Rangers Reach Wild Card Tiebreaker With 7th Straight Win
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas Rangers needed a seventh-consecutive win to stay alive in the AL Wild Card race on Sunday.
The Rangers’ bats delivered.
Craig Gentry collected two hits and drove in two, Adrian Beltre and Geovany Soto homered and the Rangers completed a four-game sweep of the Angels with a 6-2 win in Arlington.
With the win, Texas and Tampa Bay end the season knotted at 91-71 and will face-off in a one-game Wild Card playoff on Monday night in Arlington.
Cleveland defeated the Twins 5-1 to secure the first Wild Card and will host the winner of Monday’s playoff game on Wednesday.
The Texas offense was quiet until the fifth inning when Gentry came to the plate with two on and the Rangers trailing 1-0.
With the infield in, the left-fielder hit a sharp grounder up the middle to score two and give Texas a 2-1 lead.
Texas moved to 9-1 in the last 10 games started by Gentry, who is batting .472 (17-36) during the stretch.
“He just continues to play well and do a lot of things for us. Defense, running the bases, making things happen, and getting some big hits,” said Ron Washington following the game.
After Josh Hamilton tied it with a single in the sixth, catcher Geovany Soto drove a double to right-center field to score Beltre from second and give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan combined to shutout Los Angeles over the final three innings.
Texas starter Yu Darvish (13-9) received a no decision after throwing 84 pitches in 5.1 innings of work.
After allowing a 421-foot solo homerun to Mike Trout in the first inning, Darvish settled down and retired 13 of the next 14 hitters – eight by strikeout.
But the right-hander ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing a single to Eric Aybar before walking Trout on four straight pitches. With Hamilton coming to the plate, Washington made a move – despite the low pitch count.
“I certainly didn’t want him to make a mistake with a pitch right there, so I brought in Cotts to try to make Hamilton as uncomfortable as I possibly could,” explained Washington.
Hamilton would single to score Trout, extending his current hit streak to 14 games.
Martin Perez (10-5) takes the mound for the Rangers on Monday and will be opposed by the Ray’s David Price (9-8).
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