It was one of those games the Rangers have been losing a lot of lately. When they get buried early by bad pitching and shoddy defense. In the Collapse of 16, we had seen far too much of that.
It was happening again. Martin Perez was on the mound again. Dispensing runs like government handouts again. Falling apart after an error again. Unable to stop the bleeding again. (The fact Perez was credited with a quality start demonstrates the flaw with that stat. His start was anything but quality.)
After three innings, the Rangers rare winning streak of two games appeared to be in jeopardy.
But this one felt different for some reason. It felt winnable.
Maybe because rather than waiting until it was far too late to make a comeback, the Rangers chipped away early. Suddenly, after five innings, they were down only 5-4.
But still, they had to find somebody in their bullpen who wouldn’t re-open the floodgates. And that has been no easy task of late.
While the pitching has been dreadful during the free fall, at least the Rangers ability to score runs never skipped town.
So this one seemed winnable.
When Adrian Beltre is hot, they are all winnable. And in the currently, badly needed three-game winning streak Texas is enjoying, Adrian Beltre is 8-for-14 with three home runs and six runs batted in.
He homered in the seventh to make it 6-5, and keep the Rangers close.
When he came up in the ninth with two outs and a runner on, he had a look of determination on his face that pretty much said this one was over.
This one seemed winnable.
After one pitch, it was over.
And for the first time in one month, since the 26th of June, the Rangers have gained a game on Houston in the standing.
And Kyle Lohse is not starting tonight.
Things are looking up.
Sonny Gray (4-9, 5.49) vs. Nick Martinez (1-2 , 6.45)
Game time: 7:05 pm
How the Athletics hit against Martinez.
How the Rangers hit against Gray.