Seattle Splits 4 Game Set With Texas, Is 1/2 Game Out of First

a-rodSeptember 18: Seattle 1, Texas 0 (11 innings)

It didn’t look to be a marquee pitching match-up with Charlie Hough and Erik Hanson toeing the rubber, but they turned in a marquee duel. Hanson tossed eight shutout frames while giving up three hits. Hough pitched the whole shebang for Texas, and gave up just three hits in his 10.1 innings. It was still scoreless in the bottom of the 11th when Seattle’s Alex Rodriguez sent a rocket to the seats to walk off a thriller.

The loss officially ended Texas’s chance for the division title.

                     R H BB
TEX 000 000 000 00 - 0 5  2
SEA 000 000 000 01 - 1 3  4

HR: A. Rodriguez-SEA (27)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Hough   10.1  1  1  1  4  8  
E. Hanson   8.0  0  0  0  2  8 

TEX 69-82, SEA 80-71

September 19: Texas 6, Seattle 0

Yu Darvish was filthy for Texas and whiffed 12 while throwing eight shutout innings. Every Ranger got a hit, and Julio Franco and Toby Harrah both reached safely four times.

                  R  H BB
TEX 020 001 120 - 6 13  5
SEA 000 000 000 - 0  7  3

HR: R. Greer (8), F. Howard (16)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish  8.0  0  0  0  3 12  
F. Garcia   6.0  3  3  1  2  3 

TEX 70-82, SEA 80-72

September 20: Seattle 5, Texas 3

Felix Hernandez made his fifth straight decent or better start, a supremely encouraging development for Seattle as they wrestle with Kansas City to the season’s conclusion. After this victory, Seattle and Kansas City held identical 81-72 records.

Nelson Cruz played his 22nd game of the season and drilled his eighth and ninth home runs.

                  R  H BB
TEX 000 000 201 - 3  6  3
SEA 300 002 00x - 5 10  2

HR: A. Rodriguez-TEX (38), N. Cruz-2 (9),
A. Davis (17)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry      5.0  5  5  3  2  1  
F. Hernandez  8.0  3  3  1  3  5 

TEX 70-83, SEA 81-72

September 21: Texas 8, Seattle 4

About the only way the Rangers will hurt you is with the home run, and Frank Howard, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Hargrove all went pachinko in this one.

This one did look to be a marquee pitching matchup between Nolan Ryan and Jamie Moyer, pitchers with two of the best ERAs in the Expansion Division, but only Ryan lived up to the promise. In his last start of the year, Ryan gave up zero earned runs and whiffed eight. His final season line is rather good: 28 games, 194 innings, 3.29 ERA, 1.3 HR/9, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.9 SO/9.

Moyer got bonked for six runs in five innings, and Ryan took over Moyer’s spot for the best ERA in the Expansion at 3.29 compared to Moyer’s 3.30.

The teams now head to Arlington for a three-game series.

                  R  H BB
TEX 302 010 020 - 8 12  3
SEA 000 030 001 - 4  4  3

HR: F. Howard (17), A. Beltre (20),
M. Hargrove (10), R. Cano (15)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan    4.2  3  0  0  3  8  
J. Moyer   5.0  6  5  2  0  2 

TEX 71-83, SEA 81-73

Baltimore Weathers Late Texas Rallies To Earn Sweep

george-sislerSeptember 15: Baltimore 6, Texas 4

Ken Singleton began the series with a lead-off homer. George Sisler added another dinger in the second inning, and finished the game a double short of the cycle. The Rangers got the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the 9th, but Mike Hargrove flied out.

                  R  H BB
BAL 230 000 100 - 6 12  1
TEX 000 000 202 - 4  8  2

HR: K. Singleton (10), G. Sisler (9)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
H. Howell   8.2  4  4  0  2  4  
G. Perry    7.0  6  6  2  1  4 

BAL 78-70, TEX 69-79

September 16: Baltimore 5, Texas 3

Sisler came up huge again in this one. He thumped two triples, scored two, and drove in two. Baby Doll Jacobson was another star of the game for Baltimore with two singles, a triple, and two steaks.

