Texas Rangers

Rangers scored seven times in lengthy first inning. They needed a late homer to sting Rays

That Rangers win “impossible” for Woodward to describe

Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward tries to explain how his team managed to beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
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Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward tries to explain how his team managed to beat the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

The Texas Rangers have 10 games remaining at Globe Life Park.

No. 10 said so Wednesday night.

The Rangers kept Michael Young up past his bedtime so that he could change the Games Remaining countdown ticker in left field from 11 to his jersey number 10, which was retired Aug. 31.

As if that symmetry wasn’t enough, it was nearly 10 p.m. when he did it.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 10-9 victory over Tampa Bay Rays in 4 hours, 9 minutes.

First-and-long

The Rangers and Baltimore Orioles needed 48 minutes Saturday to play the first inning, and that was insufferable.

The Rangers and Rays raised the pot Wednesday.

How about 55 minutes?

The ugly details:

The teams combined to throw 86 pitches, 24 by Rangers starter Ariel Jurado and the rest by not one, not two, but three Rays pitchers.

Yes, the Rays used three pitchers.

The Rangers scored seven times in the first for a 7-2 lead. Their first six batters reached, and the Rays didn’t register an out until their 41st pitch.

Rougned Odor made that first out, a called strikeout on a pitch to be off the plate. But he had no room to grip after swinging at a 3-1 pitch well above the strike zone. He atoned for his strikeout out with a three-run go-ahead homer in the seventh.

The bad news is the Rangers immediately blew their lead by allowing the Rays to score five runs in the second. The 7-7 tie marked the first MLB game this season with 14 runs in first 1 1/2 innings.

And people don’t want to sit down and watch baseball?

It wasn’t all bad. Odor saved the Rangers with his 25th homer and fourth of the month, and the Rangers gave themselves a chance by picking off four Rays base runners.

The teams combined to use 15 pitchers and throw 397 pitches.

That’s a lot. Too many.

Mazara returns

The Rangers’ lineup improved Wednesday as Nomar Mazara’s health improve enough for him to play for the first time since Labor Day.

He produced, too, with an RBI single and a run scored in the Rangers’ big first-inning.

Mazara isn’t sure how often he would play as he returns at less than 100 percent following a left oblique strain. He came off the injured list Sept. 1 and started Sept. 2 at Yankee Stadium but didn’t play again until Wednesday because of more discomfort.

“I’m not 100 percent, but I can play,” Mazara said. “I’m in a good spot, so just go out there and have fun.”

Woodward is already planning to give Mazara a day off Thursday to make sure the oblique wasn’t tweaked again.

Mazara can still reach career-highs in doubles and home runs (needs four each), though he will have to make the most of what playing time he receives.

Lora leftovers

Bayron Lora is a big kid. If he was from the United States instead of the Dominican Republic, he probably would have been practicing with his high school football team Wednesday afternoon.

Two rather large countrymen of his, Mazara and Ronald Guzman, couldn’t get over the size of the 16-year-old prospect, who is 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds. His legs are like tree trunks.

“He’s way bigger than me then,” Mazara said. “He’s huge.”

When asked why he chose the Rangers, Lora said that he’s always been a Rangers fan. Always? Lora’s favorite player growing up only played for the Rangers only six weeks in his life time, but it seems as if he has done some research.

“Ivan Rodriguez,” Lora said.

The Hall of Famer broke into the majors with the Rangers and played his first 12 seasons with them before moving along to the Florida Marlins in 2003, following by stints with the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and Houston Astros before an August 2009 return to the Rangers.

He finished his career with two season with the Washington Nationals.

The legal driving age in the Dominican Republic is 18, so, no, Lora doesn’t have his driver’s license. He says he doesn’t even know how to drive, and that’s probably a good thing considering the dangerous driving conditions there.

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After 11 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.
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