Elvis Andrus was on third watching Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush go through his delivery. Andrus had just put the Rangers on top 7-4 in the seventh inning Tuesday night with a three-run single.
He noticed that the right-hander would put his head down for a few moments before beginning his delivery and was paying no attention even after Andrus danced down the line on the first couple pitches to batter Will Venable.
“The second time, I kind of counted to see if he was aware and I noticed he didn’t do anything,” Andrus said. “In that situation, it’s two strikes, two outs, if you throw me out at home plate Venable is still going to lead off the next inning.”
Elvis Andrus’ steal of home Tuesday was the Rangers’ first straight steal of home since Scarborough Green did it on May 25, 2000.
So, without any signals from third base coach Tony Beasley or manager Jeff Banister, Andrus sprinted home as soon as Quackenbush put his head down to begin his delivery.
Andrus slid in safely as Quackenbush stepped off the rubber and threw to the right side of the catcher. It was Andrus’ fourth steal of home, which is the most in Rangers history and the most by an active player in the majors. It’s the first for the Rangers since Andrus did it on Aug. 19, 2013. But that was part of a double steal. The one Tuesday night was the Rangers’ first straight steal of home since Scarborough Green did it on May 25, 2000.
Banister had an inkling Andrus was thinking about it.
“I saw him set up the play with a couple strides down the line,” he said. “That’s all him. That’s drawing it up in the dirt. Really gutsy play by him. Exciting baseball.”
Andrus said he didn’t want to think about it for too long for fear of talking himself out of doing it.
“It’s going to be hard for a coach to tell you to steal home plate,” he said. “It’s a personal play. [Banister] let’s you play. He wants me to play my game. Be smart, but if there’s something I can do aggressively then I know he has my back.”
In the bottom of the inning, Andrus made a dazzling stop in the hole to his right at shortstop and Prince Fielder made a short-hop scoop at first to strand two runners.
That’s all [Andrus]. That’s drawing it up in the dirt. Really gutsy play by him. Exciting baseball.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister
▪ Catcher Robinson Chirinos (left shoulder strain) caught five innings and was 0 for 2 with a walk in his first game on a rehab assignment with Triple A Round Rock on Tuesday night.
▪ Second baseman Travis Demeritte was reinstated Wednesday after serving an 80-game suspension on June 4 for violating the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He was assigned to Spokane.
9 Consecutive seasons Texas has been .500 or better against National League teams, including 2015. The Rangers were 10-9 before Wednesday’s finale at San Diego.
“I like the fact that we have to play seven more games against Houston. We have games against Anaheim. We can control our own destiny.” — Banister on the stretch run