It would appear the Rangers extended spring training is over.
The offense finally showed up. And the relievers didn’t make you feel as if you just turned your daughter over to Bill Cosby.
Needing a win after three crushing losses in a row, the Rangers got going from the get go with the first five batter reaching, scoring three runs and giving A. J. Griffin some badly needed breathing room for his first major league start in more than two years.
Pitching on 938 days’ rest, Griffin allowed three runs over six innings and kept the Angels off balance just enough to earn his first win as a Ranger.
Of course, the Rangers bullpen supplied its nightly heart attack moments, this one courtesy of Tanner Scheppers University graduate Tom Wilhemsen, who walked the first batter he faced in the seventh before his defense bailed him out, then, with two outs in the eighth, loaded the bases with a walk, a single and a walk before Tony Barnette got him out of the eighth (not before talking the count full, of course, why make it easy?).
When hearts stopped pounding and curse words had dissipated into the night air, the Rangers racked up a season-high seven runs and ten hits.
Offense, defense, starting pitching and a failsafe bullpen.
Let’s see them do it again.
Texas Rangers (2-3) at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (1-3)
Cole Hamels (1-0, 2.57) vs. Garrett Richards (0-1, 5.40)
Game Time: 8:05 pm
How the Angels hit against Hamels.
How the Rangers hit against Richards.