Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Deadline drama awaits Rangers in Arizona

Those are the spikes of Astros second baseman Yuli Gurriel planting itself in Jurickson Profar’s face Sunday afternoon. The Rangers shortstop left the field briefly to place a bandage over a cut just below his left eye but remained in the game.
Those are the spikes of Astros second baseman Yuli Gurriel planting itself in Jurickson Profar’s face Sunday afternoon. The Rangers shortstop left the field briefly to place a bandage over a cut just below his left eye but remained in the game. The Associated Press

This is just a great nugget. Great.

Rougned Odor’s 5-for-5, two-homer game that included an inside-the-park homer was the first 5-for-5, two-homer game with an inside-the-park homer in 99 years.

And the player who did it?

Patsy Gharrity of the Boston Red Sox on June 23, 1919.

That’s a great name, and, really, so is Rougned Odor. How about Jurickson Profar for a name? Pretty good, and he didn’t need stitches after getting spiked in the face in the sixth inning.

Odor was in the middle of things again for the Texas Rangers on Sunday, when they pulled off only their second series sweep of the season.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros.

1. The trade deadline will take place on the road, at Arizona, and in a distant time zone, technically Mountain Standard Time. Those pesky Arizonans don’t observe Daylight Savings Time.

And it’s going to be hot, as expected in a desert in the summertime. The forecast calls for 107 on Monday and 108 on Tuesday, when the deadline arrives at 3 p.m. CDT.

Jon Daniels and others in the front office beat the Rangers there by a good eight hours as they set up shop for the final countdown (cue Europe). Rangers Reaction was due in town around 10:30 p.m. after connecting through DFW Airport.

Speaking from personal experience, that’s the worst place to connect. It has nothing to do with the airport or flight schedules, which are normally better than anywhere in the country, but with landing at DFW and not getting to go home.

Alas, the drive home will have to wait until Wednesday, when the Rangers should have a much different look to them. It seems as if Keone Kela is certain to go, and the Rangers need to get something for Jake Diekman.

The sense here is they will, and perhaps will also turn Cory Gearrin into a prospect.

The remaining question is what will happen with Adrian Beltre. That’s the drama at this point.

2. The Rangers certainly did their best Sunday to give scouts in attendance a look at their late-inning relievers, and each of them has piqued the interest of contenders.

Left-hander Alex Claudio was first up in the seventh, and his inning was really interesting. He allowed a single and a double to the first two batters before getting out of a scoreless inning.

The big play was Odor throwing out Tyler White at home despite playing at normal depth.

Jose Leclerc was next, and the Rangers’ best reliever this season, breezed through the eighth on only seven pitches. The Rangers would be certifiable if they traded him away.

Then came Kela, who hadn’t pitched since his first blown save of the season Tuesday. He wasn’t sharp, walking two and surrendering an RBI single to No. 9 hitter Tony Kemp before having to face George Springer with the tying run at second base and the winning run at first.

Kela went 97 mph (swinging strike), 97 mph (ball), 97 mph (swinging strike), 97 mph (foul), 97 mph (ball), 84 mph (pop out).

Game over.

Kela seems to expect a trade, though he said afterward that he hopes to stay. He also is looking forward to the end of this saga two days from now.

There are lots of scouts and media who second that.

Texas Rangers closer Keone Kela finished off their 4-3 win Sunday over the Houston Astros and said afterward that seeing his name in trade rumors has weighed on his mind.

3. Mike Minor didn’t have his best start of the season Sunday, but it might be the runner-up as he allowed two runs in six innings.

He allowed one run on a solo homer on a ball that probably isn’t a homer in 29 other MLB ballparks. Maybe 28, with it only 319 feet down the left-field line at Yankee Stadium, four feet longer than Minute Maid.

It appeared to be hooking foul when it hit the foul pole.

The only walk Minor issued was intentional in the sixth, when the Astros scored their other run. They had runners at second and third with no outs and the meat of their order coming, thought not as meaty with Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa injured, and they scored only once.

Minor struck out eight and allowed only four hits on 90 pitches. That’s efficiency.

As fans seek something to feel good about the rest of the season, pull for Minor to make it to Game 162. The Rangers are hell-bent on keeping his innings down this season, and they want to spread them out the rest of the way.

For Minor to answer the bell each time this season would be an accomplishment and a great jumping-off point for 2019. Remember: He’s the only starter who is under contract for next season.

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