Frank Howard came up in the bottom of the ninth representing the go-ahead run, but grounded out.

Texas’s Nolan Ryan became the second (and possibly last) pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts for the season.

                  R  H BB
BAL 001 020 002 - 5  9  6
TEX 001 000 002 - 3 10  1
HR: E. Murray (17)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Stewart  8.2  3  3  0  1  6  
N. Ryan     6.0  3  3  1  5  6 

BAL 79-70, TEX 69-80

September 17: Baltimore 4, Texas 3

Manny Machado was the hitting hero for the Birds in the finale and collected two singles and a homer on his way to scoring three runs.

For the third straight game, Texas rallied, threatened, and fell short in the bottom of the ninth. Juan Gonzalez was up and could have walked off a win for Texas but Darren O’Day struck him out.

Baltimore has demolished the Expansion Division all season to the tune of a 26-7 record. But their 54-63 record inside their own division has severely hampered their chances at the division crown. They sit 8.5 games back with only 12 left to play.

                  R  H BB
BAL 000 010 102 - 4 11  3
TEX 000 002 001 - 3 10  4

HR: M. Machado (4)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Bedard   5.2  2  1  0  4  6  
F. Jenkins  6.2  2  2  1  3  5 

BAL 80-70, TEX 69-81

Toronto Recovers From Blow Out Loss to Take Series vs. Rangers; Halladay Throws First Shutout

September 12: Texas 14, Toronto 3

Dave Stieb had an afternoon to forget amidst a season he’d like to forget. He faced just eight batters, only one of which he retired, and Rusty Greer, Alex Rodriguez, and Julio Franco all took him yard as the Rangers piled up seven runs in the first. Juan Guzman also got lit up in four innings of relief. Greer bombed two more homers and Jim Sundberg even joined the fun with his first dinger of the year.

                   R  H BB
TEX 713 030 000 - 14 15  4
TOR 101 000 100 -  3  6  1

HR: R. Greer-3 (7), A. Rodriguez (37),
J. Franco (14), J. Sundberg (1)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Jenkins  8.0  3  3  0  1  4  
D. Stieb    0.1  7  7  3  1  1 

TEX 69-76, TOR 64-81

September 13: Toronto 5, Texas 4

Game two was a much tighter affair. Charlie Hough gutted out 6.2 innings for Texas despite not being able to locate the strike zone. Shaun Marcum battled for Toronto through seven innings and handed a one-run lead to Tom Henke, who threw two perfect innings.

                  R H BB
TEX 300 001 000 - 4 8  2
TOR 012 010 10x - 5 8  9

HR: J. Hamilton (21)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Hough   6.2  5  5  0  9  5  
S. Marcum  7.0  4  4  1  2  5 

TEX 69-77, TOR 65-81

halladaySeptember 14: Toronto 5, Texas 0

It’s been a frustrating season for Roy Halladay, who sports a good 4.06 FIP but has not gotten good results most of the time. Not so in this, his 29th start of the year, though. He bobbed and weaved around 11 Texas base-runners to record his first shutout. His 1.8 walks per nine innings leads the league.

Fred McGriff and Shawn Green ambushed Yu Darvish with home runs in the first inning that tallied all five runs in the contest.

                  R H BB
TEX 000 000 000 - 0 9  2
TOR 500 000 00x - 5 6  6
HR: F. McGriff (22), S. Green (25)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish   3.0  5  5  2  4  3  
R. Halladay  9.0  0  0  0  2  5 

TEX 69-78, TOR 66-81

Texas Completes Season-Long Domination of Houston With Sweep

September 9: Texas 5, Houston 3

The dingers were a-flyin’ in the opening game. Texas drilled four of them, including two from A-Rod that pulled him back into a tie for the league lead with Lou Gehrig.

