Rain, for those who haven’t heard, is coming Sunday, and chances are that the Texas Rangers’ MLB-leading streak without a rainout will come to an end.
So, this might not be the last time the Baltimore Orioles see Globe Life Park this season.
Or maybe it will be.
The teams are both off Monday, though the forecast isn’t exactly promising either. They could play, if the Orioles wanted to stick around for what in all likelihood would become a night game.
If they don’t, then it gets messy. The clubs have four mutual off days, three of which fall during Orioles homestands. They also are off Aug. 1, after Baltimore plays three in Toronto and before the Rangers head to Baltimore after a seven-game homestand.
Which city’s weather would be more miserable Aug. 1? Tough call.
Here is some Rangers Reaction from an 8-4 win Saturday.
1. Adrian Beltre was the star of the day if for no other reason than his two-year contract extension was announced. He then drove in the Rangers’ first two runs and took an intentional walk and scored during a six-run seventh inning.
(A good night for folks who are fans of third basemen. Ask Elvis Andrus how good Manny Machado’s defense is.)
Beltre signed his extension at age 37 and in his 19th season. He’s making $18 million this season and will make $18 million at age 38 and another $18 million at age 39.
Father Time is undefeated, and the Rangers know it. At some point Beltre won’t be able to answer the bell for another round. But the Rangers also believe wholeheartedly that Beltre is one of the best players — not third basemen, but players — in the game.
In that case, $18 million is a good number. For those who think it’s a tick high, consider the difference between your number and the Rangers’ number as insurance for not letting him go elsewhere, like the Angels, and for not letting this drag out and become a distraction.
2,781 Career hits for Adrian Beltre, who should reach 3,000 at some point next season with the Rangers
It was becoming a distraction. Players were asking Beltre about it. Reporters were asking him about it. Beltre wasn’t happy about that.
But things got done Thursday, about six weeks after the Rangers made their initial offer. Maybe his play so far this season, especially defensively, inspired the Rangers to pick up the pace, or maybe they were motivated on his 37th birthday April 7 when he hinted that he was being disrespected.
But the deal’s done now. Beltre isn’t going anywhere.
2. The dam in the Rangers’ rotation finally sprung a leak, as for the first time this season a starting pitcher allowed more than three runs. Colby Lewis allowed a whopping four in the Rangers’ 13th game.
But the right-hander extended the streak of a starter keeping his team in the game. The Rangers were down 4-2 when he left, hardly insurmountable, and the hitters would likely say that they should have done more against former teammate Yovani Gallardo.
Lewis is on the team thanks to Gallardo. Had the Fort Worth resident accepted the Rangers’ qualifying offer in November, the $15.8 million one-year contract would have both filled the rotation and broken the bank.
Gallardo declined, and the Rangers signed Lewis for one year at $6 million.
The decision backfired on Gallardo, who didn’t sign until after spring training had started and then for only two years and $22 million after some concerns about his physical trimmed a year and $13 million from the Orioles’ initial offer.
He was also affected by the stigma of the qualifying offer. A team must surrender its first-round pick, unless it’s protected, if it signs such a player. It dogged Gallardo just as it dogged Ian Desmond, but they might be the last of those burned as free-agent compensation is sure to be altered in the upcoming collective bargaining.
3. Indeed, the 4-2 deficit the Rangers faced when Lewis exited wasn’t insurmountable. The Rangers scored six times in the seventh en route to a victory that ensures a split in the four-game series against Baltimore.
Brett Nicholas started the rally by taking a walk, and Delino DeShields followed with a single that seemed like a foregone conclusion after the way he flied out to the wall in left-field in the fifth.
It was the first of five hits in the inning, with only one going for extra bases. The Rangers’ offense is so far removed from the slugging image many have of the club. They have players capable of hitting homers, but so far they have only eight this season.
The Orioles have nine in this series.
It doesn’t matter how we score, we just want to win the ballgame. It doesn’t matter if it’s by errors, by hits, by homers. The final score is all we care about, and as long as we’re on top it doesn’t matter.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre
That’s not a complaint, and no one with the Rangers is complaining.
“The last time I looked, it was all about the runs,” said Mitch Moreland, who doubled hard off the right-field wall during the rally.
You play to win the games, and the Rangers are winning games with the offense providing support in a variety of ways.
Just not the way it used to get done around here.
4. Nomar Mazara has 12 hits in his first seven career games.
That’s a club record.
Mazara collected three singles Saturday, and each one showed how good of a hitter he is.
His third-inning single was just simply going with a pitch off the plate and lining the ball to left field. In the fifth, he was jammed on an inside fastball but dropped it into right field.
In the seventh, his hard grounder was well-placed between first and second, and a diving Chris Davis had no play at first as pitcher T.J. McFarland didn’t cover the bag.
Thursday should be a good test for Mazara, who will face reigning Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel. So far, Mazara has passed all the others thrown his way.