Rangers Rack Up Second Straight Division Crown


Third baseman Adrian Beltre (center) celebrates with his Texas teammates in the visitors’ clubhouse following Friday’s division-clinching victory over Oakland.

For the second year in a row, Texas used a clutch pitching performance from Cole Hamels to wrap up the American League West division championship, shutting out Oakland on Friday by a 3-0 final.

With a magic number of 1 heading into play, the Rangers needed either a win or a Mariners loss in order to clinch the seventh division title in franchise history. Seattle hammered Minnesota, 10-1, so Texas and its ace left-hander controlled their own fate.

Hamels displayed his usual effectiveness after going through a string of four straight subpar starts, scattering six hits and a pair of walks over seven shutout innings. The Athletics’ Kendall Graveman outdid Hamels with six perfect frames before running into trouble in the seventh.

Consecutive singles from Carlos Gomez and Ian Desmond put runners on the corners with nobody out for Carlos Beltran, who hit an infield chopper to drive in Gomez. On the very next pitch, Adrian Beltre slugged a two-run homer off Graveman to give Texas pitchers all the support they would need.

Rookie right-hander Matt Bush followed Hamels by fanning two of the three men he faced in a spotless eighth inning, and closer Sam Dyson worked around Danny Valencia’s two-out single in the ninth to induce a game-ending grounder from Yonder Alonso.

The Rangers enjoyed a relatively subdued on-field celebration at Oakland Coliseum before heading back to the clubhouse. There they popped champagne, lit cigars and stressed the importance of achieving their ultimate goal.

“This is just the first step,” Beltre said. “We have 11 more games to win. We have a good team. We have a team good enough to win the World Series.”

Texas made its only two World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011, getting shut down by San Francisco the first year before pushing St. Louis to seven games the second. Last season marked the team’s first A.L. West title in four years, but Toronto ousted the Rangers in a five-game divisional-round matchup.

Just four players remain from the squad that captured the first A.L. pennant in 2010 (Elvis Andrus, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis and Mitch Moreland), and they’re still leading the charge in their seventh season together.

“I feel like we’ve always had a lot of emotion,” Lewis said. “We play with a lot of passion, and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what makes us good.”

The Rangers needed only 154 games to seal the division title, matching their 2011 rate for the fastest to clinch a playoff berth. They’ll play the final week of the regular season with a chance to secure the best record in the American League and, with it, home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Additionally, Jeff Banister became the fourth big-league manager since 1995 to win division titles in each of his first two seasons with a new club, joining Larry Dierker (Astros), Bob Brenley (Diamondbacks) and Ron Gardenhire (Twins).

Following Friday’s big win, Texas split the final two contests against Oakland to run its record to 92-64 on the year. Yu Darvish turned in a nine-strikeout performance Saturday as the Rangers rolled to a second straight shutout, 5-0, but the A’s stomped any hopes of a sweep with their 7-1 victory on Sunday.

Jeffress Returns from Restricted List

The bullpen received a boost when right-hander Jeremy Jeffress was reinstated from the restricted list on Friday, nearly one month after he was arrested on a driving while intoxicated charge in Dallas.

Jeffress, 29, spent the past few weeks in a Houston-area rehab facility, where he received treatment and was able to throw every day to keep his arm in shape.

When the Rangers clinched the A.L. West in Oakland, the team held a ginger ale toast so that Jeffress and fellow reliever Matt Bush – another recovering alcoholic – could celebrate before the champagne and beer were opened.

Righty Tony Barnette, meanwhile, also rejoined the Texas relief corps after being sidelined with a strained oblique muscle since early September.

Mavs Go Out in Memorable Fashion

With a 7-4 comeback win over Visalia on Saturday, Sept. 17, the High Desert Mavericks claimed the fourth and final California League title in club history.

Given a quick 1-0 lead with which to work, starter Collin Wiles dug a hole for High Desert by permitting two runs in the second inning and another in the fifth. The Mavs roared back, however, with a five-run bottom of the sixth against a combination of four Rawhide hurlers.

High Desert tied the score on a pair of bases-loaded walks drawn by Josh Morgan and Michael De Leon, then went ahead when Luke Tendler grounded into what should have been an inning-ending double play.

Visalia’s catcher forgot to tag Carlos Arroyo as he came home from third base, a miscue that set the stage for the next batter – Juremi Profar – to deliver a decisive two-run single.

