Rangers get double dose of relief in record 22nd sellout

Posted Sunday, Jun. 24, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

ARLINGTON -- Another sellout. Another series victory. Another win. And, as has been the case for the Texas Rangers of late, another pitching scare.

But, fortunately for the Rangers, the lower back tightness on the left side that forced Matt Harrison out of Sunday's game isn't considered serious, and he is expected to make his next start.

That's a good thing for the Rangers, too, as Harrison has been their hottest pitcher. He threw five scoreless innings before being pulled, and the Rangers held on for a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Rangers Ballpark.

The Rangers won their fifth consecutive series, have won eight of their last nine and sold out Rangers Ballpark for the 22nd time this season -- the most in franchise history.

"Harry was outstanding, had a good sinker working," manager Ron Washington said. "Once he let us know there was a little bit of stiffness, we just took him out. Harry didn't want to come out, but we weren't taking any chances."

Harrison had been working out of jams all night at that point. He had allowed a base runner every inning, but induced three double play grounders to get out of the third, fourth and fifth.

Despite his early exit, Harrison picked up his American League-leading 10th win. He has gone 6-0 with a 1.26 ERA over his last seven starts, and has certainly put himself among the contenders for an All-Star Game selection.

"It'd be a big thing for me because it'd be my first one," Harrison said. "But my focus is on my next two starts before the break."

Harrison went on to credit the four relievers who picked him up, as well as Leonys Martin, who drove in three runs with a double and a triple.

Things got interesting in the ninth, though.

Joe Nathan, who hadn't allowed a run since May 13, came on to close out a 4-0 game. But the Rockies' first four batters reached on a single, walk, hit by pitch and RBI single.

With the go-ahead run, Carlos Gonzalez, at the plate, Nathan threw a first-pitch curveball. Gonzalez sent it deep to left field, but Josh Hamilton tracked it down and made a leaping catch at the wall.

What could have been a game-tying hit became a sacrifice fly.

"It could've been dangerous," Washington said. "He was able to get to it with his speed and made the play."

Added Nathan: "Great catch by Josh. Great jump on the ball."

On that same play, the Rangers caught Marco Scutaro in a rundown. He got out of it initially, sliding into second safely. But Scutaro thought he had been called out, and left the bag allowing Elvis Andrus to tag him out.

Nathan ended the game by striking out Jason Giambi.

"The last thing you want to do is have the bases loaded and no outs, but credit to them," Nathan said. "They put together some ABs, and I made pitches after that."

The Rangers' pitching staff worked out of jams the entire game. The Rockies had runners reach in every inning, but they weren't able to score until the ninth.

Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Mike Adams worked scoreless sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

For Adams, it's worth noting, it was an emotional night. Earlier in the day, he found out that San Diego Padres bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds passed away. Adams had grown close to Akerfelds when he was with the Padres from 2008-11.

"I'm not going to lie, it was tough," said Adams, who had Akerfelds' initials on his hat. "When I was in the game, it was hard to block that out. I've known him for a while, and at least he's not suffering any more."

Drew Davison


Twitter: @drewdavison

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
Minnesota1Final | Box
Baltimore «9
Cincinnati1Final | Box
Pittsburgh «2
NY Yankees6Top 9th | Box
Toronto3@theBallpark | TV: MLB Network, YES, SNET
Philadelphia1Final | Box
NY Mets «4
Boston8Bottom 8th | Box
Tampa Bay3@theBallpark | TV: NESN, Sun Sports
Miami2Top 8th | Box
Atlanta5@theBallpark | TV: FSN-FL, FSN-S
Detroit7Top 6th | Box
Chicago WSox1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, CSN-CHI
Texas8Top 7th | Box
Houston1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-SW, CSN-HOU
Cleveland4Delayed | Box
Kansas City0@theBallpark | TV: STO, FSN-KC
Chicago Cubs2Top 8th | Box
St. Louis2@theBallpark | TV: WGN, FSN-MW
Colorado0Top 3rd | Box
Arizona0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-AZ
Oakland0Bottom 1st | Box
LA Angels0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CA, FSN-W
Los Angeles0Bottom 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: SportsNet LA, FSN-SD
Washington1Bottom 1st | Box
Seattle0@theBallpark | TV: WUSA 9, MASN 2, ROOT-NW
Milwaukee0Top 1st | Box
San Francisco0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI, CSN-BA
Full Scoreboard
Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 1Full Scoreboard
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
Seattle TV: NBC
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: CBS
New England 1:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:25 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Carolina 4:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Indianapolis 8:30 PM ET
Denver TV: NBC
NY Giants 7:10 PM ET
Detroit TV: ESPN
San Diego 10:20 PM ET
Arizona TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard