Just in case Detroit got any wild ideas about rallying, Yovani Gallardo gets JD Martinez to ground into an inning-ending double play and keep its scoreless streak alive.
Detroit bats came into this series on fire, having scored 25 runs in their previous two games before Texas came to town.
After beating the Ranger 4-0 in the first game of the series, it looked like they were going to keep rolling. Until they rolled into Rangers starting pitching.
Pitching is contagious, and Yovani Gallardo picked up on Saturday right where Colby Lewis left off, with Rangers starters keeping the Tigers from scoring for a second consecutive game.
It wasn’t until a late, two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth off the Rangers bullpen that the Tigers bats showed any sign of life.
By that time it was too little too late.
Gallardo was stingy, got the perfect ground balls at the perfect times, and the Rangers won 5-3, pushing their current run to 8-2 in their last ten.
Don’t look now, (well, actually, go ahead and look now, otherwise I did all this work for nothing), but the Rangers have the second-best record in the American League in the second half of the season, bested only by an insane run by Toronto, who won eleven in a row at one point, and who also made wholesale improvements to their offense and pitching.
But as out of their minds as the Blue Jays are playing, the Rangers are only three games off their pace.
Thank the baseball gods that the American League is so weak this year that the Rangers crippling couple of months in the first half didn’t doom them.
The Rangers picked a good time to be bad. And an even better time to be good.