Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Why Beltre, Andrus were credited for coming up big Wednesday, too

Delino DeShields, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Shin-Soo Choo scored on Jurickson Profar's double in the sixth inning that gave the Rangers an 11-10 lead. The walks drawn by Choo and Kiner-Falefa were the biggest part of the inning, manager Jeff Banister said.
Delino DeShields, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Shin-Soo Choo scored on Jurickson Profar's double in the sixth inning that gave the Rangers an 11-10 lead. The walks drawn by Choo and Kiner-Falefa were the biggest part of the inning, manager Jeff Banister said. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Good news for Texas Rangers pitchers: The team that pounded them for 12 home runs over three games is headed out of town, and one of the least potent teams is coming to Globe Life Park.

The New York Yankees headed back to the airport late Wednesday a little bit stunned, and the Kansas City Royals are next up.

They are a shell of the team they were en route to the World Series crown in 2015. Of course, the last time the Rangers played a team worse than them, the Chicago White Sox took 3 of 4 games.

That was last weekend. The Royals are in town this weekend for four games.

What could possibly go wrong?

"We seem to always play well against those good teams," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We need to start doing it with every team."

Here is some Rangers Reaction from a come-from-behind 12-10 victory.

1.Nomar Mazara seemingly named everyone in a Rangers uniform as he doled out compliments during his postgame interview. He was one of multiple players who had a significant hand in leading the Rangers back from 4-0 and 10-5 deficits.

Among those named were Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus, who were on the field as much as you and I were. Injuries have reduced them to cheerleaders, but hasn't taken away their status as veteran leaders.

And they led at what could have been the game's turning point.

After scoring five in the fourth for a 5-4 lead, the Rangers saw the Yankees score six times in the fifth. The Rangers had just clawed out of a four-run hole only to find themselves quickly down five.

"When they took the lead again, all those guys, Beltre and those guys, tried to motivated us," Mazara said. "It was, 'Hey, let's go. We're not done yet.'"

Beltre and Andrus encouraged the players to put together quality at-bats and stay in the game. Mazara said that there was also motivation to stay engaged and beat the mighty Yankees.

Isiah-Kiner Falefa, mentioned multiple times by Mazara, said that the young Rangers could have been "rolled over really quick." But the veterans helped keep them from getting deflated.

"I'm listening to what everybody has to say," Kiner-Falefa said. "I saw a lot of composure by everyone on our team. The veterans are helping out big-time. You can be as aggressive as you want because you know they have your back."

Andrus, who hopes to return from the disabled list June 11, said that he and Beltre, who is out again with a strained left hamstring, can contribute by teaching and encouraging the kids.

"When you score five runs and they come back and score six, when you're young you can feel sad," Andrus said. "I think it was just the right moment for us to be like, 'Let's go.' They did the rest. It was a tremendous job.

"That's the only way I can help right now. It's a lot of fun to see them just go play and complete. When you do that, good things are going to happen. They're all talented and can play."

2. The Rangers collected 11 hits, but three of the biggest plays in the victory were two walks and a wild pitch on a strikeout.

The Rangers had trimmed the 10-5 deficit to 10-7. The Yankees summoned veteran reliever David Robertson with two on and one out, but he only fueled the flames by issuing back-to-back walks to Shin-Soo Choo and Kiner-Falefa.

The free pass to Kiner-Falefa forced in a run, and both of them came on close pitches that they managed to lay off. Mazara struck out after Kiner-Falefa walked, but Profar caught a cut fastball and drove it to the wall in right-center to clear the bases for an 11-10 lead.

"When we got to the inning where Profar got the hit, I think the two biggest at-bats were the walks by Choo and Kiner," manager Jeff Banister said (yes, he said "Kiner" and does so frequently). "They were tough and they held off on some tough pitches against Robinson."

Mazara, Profar, Kiner-Falefa and Ronald Guzman each had three RBIs. Profar is 25. The other three are 23.

Kiner-Falefa's RBI single in the eighth was another key play. But it was set up without any contact.

There was a sense of unease as the Rangers came to bat in the eighth. Delino DeShields led off and struck out, but strike three was a wild pitch and he easily reached first.

He quickly moved to second after an errant pickoff toss by Dellin Bentances, and then easily stole third without a throw. Kiner-Falefa delivered a single to right-center, and closer Keone Kela had a little breathing room.

It turns out he didn't need it, as he struck out the side for his 10th save of the season, but it's also a little easier to pitch with a two-run cushion than a one-run lead.

3. For those hung up on which coaches will be fired this season and if general manager Jon Daniels will get a contract extension, don't be distracted when something delightful happens.

The week started with Daniels saying that the coaching staff is safe for now, though his comment about creating an environment for the young players to develop sounded like the criteria on which Banister and crew will be judged.

Daniels' reasoning for the safety net, that the team wasn't constructed as competitively as it could have been, had some on the Twitter and in my email inbox calling for Daniels' ouster.

After Doug Fister and Tony Barnette allowed six runs in the fifth to squander a 5-4 lead, one Twitter follower blasted Daniels for putting the team together and reducing the payroll by "$40 million."

Never let facts get in the way of a good rant. No, the team was not put together as well as it could have been, but Daniels didn't cut payroll, and it certainly wasn't cut by $40 million.

He does not control the budget. He has bosses, too.

The owners ultimately say yes or no to any move Daniels brings to them. They have the power of the purse. The long-range plan is to have a winner for 2020, when the new ballpark opens.

They decided it would have cost too much money to make the Rangers a winner this season, likely after hearing from Daniels and the front office.

The owners have more money than they could possibly spend, so why not spend it on free agents?

And what about all that TV money and the money each club got from MLB after the sale of MLB's streaming media platform, BAMTech?

Well, the owners didn't get rich making what they believed were foolish investments.

That stinks in our instant-gratification world, so the moments the Rangers provided Wednesday are the ones to enjoy in a tough season.

So watch every time Bartolo Colon pitches. Keep tabs on Profar, Kiner-Falefa and Guzman, and enjoy their successes while understanding that they will make mistakes.

Don't lose sleep over Rougned Odor's sluggish start and Joey Gallo's strikeouts, because those guys aren't. They're working to be better in the face of the hand the team has been dealt this season.

And they are dealing good moments in return. Enjoy those.

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