Bats help Rangers put end to losing streak
05/30/2013 9:32 PM
05/30/2013 11:01 PM
All was well again Thursday at Rangers Ballpark, where some were sensing that the home team was headed in the wrong direction after two long days to start the week.
But don’t tell that to the Texas Rangers, who long ago became trained to forget the past. Their first three-game losing streak of the season hadn’t triggered any panic buttons in the clubhouse the way it had elsewhere.
“Honestly, I haven’t even thought about those three games,” first baseman Mitch Moreland said.
It showed against Arizona.
Moreland’s two-run homer capped a four-run third inning against Brandon McCarthy, and David Murphy also homered to back Justin Grimm en route to a 9-5 skid-snapping victory.
Jurickson Profar had a team- and career-high three hits on a day when all nine Rangers hitters had a hit and seven of them collected an RBI as the Texas won for the first time since Saturday.
“You can’t win every single day,” Murphy said. “We weren’t down on ourselves. We got a couple of off days and came out relaxed and played well.”
The Rangers didn’t need very long to shake off the rust from an off day Tuesday and a rainout Wednesday, and McCarthy didn’t do much to stop them after a scoreless first inning. But a defensive miscue helped get the Rangers going.
Nelson Cruz started with a line drive to center field that A.J. Pollock misplayed into a double. A.J. Pierzynski beat an infield shift two batters later, doubling down the left-field line to drive in the game’s first run.
It was the first of five Rangers hits with runners in scoring position. Leonys Martin collected the second two batters later on a two-out single up the middle for a 2-0 lead.
The Rangers added four in the third, an inning McCarthy couldn’t complete. Murphy started with a single and scored on a one-out double by Adrian Beltre, who scored on a sharp Cruz single that preceded Moreland’s blast high off the foul pole.
“I thought it was going to stay more true than it did,” Moreland said of his estimated 385-foot shot. “It kind of caught me off guard when it hit the pole. I’m glad it did.”
Murphy’s wall-scraper came with one out in the fourth, and Elvis Andrus drove in the Rangers’ final two runs with a liner up the middle in the fifth.
Grimm (5-3) had a shutout after five innings before he waffled in the sixth. The Diamondbacks got him for three runs (two earned) on four hits after having collected only four singles in the first five innings.
At one point, Grimm retired 10 in a row after Gerardo Parra opened the game with a hit.
Grimm has won his past two starts despite allowing 18 hits in 12 1/3 innings. But he has allowed only six runs (five earned) and hasn’t walked anyone or surrendered any home runs.
“If you don’t give them any free passes, things tend to work out well for you,” Grimm said. “It’s all about battling and competing against these guys. When you tend to shy away from contact and start walking people, that’s when they get you.”
Arizona kept hitting after Grimm exited, scoring two more in the seventh on four hits against Michael Kirkman. But with the lead trimmed to four, Neal Cotts retired the next four hitters, and Robbie Ross worked around two singles in the ninth to put an end to the Rangers’ longest losing streak of the season.
It was only three games — three games that had long been forgotten.
“That’s one of their characteristics,” manager Ron Washington said. “You learn from the past and just try to bring it into the present and deal with it. They do a very good job of doing that, and they’ve been doing it for a while.”
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