Elvis Andrus has found a home batting second in the Rangers lineup. Last year, he sputtered there, and thrived batting ninth.
This year, the Rangers had nobody who should legitimately be batting higher than seventh. So, they had to do something drastic.
They moved Elvis to the two hole. He’s responded.
With three hits last night, he’s over .300 in the number two slot, and has been the only consistent hitter in the Rangers lineup all season.
Last night he had the best offensive game of his career. He drove in five runs. Three on his seventh home run of the year to tie a game that looked lost like so many other similar Rangers games this season. Then two more to put the nail in the coffin of the Rays.
Elvis was the difference the game.
So many other great moments went into the Rangers 9-5 win, where they overcame a 5-2 deficit. Choo’s two-out walk in the seventh to set up Elvis’s three-run home run was huge.
Hoying’s near grand slam in the eighth set up Elvis’s two-run single that capped a four-run inning.
Dillion Gee’s two-and-two-thirds of scoreless baseball might have been the biggest blessing of the night. That meant no Dyson, no Jeffress, no Barnette, no Scheppers. No collapse.
Instead of the Rangers having the seventh inning death march, they turned the tables.
This is an offense is slowly taking shape. Shin-Soo Choo is hitting .319, with an OBP of .450 and a OPS of .939 batting leadoff. Nomar Mazara is hitting .366 the last two weeks, with an OPS of 1.008, seemingly under the radar. Lucroy is hitting .313 in May, after hitting .206 in April. Add Beltre to the mix, that’s five potent bats at the top of the lineup.
With Elvis right in there. Batting second. Coming up huge.
Chris Archer (4-3, 3.61) vs. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-0, 3.97)
Game time: 7:05
The Rays have never faced Bibens-Dirkx.
How the Rangers hit against Archer.