                  R H BB
TEX 102 101 000 - 5 6  1
HOU 000 201 000 - 3 5  2

HR: J. Franco (13), F. Howard (15), A. Rodriguez-2 (36),
J. Bagwell (28), C. Correa (4)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish   7.0  3  3  2  2  5  
M. Cuellar   3.0  4  4  3  0  2 

TEX 66-76, HOU 59-83

September 10: Texas 5, Houston 1

The ball mostly stayed in the yard in this one, but it still resulted in a win for the visiting Rangers. They got a lot of their offense from their eight and nine hitters Toby Harrah (3-for-4 with a double) and Marlon Byrd (2-for-4 with the game’s only dinger).

Gaylord Perry followed up his first shutout of the year with a complete game, one-run allowed, zero walks, nine strikeout gem.

                  R H BB
TEX 000 400 100 - 5 9  5
HOU 000 100 000 - 1 7  0

HR: M. Byrd (2)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry    9.0  1  1  0  0  9  
N. Ryan     6.0  5  5  0  4  5 

TEX 67-76, HOU 59-84


September 11: Texas 4, Houston 3 (14 innings)

The two Texan teams finished off their season series with a marathon doozy that ended in the usual Rangers victory. The Astros will be happy not to see the Rangers again this season–the Rangers were 18-5 in their games together.

All of Houston’s runs came on a three-run blast from Lance Berkman that put the ‘Stros up 3-2. Adrian Beltre tied it up with a dong in the seventh, after which the teams played seven scoreless innings. Rangers relievers Alexi Ogando, Francisco Cordero, Neftali Feliz, and Jeff Zimmerman combined for nine shutout innings out of the Texas ‘pen.

The Houston relievers were sharp too, but Josh Hamilton led off the top of the 14th with a tater off Larry Anderson. Hamilton is quietly putting together a nice season and has a .354 wOBA.

The Astros have fallen apart, losing 15 of their last 17, and are close to becoming the first team officially eliminated from the pennant chase.

The Rangers are still on the fringes of the chase. They are 9.5 games out of first, but they do have seven games remaining against first place Seattle. Unfortunately for Texas, Nolan Ryan and Yu Darvish don’t have a lot of innings left in the tank for the team’s remaining 18 games.

                         R  H BB
TEX 010 100 100 000 01 - 4 10  2
HOU 000 003 000 000 00 - 3  9  5
HR: J. Hamilton (20), A. Beltre (19),
L. Berkman (32)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan     5.0  3  2  1  4  5  
R. Oswalt   6.2  3  2  1  1  2 

TEX 68-76, HOU 59-85

New York Goes Homer Crazy To Win Series vs. Texas

September 6: Texas 4, New York 2

Lou Gehrig set the tone for the series with a solo blast in the first inning, but Nolan Ryan managed to limit the Yanks to two runs on two solo homers. The Rangers used singles, walks, and a Phil Rizzuto boner to score their four runs for the win.

                  R H BB
NY  101 000 000 - 2 5  8
TEX 200 002 00x - 4 7  2

HR: C. Keller (19), L. Gehrig (34)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Caldwell  6.1  4  3  0  2  2  
N. Ryan      7.0  2  2  2  6 10 

NY 71-68, TEX 65-74


September 7: New York 12, Texas 4

The Bronx bombers dropped five bombs. Gehrig went yard again to take sole possession of the league home run lead, and New York’s version of Alex Rodriguez went ya-ya twice in the game.

                   R  H BB
NY  002 022 231 - 12 12  8
TEX 031 000 000 -  4  7  4

HR: L. Gehrig (35), B. Ruth (34), D. Jeter (9),
A. Rodriguez-NY-2 (21), J. Hamilton (19)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
O. Hernandez  7.0  4  2  1  4  3  
F. Jenkins    6.0  6  6  3  2  3 

NY 72-68, TEX 65-75

September 8: New York 7, Texas 6

Charlie Keller started the proceedings with, what else, a home run off of starter Charlie Hough. Texas manager Ron Washington immediately jogged to the mound after Keller completed his home run trot and called in new pitcher Jon Matlack. Washington revealed after the game that this bit of gamesmanship was the plan all along. The idea was to announce the righty Hough as the starter so that the Yanks would start the game with their lineup geared towards a righty, and then immediately bring in the lefty Matlack after Hough faced the first batter. Hough and Matlack confirmed they knew that was the plan going in, and Hough said, “Knowing Keller was going to be my only hitter of the day, I was concentrating on making sure I threw strikes. I did all right, but I caught way too much of the plate in the process.”

