Matt Harrison gave plenty of reason for optimism that he might be able to pull off a comeback from major back surgery, tossing six scoreless innings Tuesday and showing an uptick in velocity as the Texas Rangers rolled to a 9-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
Shin-Soo Choo tripled in the ninth inning to complete the first cycle of his career and the eighth in Rangers history. Delino DeShields had a career-high for hits and finished a homer shy of the cycle, and Prince Fielder had a solo homer.
Harrison scattered seven hits and a walk while throwing 90 pitches, 23 of which were 89 to 91 mph after he topped out at only 87 mph in his July 8 debut against Arizona.
Pitching: Harrison didn’t find his groove until the third inning, though he flashed better velocity in a 28-pitch first and a 21-pitch second. He needed only eight pitches in the third, and threw only four in a fourth inning that included a leadoff double, a groundout, a single and an inning-ending double play all on the first pitch of the at-bats. … Harrison had to wiggle out of trouble in the fifth and needed a catch in right field from Choo as he fell to the ground on a Troy Tulowitzki liner. … Spencer Patton allowed the first two batters to reach in the seventh but worked a scoreless inning, and the Rangers’ fourth double play erased a leadoff single off Keone Kela in a scoreless eighth. …
Hitting: Choo did the most damage, driving in the game’s first run with a double in the Rangers’ three-run second and starting the fourth with his 12th homer. Choo added an RBI single in the fifth on the first pitch from lefty reliever Yohan Flande. His drive in the ninth hit off the center-field wall and caromed far enough away from Charlie Blackmon for an easy triple. … DeShields started the game with a check-swing double, had a two-run single in the second, singled again in the fourth and tripled in the eighth. … Fielder’s homer in the sixth was his 15th of the season, and his single in the eighth gave him his 40th multi-hit game. … Harrison wasn’t a lump at the plate. His sacrifice bunt set up DeShields’ two-run single in the fourth, and his 20-foot tapper turned into a throwing error by Flande to allow a second run to score in the fifth.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760