After the last road trip, the Rangers didn’t just need a win, they need a win streak. After four games at Globe Life Park, that’s what they’ve got. The Rangers’ 6-5 win Saturday night over the Oakland Athletics gave them a season-high five-game win streak. For the first time in 2017, the Rangers appear to have some mojo on their side.
“It’s coming,” said Elvis Andrus, who tied the game with a two-run single in the seventh. “I believe so. I think that this past week has been amazing. We know that we didn’t start the season the way we wanted, but there’s plenty of season ahead, and I think trying to finding that consistency as a team, that’s what we’re looking for right now.”
The win improved their record to 18-20, two games under .500 for the first time since April 29. The Rangers go for the sweep and sixth straight at 2 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s great for morale, especially when we came off a tough road trip,” Nick Martinez said. “To come home to our fans and play our style of baseball here at home it’s definitely good for morale.”
Here’s the Saturday night reaction:
1. Nick at Night — Nick Martinez held the Athletics to three runs on seven hits over six innings. It’s the 24th quality start by the Rangers’ pitching staff, which leads the majors. The staff has pitched a quality start in eight of the past nine games. Martinez credited catcher Robinson Chirinos for a good game plan and preventing him from deviating.
“He and [Jonathan] Lucroy having been doing it all year for us,” he said. “Those guys have done a tremendous job back there.”
Martinez stayed aggressive, walked only one but left the game trailing 3-2.
“We were attacking guys and sticking to the scouting report and communicating during the game, making sure we don’t get off track of what we want to do,” he said. “They do a good job of communicating during the game and keeping us on track.”
Martinez also came up big defensively. In the fifth, after Oakland had already scored two runs, he alertly covered first on Matt Joyce’s single down the right-field line. Joyce took a wide turn and Rougned Odor’s relay throw from Nomar Mazara to Martinez covering first base was in time.
“As soon as I saw how aggressive the turn was I was able to sneak in there. Maybe it’s old hat playing the field in my younger days,” said Martinez, who also played shortstop in college. “I was hoping Odor was going to come up firing and he did.”
2. Maz is back — Nomar Mazara had two doubles Saturday, including the go-ahead, two-run drive to left in the seventh that put the Rangers up 6-4. Mazara has a four-game hit streak and four doubles in the stretch. He has 10 hits in 11 games in May.
“Everybody’s going to struggle at some point in the season,” he said. “I just try to keep working hard, never give up, and try not to put my head down; come up here every day to do the best I can. I’ve been feeling pretty good the last couple weeks, and we saw the result tonight.”
3. Elvis keeps it going — Andrus has been the most dependable hitter in the Ranger’s lineup so far and he came through big again. He had a season-high three RBIs, stole his team-leading seventh base and collected his team-high 13th multi-hit game. He passed Dean Palmer for 18th all-time for Rangers’ RBIs at 452. Jim Sundberg is next on the list at 480 RBIs. Andrus’ game-tying double came against A’s reliever Liam Hendriks, who he was 0 for 12 against.
“He throws fastballs and I like fastballs. I like that matchup, especially knowing he is aggressive,” Andrus said. “I just looked for my pitch and put a good swing on it.”