Washington’s trickery seemed to blow up in his face even worse after Mickey Mantle greeted Matlack to the mound with a solo tater of his own. Then the third batter of the game, Lou Gehrig, made it three straight homers to begin the game and Washington was having regrets: “I was thinking, oh boy, we don’t have an out yet and I’ve already pulled my starter and put in the only long man we had in the ‘pen.”

But Matlack settled down from there and gave the Rangers six innings while giving up three, and the Texas bats started to chip away at Herb Pennock. The Rangers held a 6-4 lead heading into the top of the ninth and John Wetteland was tasked with finishing off the win. Mantle started the ninth with a walk, Lou Gehrig popped out, and Babe Ruth crushed one into the atmosphere to tie the game. Two batters later, Joe DiMaggio crushed the Yankees’ 12th homer of the series to plate the winning run.

The Rangers and Yankees are the two biggest homer hitting teams in the league and were hitting them at about the same rate coming into this series, but the Yanks out-homered Texas 12-2, and collected 16 extra base-hits compared to just three for the Rangers.

Mickey Mantle reached base safely 10 times in the series.

                  R  H BB
NY  310 000 003 - 7 13  4
TEX 023 001 000 - 6 11  1
HR: C. Keller (20), M. Mantle (25), L. Gehrig (36),
B. Ruth (35), J. DiMaggio (12), T. Harrah (4)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
H. Pennock   6.0  6  6  1  0  4  
C. Hough     0.0  1  1  1  0  0 

NY 73-68, TEX 65-76

Texas Crushes KC In Short Series


September 3: Texas 10, Kansas City 6

The Royals might have been looking ahead a bit to their huge home-and-home series coming up with the Mariners. For whatever reason, they were pretty dreadful at home in a two-game series with Texas. Kevin Appier got smacked around in the first game and Alex Rodriguez took over sole ownership of the league home run lead. Five Rangers and one Royal had three hit-games: Mike Hargrove, Alex Rodriguez, Rusty Greer, Adrian Beltre, Ivan Rodriguez, and George Brett.

                   R  H BB
TEX 202 040 020 - 10 18  5
KC  101 001 201 -  6 12  2 

HR: A. Rodriguez (34), A. Beltre (16), G. Brett (7)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Matlack  6.0  5  3  0  2  2  
K. Appier   4.1  7  7  1  4  4 

TEX 63-74, KC 72-65

September 4: Texas 11, Kansas City 0

The next day was even worse for KC as Texas again put up 18 hits and the KC offense shriveled up against a shutout by Gaylord Perry. Ivan Rodriguez and Adrian Beltre had three hits for a second straight game, and Beltre crushed two more homers to make it three dongs in the two games. KC heads to Seattle trailing the first-place Mariners by two games.

                   R  H BB
TEX 021 330 110 - 11 18  1
KC  000 000 000 -  0  6  4
HR: R. Palmeiro (23), A. Beltre-2 (18)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry       9.0  0  0  0  4  3  
B. Saberhagen  4.0  8  8  2  1  5 

TEX 64-74, KC 72-66


KC Edges Into First, Boston Pads Their Narrow Lead, and All the Action From Aug. 31-Sep. 2

August 31: Kansas City 6, Texas 3 (13 inn.)
September 1: Kansas City 5, Texas 2
September 2: Kansas City 6, Texas 5

