Texas Rangers

Rangers win again as club’s top brass considers options

Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels is open to be influenced by his players.

In fact, he’d love nothing more than if their actions dictate how he handles the looming July 31 trade deadline.

The most influential action, in this case, is to start winning. Daniels was on hand along with other club executives Saturday night as the Rangers won again, overcoming an early dominating start by the Tampa Bay Rays’ Chris Archer.

The Rangers scored three unearned runs in the sixth after a fielding error on a potential inning-ending fly ball and held on for a 4-3 win. Adrian Beltre’s hard-hit fly ball kept sailing on center fielder Mallex Smith and bounced off the top of his glove, allowing Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus to score.

Beltre moved to third base on a wild pitch and then scored on a wild pitch as Archer unraveled. Archer struck out 11, walked one and was charged with one earned run on four hits in seven innings.

It’s the Rangers’ second consecutive win after a five-game losing streak. The Rangers finish their 10-game road trip Sunday against the Rays. With a win Sunday, they’d finish 5-5 on the trip. Not great, but certainly not a signal to Daniels that a sell-off is in order.

“I genuinely believe in the guys on this team,” Daniels said before Saturday’s game. “Obviously, we didn’t have a great week in Baltimore, but we’re all confident this group of players and staff feel very confident that we can play very well [down the stretch].”

Comments from veterans Beltre and Mike Napoli earlier in the week asserting that they believe the Rangers, as currently constructed, can win this season weren’t surprising to Daniels.

“If anything, it reinforces the belief in this group,” said Daniels, who agrees with their sentiment that they can and will play better baseball.

The starting pitching continues to give the Rangers a shot. Andrew Cashner held the Rays to three runs on four hits over six innings Saturday night. Jose Leclerc pitched a scoreless seventh and Keone Kela started the eighth before giving way to Alex Claudio for the final out.

Claudio got pinch-hitter Trevor Plouffe to ground out softly to first, stranding two runners. He pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his fourth save, the first four-out save of his career.

It was Kela’s first appearance since returning from the disabled list.

If the Rangers do expect to compete for one of the two wild cards spots, the bullpen is the one area where some help is needed.

“We’ve had conversations with other clubs about helping our bullpen out,” Daniels said. “We’ve had conversations a little more geared towards players that will be here beyond this year. Maybe we could use a boost going forward. We have three starting pitchers who could be free agents at the end of the year, so that’s an area we would look at.”

Daniels said clubs are also inquiring about Rangers players. Daniels didn’t name them, but they include pitcher Yu Darvish, catcher Jonathan Lucroy and first baseman Mike Napoli, according to multiple reports. Daniels said the five-game losing streak had some teams figuring the Rangers were resigned to being sellers. But that’s not the case. Not yet, at least.

“Teams pick up the phone more when you lose games,” said Daniels, who dismissed the string of losses to a short-term slump by the offense. “We haven’t ruled anything out at this point. Our priority is to win this year, but we’re also going to be pragmatic and really consider our options. In a perfect world, we win this year and we also improve our chances moving forward. Can we thread that needle? We’ll see.”

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

Texas

000

103

000

4

5

0

Tampa Bay

003

000

000

3

7

1

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Choo rf

4

1

1

0

0

2

.252

Andrus ss

4

2

3

1

0

0

.291

Mazara lf

4

0

0

0

0

0

.242

Beltre 3b

4

1

1

0

0

2

.280

Napoli dh

3

0

0

0

1

2

.204

Odor 2b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.211

Lucroy c

4

0

0

0

0

2

.244

Gomez cf

3

0

0

0

0

1

.245

Gallo 1b

3

0

0

0

0

3

.189

Totals 33

4

5

1

1

14

Tampa Bay AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Souza Jr. rf

5

1

1

1

0

0

.272

Dickerson lf

4

0

0

0

0

3

.311

Longoria 3b

4

0

2

2

0

0

.269

Morrison 1b

2

0

0

0

2

0

.256

Ramos c

4

0

1

0

0

1

.226

Miller dh

2

0

0

0

1

1

.200

Plouffe ph-dh

1

0

0

0

0

0

.210

Beckham 2b

3

1

0

0

1

0

.262

Smith cf

3

0

0

0

0

0

.286

Bourjos ph

1

0

1

0

0

0

.250

Hechavarria ss

4

1

2

0

0

0

.271

Totals 33

3

7

3

4

5

E—Smith (3). LOB—Texas 3, Tampa Bay 7. 2B—Andrus (23), Bourjos (5). HR—Andrus (13), off Archer. RBIs—Andrus (53), Souza Jr. (61), Longoria 2 (59). Runners left in scoring position—Texas 2 (Beltre, Napoli); Tampa Bay 3 (Souza Jr., Ramos, Plouffe). RISP—Texas 0 for 5; Tampa Bay 2 for 8. Runners moved up—Mazara, Dickerson. DP—Texas 1 (Beltre, Odor, Lucroy).

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Cashner, W, 5-8

6

4

3

3

3

4

94

3.64

Leclerc, H, 9

1

1

0

0

0

0

14

3.14

Kela, H, 8

 2/3

1

0

0

1

1

14

2.59

Claudio, S, 4-6

1 1/3

1

0

0

0

0

18

2.42

Tampa Bay

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Archer, L, 7-6

7

4

4

1

1

11

108

3.77

Hunter

1

1

0

0

0

2

14

1.82

Ramirez

1

0

0

0

0

1

10

4.87

Inherited runners-scored—Claudio 2-0. WP—Archer 3. Umpires—Home, Chad Whitson; First, Jerry Layne; Second, Marvin Hudson; Third, Mike Estabrook. T—2:56. A—20,568 (31,042).

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments