Rangers notes: Thought of three outs popped into Rangers’ minds

Posted Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The thought of a triple play popped into Tanner Scheppers’ head in the ninth inning Tuesday night, when Humberto Quintero popped up a bunt directly in front of the right-hander.

First baseman Mitch Moreland had the thought, too, but only after he had caught the bunt for the first out. Scheppers then struck out Nick Franklin and Brad Miller to end a Seattle threat and move the game into extra innings.

“I was thinking about it,” Scheppers said. “We’re taught that if the batter stays in the box, let it drop because you have an opportunity for three.”

Manager Ron Washington, though, might have had a heart attack had Scheppers and Moreland let the bunt fall. It was popped up, and Washington feared that the back spin might have led to a crazy hop and no outs.

“If he bunts a line drive and Mitch can smother it, I’m good with that,” Washington said. “But when’s popped up, I don’t want it to fall. When that ball hits, it’s got back spin on it, can run away from them, hit a pebble we don’t know about, anything can happen.

“I wanted the out because I felt like Scheppers could do what we needed him to do.”

That statement might give others a heart attack, considering a few of Scheppers’ recent outing. The Rangers survived his wild ride Aug. 21 against Houston, but he gave up three singles Saturday in a walk-off loss at Chicago.

His strong work Tuesday gave him consecutive games with a scoreless inning.

“I’m lucky the team still has confidence to throw me out there in those situations,” said Scheppers, who improved to 6-2 but has a 4.15 ERA is past 23 games. “I think everyone goes through ups and downs. You’ve just got to keep faith in yourself.”

Balk talk

The 10th-inning balk against Mariners closer Danny Farquhar on Tuesday night created some obscure history, marking the first time the Rangers scored the winning run in an extra-inning game on a balk.

Plate umpire C.B. Bucknor said that Farquhar, while peering in for his sign, didn’t come into the set position after a flinch of his left shoulder. Farquhar and Seattle manager Eric Wedge watched the replay and agreed with the call.

The Rangers didn’t do as much investigative work.

“I don’t really care,” Washington said. “We got the run. We caught a break.”

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson

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