The team will now depart the California League and move cross-country to Kinston, N.C., where it will change names and begin play in 2017 as part of the High-A Carolina League.

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Rangers Notes: Crazy Comebacks Help Trim Magic Number


Elvis Andrus drove in Rougned Odor with his game-tying triple Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, then scored the winning run just one pitch later.

The Rangers increased their American League West lead to 8.5 games with a solid series in Houston this week, taking two out of three contests from the Astros while cementing their status as the best clutch team in baseball.

With the victories, Texas reduced its magic number to clinch the division to single digits (8 games) with 15 left to play.

Martin Perez was staked to an early lead on Monday thanks to Carlos Beltran and Rougned Odor, each of whom collected an RBI hit against Doug Fister in the top of the first inning. Odor drove in another run with a single in the third, although his best moment was still nearly three hours away.

Perez permitted just three hits in his six-plus innings of work, protecting a 3-2 advantage when he was pulled for Matt Bush in the seventh. Bush wiggled out of trouble and tossed a perfect eighth before handing the ball to closer Sam Dyson.

Following a flyout by Yulieski Gurriel, North Texas native Evan Gattis went deep off Dyson for his 26th homer of the season, knotting the score at 3-3 and forcing extra frames.

In the top of the twelfth, Odor — always a thorn in the Astros’ side — teed off on a fastball from Houston’s James Hoyt, sending the ball into the right-field stands and lifting the Rangers to victory. Keone Kela earned the win out of the bullpen while Jake Diekman picked up the save.

Tuesday’s matchup featured a quality start from A.J. Griffin and allowed Texas to showcase the come-from-behind prowess it has honed all season. Griffin fanned seven batters but departed on the short end of the 2-1 score after yielding solo homers to Jose Altuve and Jason Castro.

Closer Ken Giles was summoned to protect the slim lead for Houston in the ninth, and he got Adrian Beltre to ground out before inducing swinging strikeouts from Odor and Mitch Moreland. Giles’ third strike to Odor, however, sailed wide and put the tying run on base.

Elvis Andrus then followed with an RBI triple that flew over the head of center fielder Colby Rasmus and onto Tal’s Hill, driving Odor home and knotting the score. Jurickson Profar singled on the next pitch to push Andrus across the plate and set Texas up for a 3-2 victory.

The Rangers were unable to mount much of a rally on Wednesday, falling behind early when Derek Holland gave up a run in the first inning and two more in the second. Joe Musgrove, meanwhile, struck out seven Texas batters and delivered a quality start en route to an 8-4 win for the Astros.

Prior to their series in Houston, the Rangers took two out of three — including yet another one-run victory — against the Angels in Anaheim.

Friday’s 2-1 win was one of 33 Texas has taken by a single tally this season, and the team’s winning percentage in one-run games (.767) currently stands as the best mark in the modern era of baseball.

Expanded Roster Keeps Growing

The Rangers made their second round of September roster additions last Tuesday, activating right-hander Tanner Scheppers from the 60-day disabled list and recalling infielder Joey Gallo and outfielder Jared Hoying from Round Rock.

Scheppers, who had left knee surgery late in the offseason, made his first big-league appearance of the year with one perfect inning against the Mariners on Wednesday, and he didn’t allow a single baserunner over his first four outings.

Veteran righty Colby Lewis was activated for Sunday’s start versus Los Angeles while southpaw Michael Roth was designated for assignment. Roth appeared in one game for Texas, giving up six earned runs on 10 hits during an Independence Day loss at Fenway Park.

High Desert in Hunt for Cal League Crown

Just weeks after learning that the franchise will move to Kinston, N.C., in 2017, the Rangers’ High-A affiliate in High Desert, Calif., is chasing its fourth California League championship.

Led by manager Howard Johnson, the Mavericks charged through the 2016 regular season and into the playoffs on the strength of a roster that includes some of Texas’ top young prospects.

Jairo Beras and Luke Tendler each clubbed more than 20 homers while Scott Heineman led the team with 96 runs scored, and the High Desert pitching staff was anchored by right-handers David Ledbetter, Ariel Jurado and Collin Wiles.

The Mavs will face the Visalia Rawhide — Arizona’s High-A team — in a best-of-five championship series, and they can secure the title as soon as Saturday night.

