The Rangers maintained their steady push toward the playoffs this week with a three-game sweep against Oakland at Globe Life Park, increasing their lead in the A.L. West to 7.0 games over Seattle and 10.5 games over Houston.
A different Texas hitter was the hero each night, and Adrian Beltre got the party started with his fifth-inning grand slam off southpaw Ross Detwiler as part of a 5-2 victory on Monday.
Beltre’s slam – the 10th of his career – turned around what had been a 2-1 deficit and gave Texas its first lead of the ballgame. Martin Perez tossed seven strong innings to earn the win and established a club record in the process.
Perez induced his 32nd double play of the season when he got Brett Eibner to ground into a twin killing in the top of the fourth, passing the mark of 31 that was set by C.J. Wilson in 2011.
Tuesday’s contest was a wild back-and-forth affair that saw Carlos Beltran deliver the signature moment of his brief Rangers career. The nine-time All-Star went 4-for-5 in the game and knotted the score at 4-4 with his tenth-inning RBI single off A’s reliever John Axford.
Beltran drove in Robinson Chirinos and Delino DeShields with his clutch hit, and left-hander Marc Rzepczynski then issued an intentional walk to Adrian Beltre to load the bases.
After the free pass, Rzepczynski drilled Rougned Odor on the right arm with his very next pitch, pushing Ian Desmond across the plate with the winning run. Keone Kela (who had given up two runs in the top of the tenth) earned the victory as Texas celebrated its fifth walk-off win of the year.
On Wednesday, Yu Darvish permitted a pair of solo homers in his seven innings of work but otherwise worked around trouble, striking out nine Oakland batters while the Rangers built a solid lead against Sean Manaea.
Jonathan Lucroy tagged Manaea for a solo home run that just cleared the left-field wall in the fourth, and Desmond gave Texas its first lead with a two-run single the following inning.
Desmond and Lucroy provided more sparks in the bottom of the seventh, with the latter shooting a bases-loaded double into right field to plate two runs after the former had laced an RBI single the opposite way.
Jake Diekman and Matt Bush each threw a shutout frame in relief of Darvish as the Rangers sealed the sweep with a 6-2 victory.
Texas had dropped two out of three to Detroit before the Oakland series, taking Friday’s opener behind two long balls from Lucroy, 8-5, before being shut out by finals of 2-0 and 7-0 over the weekend.
Broken Arm Sends Choo Back to DL
Less than two weeks after returning from his third stint on the disabled list, Shin-Soo Choo suffered a fractured forearm Monday when he was hit by a pitch from former teammate Ross Detwiler.
Choo’s latest injury forced yet another trip to the 15-day DL, but this one is likely to cost him the rest of the season as well.
Outfielder Ryan Rua was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take the active roster spot of Choo, who underwent a procedure Wednesday in which a plate was inserted into his left forearm near the wrist.
Also on Wednesday, swingman Nick Martinez re-joined the big-league club when starter Lucas Harrell was put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin.
Holland, Lewis Progressing toward Return
The Rangers’ rotation could soon welcome back its two longest-tenured members, with left-hander Derek Holland and righty Colby Lewis both making strides in their recovery from injuries.
Holland hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 20 because of left shoulder inflammation, but he has completed three rehab outings for Round Rock and is expected to start at Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Lewis, on the DL since June 21 with a torn muscle in his throwing shoulder, is scheduled to throw a live batting practice session this weekend in Tampa Bay, and he could be cleared for a rehab assignment soon after that.