Texas Rangers

When the Silver Boot is on the line, the weirder and wilder the better

Delayed balk call a first for Jeff Banister

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he's never seen a balk called like it was in the ninth on Sunday
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Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he's never seen a balk called like it was in the ninth on Sunday

Getting swept by the in-state rival Astros will always be particularly annoying for Rangers fans, even when it's clear the two teams are playing at two different levels.

The Astros' four-game sweep this weekend (their first ever against Texas), however, was a good example of why the games, specifically these Silver Boot Series games, can still be heated, emotional and meaningful. Not meaningful, perhaps, for the standings this year, but for the rivalry. Sunday's odd ending which included a game-deciding balk called well after play was stopped, is another fascinating moment in the series and it will be filed away in the memory banks of players (and fans). Yes, the Astros are on top now and have claimed another Silver Boot (if you care about that sort of thing), but it won't last forever. It might take a couple of year before the Rangers will have the final word about the American League West, but until then, they can still have their say from time to time, especially when they're playing the Astros. And that's still a lot of fun.

Here are some quick thoughts from another weird one at Globe Life Park:

1. Shin-Soo Choo — His two-run single in the second inning extended his on-base streak to 26 games, which ties his career-long (Aug. 5-Sept. 8, 2008) when he was with the Indians. Choo is two games shy of tying the Tigers' Jeimer Candelario's American League high this season. Choo is hitting .313 during the stretch.

2. Beltre milestone update — Adrian Beltre singled three times to give him 3,087 career hits. He's two shy of tying Ichiro Suzuki for No. 21 all-time. No. 20 Dave Winfield is next at 3,110. Beltre's RBI single in the eighth gives him 1,658 career RBIs, nine shy of tying Sammy Sosa for 29th all-time. He played in game No. 2,851, which moves him into 16th all-time, ahead of Astros' Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.

3. Coming this week — The Rangers have an off day Monday and Thursday sandwiched around a two-game set against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Bartolo Colon and Cole Hamels will start the two games at Dodger Stadium against two starters to be determined. Texas is the last team to play an interleague game in '18. The Rangers return for a three-game series against the Rockies on Friday. They'll also play the Giants and Padres in California.

4. Signing Day — The Rangers top several draft picks are expected to be introduced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at Globe Life Park. No. 15 overall pick (and TCU commit) Cole Winn is among the players expected to be on hand.

5. Moore of the same — Matt Moore allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits in three innings. Ten of the 18 batters he faced reached base. It's the seventh time in 12 starts Moore has allowed at least four runs. He has two quality starts and hasn't reached the fifth inning in half his starts. His ERA ballooned to 7.88.

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