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Rangers Notes: Division Lead Grows during Stellar Homestand

Matt Bush vs Astros 9-3-2016

Right-hander Matt Bush tossed a perfect inning of relief in Saturday’s 12-4 victory over Houston, lowering his season earned run average to 2.92.

A 7-6 defeat to the Astros on Sunday slightly dampened an otherwise near-perfect homestand for Texas, helping the team build a 9.5-game advantage over second-place Houston heading into the final four weeks of the season.

The Rangers got rolling with a 6-3 win over the Mariners last Monday at Globe Life Park, receiving a 3-for-4 performance from Carlos Beltran and six-plus quality innings from Yu Darvish before Sam Dyson earned his 30th save.

Rougned Odor belted the first walk-off home run of his career Tuesday to give Texas a thrilling 8-7 comeback victory. After the Rangers tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh and Seattle reclaimed the lead with a run in the eighth, Odor faced Seattle reliever Edwin Diaz with one man aboard in the ninth.

He clocked a low fastball to straightaway center, dropped his bat and watched the ball land at the base of Greene’s Hill beyond the fence. Odor was greeted at home plate by his jubilant teammates before being embraced in a bear hug by manager Jeff Banister.

Wednesday afternoon’s finale was an absolute shellacking by the Rangers, who slugged five long balls – including two by Odor – on the way to a 14-1 rout.

Texas drove Felix Hernandez from the game after just four innings of work, with Carlos Gomez connecting for his third career grand slam in the bottom of the fourth. Adrian Beltre and Ryan Rua also went deep while Martin Perez tossed six scoreless frames.

The Rangers broke out the bats for another big fourth inning on Friday versus Houston, pushing seven runs across the plate against the Astros’ tandem of Doug Fister and Michael Feliz.

Although Texas hurlers didn’t fare much better (each of the first five pitchers permitted at least one earned run), the Rangers were able to hang on for a slim 10-8 margin of victory.

The well-balanced offensive onslaught continued Saturday as five players collected two RBIs apiece in a 12-4 victory, but Texas fell just short of the sweep with Sunday’s 7-6 loss.

The team will now embark on its second-to-last road swing of the regular season, a 10-game, three-city trip against the Mariners, Angels and Astros.

Mendez Earns Big-League Call Up

Left-hander Yohander Mendez was one of four players called up by the Rangers when active rosters expanded on Sept. 1, along with infielder Hanser Alberto, righty Nick Martinez and catcher Brett Nicholas.

Alberto, Martinez and Nicholas have all logged MLB service time for Texas, but the 21-year-old Mendez will be looking to make his big-league debut.

The Venezuelan southpaw posted identical records of 4-1 at each of his three minor-league stops this year (High Desert, Frisco and Round Rock) while lowering his ERA from 2.45 with the Mavericks to 0.57 with the Express.

He held opposing batters to a .119 average (12-for-101) at Round Rock, including a paltry .074 mark (2-for-27) produced by left-handed hitters.

Texas Sends Cordell to Brewers

Outfielder Ryan Cordell was sent to Milwaukee on Monday to complete the Aug. 1 deal that brought Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to the Rangers.

The speedy Cordell, a non-roster invitee during spring training with Texas, spent the entire season at Frisco and led the RoughRiders with 12 stolen bases, 19 homers and 70 runs batted in.

Last Wednesday, the club acquired veteran backstop Nevin Ashley from the Mets in exchange for cash considerations and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock.

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Currently Reading: You Never Forget Your First

'You Never Forget Your First' by Josh Lewin

You Never Forget Your First by Josh Lewin – Major-league debuts are often the result of years of hard work and patience in the minors, and whether a player performs well out of the gate (Tony Gwynn went 2-for-4 with a double) or struggles to get going (Lance Berkman began his career 0-for-10), the first game is tucked away in his memory bank forever. Lewin interviewed 120 current and former big-leaguers about their inaugural day on the job, among them Rangers All-Stars Hank Blalock, Ivan Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Michael Young.

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Rangers Notes: Darvish Clubs First Career Homer in Queen City

Yu Darvish HR vs Reds 8-24-16

“‘Maybe I could hit one or two,’” Yu Darvish said he thought while taking batting practice ahead of his start in Cincinnati last week. “I got one.”

Yu Darvish scattered four hits across six innings of work against the Reds on Wednesday, paving the way for a 5-4 victory at Great American Ballpark.

He put his solid pitching performance on the backburner, however, with what he did at the plate.

