
They are 2-8 against teams over .500.
Luckily, fifteen of the next eighteen are against teams that are, currently, at or under .500.
Lucroy and Napoli seem to be heating up. So, this might be the opening the Rangers need. All they have to do is take advantage of playing teams that are struggling as well.
Jesse Hahn (1-2, 3.03) vs. Andrew Cashner (0-3, 2.63)
Game time: 7:05