It was the fifth inning Monday night at Globe Life Park and the Texas Rangers hadn't scored for two games worth of innings.
That scoreless stretch appeared on the ropes, however, when Robinson Chirinos and Ronald Guzman reached to start the inning.
Shin-Soo Choo, who extended his on-base streak to 38 games with three hits, singled to shallow right-center field but Chirinos was thrown out easily trying to score from second.
The next batter, Elvis Andrus, finally snapped the scoring streak with a run-scoring single to right but Nomar Mazara's deep drive to the wall in center was caught to nip the rally in the bud. A month ago, that probably would have been it for the Rangers.
Instead, they came back the next inning and collected five hits and two sacrifice flies, including one on an error on Guzman's fly ball to the right-field wall, to score five runs and take a 6-4 lead. The Rangers added a run in the seventh and beat the Padres 7-4 to win their eighth of their past nine games.
Nothing went right for the Padres in the sixth inning, which also included Choo's run-scoring, infield single that second baseman Cory Spangenberg failed to scoop with his glove. It appeared Chirinos should have been out on a strikeout but the umps ruled that the third strike hit the ground before the catcher caught it. Replays seemed to show the ball was caught in the air.
Chirinos lined a single on the next pitch to drive in the first run of the rally.
"It's fun. I've been working really hard," Chirinos said. "I started feeling it in Kansas City. I just wanted to grab that feeling and keep hold of it the rest of the season."
After four scoreless innings, Cole Hamels surrendered a three-run homer to Manuel Margot in the top of the fifth that put Texas in a 3-0 hole. After the Rangers scored in the bottom of the inning, the Padres got it right back with a solo homer from Jose Pirela. That was it for Hamels, who threw 90 pitches. Tony Barnette, Jose Leclerc, Chris Martin and Keone Kela each threw a scoreless inning of relief. Kela earned his 19th save in 19 chances.
"They're confident. You can see when they come into the game their body language," Chirinos said of the Rangers' bullpen. "They know they're good and they can get people out."
Choo, who threw out A.J. Ellis trying to move to third base on a single to left in the second inning, increased his current league-best on-base streak to 38 games. It's the second-longest in the majors this season to Odubel Herrera's 40-game stretch for the Phillies. It's Choo's longest streak and is the fifth-longest in Rangers history. The last time a Rangers player had a longer such streak was Otis Nixon's 44-game streak from Aug. 21 to Sept. 26, 1995.
Choo keeps chugging
Shin-Soo Choo extended his league-leading on-base streak to 38 games with three hits Monday night. It's the fifth-longest such streak in Rangers history:
July 28-Sept. 15, 1993
Aug. 8-Sept. 26, 1995
April 8-May 31, 1985
July 8-Aug. 22, 1990