Batting with two outs and nobody on in the fifth inning, Darvish hammered a 90-mile-per-hour fastball from right-hander Tim Adleman over the wall in straightaway center field.

The blast – which traveled an estimated 410 feet – was the first home run hit by a Texas pitcher since Bobby Witt went deep off the Dodgers’ Ismael Valdez on June 30, 1997. Witt’s homer was the first to be hit by an A.L. hurler in interleague play.

Ian Desmond followed Darvish with a solo homer of his own down the line in left, and Adrian Beltre provided the eventual winning run with an RBI double in the top of the eighth. Jake Diekman, Matt Bush and Sam Dyson each tossed an inning of shutout relief to seal the win for Texas.

After having Tommy John surgery and missing the entire 2015 season, Darvish returned this summer and reported to be feeling stronger than he had in the past. The three-time All-Star felt particularly robust while taking some swings ahead of his interleague outing.

“I was thinking, ‘Am I getting bigger and stronger?’” Darvish said. “‘Maybe I could hit one or two.’ I got one.”

Wednesday’s victory helped the Rangers earn a split of their brief two-game set versus the Reds, who shut out Texas, 3-0, behind strong performances from Dan Straily and a pair of relievers on Tuesday.

Ohio native Derek Holland pitched well in his home state, permitting just one run on four hits across his six quality innings, but the Rangers failed to cash in on opportunities and stranded nine runners on base.

Texas returned to Globe Life Park and padded its division lead to 8.5 games by winning three out of four contests against the Indians over the weekend, beginning with a 9-0 blowout behind Cole Hamels on Thursday.

The southpaw issued no walks over eight scoreless frames while giving up only two hits, a single by Francisco Lindor and a single by Carlos Santana. Hamels’ teammates backed him with eight runs off Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin and one more off reliever Zach McAllister.

Former Cy Young award-winner Corey Kluber was in command Friday as the Indians routed the Rangers by a 12-1 final. Cleveland’s hitters, meanwhile, teed off against Texas pitchers, with the bottom two men in the order (Abraham Almonte and Roberto Perez) combining to go 7-for-10 with seven runs batted in.

Mitch Moreland belted a grand slam on the first pitch he saw from Carlos Carrasco Saturday, providing more than enough cushion for A.J. Griffin and the Rangers to sail to a 7-0 shutout, and RBI singles from Ian Desmond and Jonathan Lucroy lifted Texas to a slim 2-1 win Sunday afternoon.

Gomez Signed, Added to Roster

Shin-Soo Choo’s latest injury created an opening in the Rangers’ starting outfield, and to fill the void the ballclub signed two-time All-Star Carlos Gomez to a minor-league contract on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The 30-year-old Gomez had been released by Houston two days earlier, a move that was made necessary by his desultory performance at the plate this season. In 85 games for the Astros, he batted just .210 with 100 strikeouts.

Gomez was activated for Thursday’s series opener versus Cleveland and made quite the first impression, belting a three-run homer off Josh Tomlin in his very first Texas at-bat.

Outfielder Drew Stubbs was designated for assignment to clear a spot for Gomez on the 40-man roster.

Reliever Jeffress Arrested for DWI

The Texas bullpen took a hit Friday morning after right-hander Jeremy Jeffress was booked into a Dallas County jail on a driving while intoxicated charge.

He was placed on Major League Baseball’s restricted list prior to the Rangers’ matchup with the Indians that night, and southpaw Dario Alvarez was summoned from Triple-A Round Rock to take Jeffress’ spot on the roster.

Jeffress, 28, was suspended twice for positive drug tests during his time in the Brewers’ farm system, once in 2007 (50 games) and again in 2009 (100 games).

Although he was eligible to return on Saturday, Jeffress remains on the restricted list pending the outcome of MLB’s investigation into the incident.

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Rangers Notes: Texas Rides Hot Bats to Sweep over A’s

Carlos Beltran vs Athletics 8-16-16

Carlos Beltran singled on the first pitch he saw Tuesday from John Axford, driving in two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the tenth.

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.

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Rangers Notes: Emotional Fielder Forced to call it a Career

Prince Fielder News Conference

Designated hitter Prince Fielder (right) thanked his teammates, his family and the three organizations he played for during a press conference Wednesday.

Texas slugger Prince Fielder announced Wednesday that his playing career had come to an end, a stunning development even after it was revealed that he needed neck surgery and would miss the rest of this season.

