The Texas Rangers not only have the best record in baseball, but they are surprising even their own fans.
Texas beat Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers Sunday night to give them a 3-1 series win against a team who is widely considered a top World Series Contender.
Thursday’s pitching duel between Detroit’s Justin Verlander and Texas’ Yu Darvish provided little pitching excellence, but a lot of offense as the Rangers tallied 10 runs and beat the Tigers 10-4.
Friday’s game proved to be the pitching duel. Texas starter Nick Tepesch pitched a great game, allowing only two runs to the top run-producing team in the majors. Unfortunately a Geovany Soto solo-home run was not enough offense to prevail against Detroit’s Rick Porcello.
Saturday Elvis Andrus got hot. Very hot. Elvis went 5-for-5 and fell a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. Texas banged out 7 runs against Anibal Sanchez who has been one of the hottest pitchers of late.
Sunday was a prime-time game. And both teams lived up to the hype.
Cabrera went 4-for-4 with 3 home runs, a single and a walk while driving in 5 runs for the Tigers. Prince Fielder had a bases clearing double against Michael Kirkman, but the Rangers used three big innings to stay atop the Tigers.
Thirdbaseman Adrian Beltre had a 4-hit day, and David Murphy provided the big blow with a three-run home run to put the Rangers ahead at the time 8-7. Murphy drove a 3-2 pitch into the right field seats with two runners on and two outs.
Detroit held steady, but made four bad defensive plays late in the game to seal the deal for the Rangers.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, Texas capitalized on Matt Tuiasosopo’s ill-timed dive to try and catch a Leonys Martin low line drive. The ball skipped past him and Martin ended up on second to start the inning. Mistake 1.
The next batter, Leury Garcia sacrifice bunted. Detroit reliever Phil Coke fielded the ball, but threw to Cabrera who was not in position to try and make a tag on the speedy Martin. Mistake 2.
The next batter, Andrus, grounded to shortstop Jhonny Peralta with the infield in. Peralta had a play at second to try and get a double play, but hesitated and only threw to first. Mistake 3.
Murphy then hit a sacrifice fly to Tuiasosopo who decided to throw home instead of throwing to the cutoff man. That allowed Garcia to move from second to third. Mistake 4.
With the 3-1 series win against the Tigers, the Rangers are now 9-1 in their last 10 weekend games. They swept the Boston Red Sox in Arlington, then went to Houston and swept the Astros, and were bad hosts against a Tigers team this weekend.