The Rangers took the lead after David Murphy’s eighth inning single, but the more important news is on the injury to Shin Soo Choo‘s ankle.
Choo, the Rangers’ most expensive free agent and one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball, injured his ankle in a close play at first. In the seventh inning, Choo hit a bouncer that missed A’s reliver Fernando Abad‘s glove, hit his leg, and dribbled to the third baseman Josh Donaldson. Donaldson charged the ball and Choo charged down the basepath, galloping full speed to beat the throw. He didn’t. He did, however, land awkwardly on first, with his leg looking locked –or very close to it– as he touched first. Choo suffered an ankle sprain but no fractures. Choo will definitely miss Tuesday, but it isn’t known if he will miss more time. Most of the Rangers’ injury woes have been on the pitching side, but losing the best leadoff man is obviously a devastating blow. With the timeframe or even the type of ankle sprain unknown, it is difficult to assess what kind of impact this could have longterm.
And now the game. Dan Straily had struggled somewhat in his last two starts, allowing a combined 9 runs in 8.2 innings. His struggled immediately continued in the first, as Shin Soo Choo hit a leadoff home run as the Rangers took an immediate lead. Both teams posted zeroes until the bottom of the second. Brandon Moss hit a solo shot to right to tie the game, then — after a walk and double– his teammate Coco Crisp hit a single to left to plate both runners. That would be all of the runs Oakland would score.
Both of Texas’ next two runs would involve the slumping Fielder. In the fourth, Fielder doubled to left, and in the fifth singled in Elvis Andrus for a run. The score remained 3-3 until David Murphy‘s RBI single off of lefty Sean Doolittle as Texas took the lead and then the game. Soo’s injury is concerning, but the Rangers are certainly happy just to get the win. They now sit 1.5 back from Oakland in the AL West and stand to further close that gap tonight. Nick Martinez returns for a game to battle Tommy Milone tonight at 10:05 ET, 9:05 CT.