Fielder, 32, was joined by his two sons and agent Scott Boras during a heartfelt press conference at Globe Life Park. All of his Texas teammates and coaches were gathered in the audience as he thanked the Rangers, Detroit Tigers and Milwaukee Brewers – the three teams he played for across his 12 years in the majors.

Speaking into the microphone through muffled tears, he also recognized his wife and children for their support as he suffered one medical setback after another over the past three seasons.

The six-time All-Star had his first year in Texas (2014) cut short when he underwent cervical fusion surgery on his neck. He rebounded last season and helped fuel the Rangers’ return to the playoffs, but recent discomfort in his neck and left arm indicated a recurring issue.

“It’s emotional, I believe, for the entire baseball community,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “He’s our teammate. He’s as important to our organization [as] the guys that are on the field right now.”

In 89 games this year, Fielder connected for just 24 extra-base hits while posting the lowest batting average (.212), slugging percentage (.334) and OPS (.626) of his career. He was placed on the disabled list Jul. 20 with herniated discs in his neck, and news broke a week later that he needed another operation.

Following his second spinal fusion procedure, doctors told Fielder he was not medically fit to play big-league baseball any more.

“I just want to thank my teammates and the coaching staff. I’m really going to miss those guys,” he said Wednesday. “To not be able to play is going to be tough.”

The fun-loving Fielder, still sporting a large neck brace while recovering from the surgery, spoke from the heart in subdued tones before taking questions from the media. He said he will remain with the club as the Rangers continue their push toward the postseason.

“They’ve got work to do, I’ve got some cheerleading to do,” he said. “And hopefully win the World Series and pop the champagne.”

The son of former All-Star first baseman Cecil Fielder, Prince has belted 319 home runs in his career – the exact same number his father hit across his 13 years in the majors.

Texas Takes Three of Four from Rockies

Back on the diamond, the Rangers produced a five-game winning streak against the Astros and Rockies before dropping Thursday afternoon’s finale to Colorado, helping the club maintain a comfortable division lead over Seattle (7.0 games) and Houston (9.0).

Texas took the final two contests of a weekend series at Minute Maid Park, then began a home-and-home series versus the Rockies with a wild 4-3 comeback victory Monday at Coors Field.

Cole Hamels delivered a quality start, but he left on the short end of a slim deficit as the Rangers failed to muster much offense against Colorado’s Tyler Anderson.

Facing closer Carlos Estevez in the ninth, Texas put two men aboard via a single and a walk. Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar then executed a double steal to put runners on second and third for Elvis Andrus.

The Texas shortstop lined a game-tying single into center field before Mitch Moreland greeted southpaw Boone Logan with a go-ahead double down the right-field line, and Jake Diekman tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth to earn his third save of the year.

On Tuesday, the Rangers erased a four-run deficit by scoring once in the seventh off Tyler Chatwood and four times in the eighth against reliever Scott Oberg. Rougned Odor then put the icing on a 7-5 victory with his RBI double off Jordan Lyles in the top of the ninth.

The two teams returned to Arlington for a pair of games at Globe Life Park, beginning with a 5-4 Texas win following Fielder’s press conference Wednesday.

Jonathan Lucroy socked a solo homer off Jorge De La Rosa to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning, only to watch Colorado climb ahead with three runs against Diekman and Keone Kela in the eighth.

An error by first baseman Mark Reynolds opened the door for a timely Texas rally in the bottom of the frame, and Adam Ottavino served up a go-ahead single to Adrian Beltre with the bases loaded and two outs.

The back-and-forth theme continued Thursday afternoon in a searing series finale, a 12-9 Rockies victory that featured temperatures well over 100 degrees and a five-run Colorado outburst versus a weary Rangers bullpen in the top of the eighth inning.

Choo Returns from Third DL Stint

Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was activated from the 15-day disabled list last Thursday after missing two weeks due to lower back inflammation, and left-hander Dario Alvarez was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock by Texas to clear a spot on the active roster.

Choo’s most recent trip to the disabled list was his third of the season. He missed time earlier this year with a strained calf and strained hamstring.

Fellow outfielder Ryan Rua was optioned to Round Rock this week when Drew Stubbs returned from a summer-long stint on the disabled list, where he had been nursing a sprained left toe since May 23.

Minor-league infielder Kyle Kubitza was designated for assignment in order to make room for Stubbs on the Rangers’ 40-man roster.

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