Rangers Morning News: Closing AL West Gap


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Despite a season of adversity, the Texas Rangers continue to pull away from the wild card pack while also closing the gap on AL West-leading Houston Astros.

The Texas Rangers continued their pursuit of the Major League postseason on Sunday afternoon with a 6-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. In sweeping the series, Texas maintains firmly in position of the second American League wild card spot while pushing the Orioles 5.5 games out, so the Rangers did themselves that favor.

Leading the Minnesota Twins by 1.5 games in the wild card chase, Texas also gave itself a boost in the AL West standings. Coupled with Houston’s 7-5 loss to the Twins, the Rangers have moved to within 3 games of their division leaders with 33 games left.

Derek Holland is looking more and more like the same pitcher who came up big in the 2011 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Texas continues to climb despite the absence of injured second baseman Rougned Odor and left fielder Josh Hamilton.

Then again, when you keep getting the kind of production that the Rangers are getting from their platoon of catchers, some good things are bound to happen. A league-leading 35 bunt-base hits is also helping to move runners around the diamond in the absence of the long ball.

Having won 12 of their last 16 games, the Rangers kick off a crucial 10-game road trip Monday evening against the Padres in San Diego. Following the three-game set in southern California, Texas visits Los Angeles for three against the Angels followed by four with the Mariners in Seattle.

Rangers News and Notes From Around Fansided

Texas Rangers promote pitching prospect Andrew Faulkner (Call To The Pen – Thomas Cuda)

"The Rangers bullpen has become much more reliable during the second half of the season. In looking to add even greater strength to the unit, Texas has moved up Andrew Faulkner from AAA Round Rock for the stretch run."

Texas Rangers’ Lewis Brinson Continues To Improve In 2015 (Grading On The Curve – Brody Hilgencamp)

"The Rangers are moving along red-hot outfielder Lewis Brinson, whose consistent hitting has not gone unnoticed. Could the Philadelphia Phillies end up regretting the decision to pass on Brinson during negotiations that led to ace Cole Hamels being traded to the Rangers?"

Why Jeff Banister Is My AL Manager Of The Year (Nolan Writin’ – Ric Dickens)

"Many felt that the departure of former Rangers manager Ron Washington was the final nail in the coffin for the Rangers following a dreadful 2014 season. However, Jeff Banister has taken this team under his wing and, against all odds, has the team in post season contention."

Rangers News From Around The Internet

With A Resurgent Derek Holland, Rangers Could Have Pennant Race’s Top Rotation (DMN – Gerry Fraley)

"Derek Holland retired the final 14 hitters in the Texas win over the Orioles on Sunday. Since his eagerly awaited return from injury sustained early this season, is it possible that the Rangers could end up with the best pitching rotation in the American League – even without staff ace Yu Darvish?"

Josh Hamilton Not Yet Ready To Play For Texas Rangers (DMN – Evan Grant)

"Left fielder Josh Hamilton came back to the Rangers this summer on the cheap after a lackluster stint with the Halos in Anaheim, California. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 16, but there’s still no sign of exactly when his valuable bat will return to active duty for Texas."

Power Rankings: Seeking Unlikely Playoff Berth, Rangers Make Big Jump (SI – SI Staff)

"The Rangers may have started the season with serious pitching concerns, but this team is holding opponents to just 3.90 runs per contest this month, hence the reason Texas finds itself in the playoffs if the season ended today. It also explains why the Rangers have made a considerable jump in the Sports Illustrated power rankings."

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  • Published on 08/31/2015 at 11:00 AM
  • Last updated at 08/31/2015 at 13:53 PM