The Royals pulled off their second straight series sweep, after which they found themselves with a half-game lead atop the Expansion Division. Game one was a doozy. DH Willie Aikens crushed a home run in his first plate appearance of the season, and then added another dinger in the sixth to boost KC to a 3-2 lead. Jeff Montgomery got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth for KC, but a pinch-hitting Al Oliver doubled and Julio Franco knocked him in to send the game to extras. In the top of the 13th, Kevin Seitzer and Willie Wilson started things with back-to-back walks, and later in the inning Danny Tartabull, Hal McRae, and Jose Offerman knocked three hits in a row. Aikens added a double and another homer later in the series. The Royals are streaking, having won 11 of their last 13, and it looks like a two-horse race in the Expansion Division between KC and Seattle. Third-place Texas is 10 games out of first.


August 31: Boston 7, Oakland 4
September 1: Boston 4, Oakland 1
September 2: Oakland 2, Boston 0

It was a big series in Oakland as the top two teams in the Original Division met with just two games separating number one Boston from the A’s. Oakland got out to a 4-2 lead in the first game (Jimmie Foxx homered for both teams), but Ted Williams slammed a three-run dinger in the top of the eighth to put Boston up for good. Boston ensured they would be remaining alone in first after the series by taking game two as well. Smoky Joe Wood was wicked for Boston, holding Oakland to one run, which was Wood’s 11th straight start without allowing more than three runs. Oakland’s Chief Bender and Rube Walberg handled most of the mound duties in the finale as the A’s kept the Sox off the scoreboard. Boston flew out of Oakland with a three-game lead.

August 31: Minnesota 8, Cleveland 4
September 1: Minnesota 2, Cleveland 1 (11 inn.)_
September 2: Cleveland 10, Minnesota 1

The Twins had their aces Johan Santana and Walter Johnson going in the first two games and took advantage with wins. The Minnesota bats backed Santana with 14 hits in the first game. Johnson and Corey Kluber dueled magnificently in the second game. Both pitchers had allowed one run through nine innings, which was the end of the line for Kluber. In the top of the 11th, Stan Spence doubled against Doug Jones and Mickey Vernon knocked him home with a single. Johnson went the full 11 innings for Minnesota and lowered his ERA to 2.65.

August 31: Anaheim 1, Seattle 0
September 1: Seattle 7, Anaheim 4
September 1: Anaheim 6, Seattle 5
September 2: Anaheim 4, Seattle 2

The first-place Mariners visited last-place Anaheim for four games, a golden opportunity to stave off the hot Royals, but the Angels have been a much-improved team of late and Seattle dropped three of four.

Anaheim’s Rod Carew led off the bottom of the first with a walk and came around to score the game’s only run. Starters Freddy Garcia and Jered Weaver battled tooth and nail.

The Mariners claimed game two in large part thanks to multi-run homers by Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano in the fifth.

Cruz homered again in the third game, which was knotted at five runs apiece after eight and a half innings. Brian Downing ended the contest with a solo jobby in the bottom of the ninth off Michael Jackson. Game four was tied through seven and a half innings until Tim Salmon drove a two run bomb.

August 31: New York 5, Baltimore 3
September 1:  Baltimore 5, New York 3
September 2: New York 8, Baltimore 5

August 31: Detroit 9, Chicago 3
September 1: Detroit 10, Chicago 3
September 2: Chicago 4, Detroit 3

August 31: Houston 2, Toronto 1
August 31: Toronto 4, Houston 3
September 1: Toronto 6, Houston 3
September 2: Toronto 7, Houston 2

Ray Halladay and Mike Cuellar dueled in the opener. Josh Donaldson collected three hits that included a triple in his debut.

In the second game, Carlos Correa knocked a two-run homer in his debut Rhubarb plate appearance. For Toronto, Carlos Delgado walked in his first four plate appearances and then homered in his fifth and final PA, which came in the ninth and put the Jays up by a run. Shawn Green later homered in the ninth to give the Jays a two-run cushion that they ended up needing after Craig Biggio led off the bottom of the ninth with a solo jack of his own. Morgan Ensberg made it to third base as the tying run, but Tom Henke closed out a two-inning save for Toronto.