ARLINGTON, Texas — Yu Darvish pitching well is nothing new. The right-hander notched his 10th victory Tuesday night in a 7-5 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Getting solid hitting from everywhere in the lineup hasn’t been as common for Texas, which has found ways to win despite its once-feared offense not hitting on all cylinders.
Tuesday night the Rangers did. Despite getting in an early 2-0 hole, the Rangers rattled off 10 hits and got RBI from six players in what they hope is a return to April and May normalcy for the offense.
The usual suspects contributed again as Adrian Beltre, who has been the team’s hottest hitter, had a single and scored a run. But some of the slumping Rangers also got going as Ian Kinsler led off the bottom of the first with a homer while Michael Young had a two-hit night and Josh Hamilton smacked a homer for the second consecutive night.
The hitters certainly hope it’s a sign of what’s to come. Texas came into the game having had its team batting average drop 14 points over the previous 39 games and with the offense scoring just 4.3 runs a game in the previous 20 contests.
Maybe Tuesday shook off some of that rust.
“It’s about having a little momentum,” said Hamilton, whose solo homer in the seventh pushed the lead to 7-4. “Guys getting in scoring position, and we haven’t been getting it done that much the first half. Tonight we got it done which was a good feeling. Up and down the lineup the guys were swinging the bat well. If we can go into the break kind of hot and moving in the right direction as far as scoring guys, it will be a good sign.”
Monday that wasn’t the case as the Rangers were blown out 8-2 and didn’t help matters by going 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. They were 4 for 8 in those situations Tuesday and were able to put together the one big inning to swing momentum in their direction.
That inning was the fourth as the Rangers got RBI hits from Young, Nelson Cruz, Yorvit Torrealba and Brandon Snyder to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
Young was just 7 for his last 42 with runners in scoring position before he lined a triple to left-center to score Beltre from second. Cruz and Torrealba both had bloop singles before Snyder capped the scoring with a single to center.
Getting those contributions from the no-so-usual suspects provided a boost on a night in which Darvish pitched seven strong innings and joined teammate Matt Harrison and Tampa Bay’s David Price as the only 10-game winners in the American League.
“We’ve been struggling, obviously,” said Torrealba, who has an RBI in five of his past six games. “We’ve been finding a way to win ballgames but the offense is not where we want to be. We’ve still got a lot of guys struggling. It would be nice if the bottom of the lineup can do some damage too. Today we were able to do some damage and get us going. We have been having a lot of quality at-bats but the big hit hasn’t come through. Tonight was a good sign.”
The big hits weren’t the only things that showed up for the Texas offense Tuesday. Texas also was aggressive on the basepaths. Cruz stole his sixth base in the pivotal fourth. If that play doesn’t happen, Torrealba’s blooper to right doesn’t score him.
Texas manager Ron Washington knows his team is at its best when it’s making things happen with runners on base.
“We’re aggressive,” Washington said. “We’re going to continue to be aggressive. (Detroit catcher Alex) Avila can throw the baseball. He can get rid of it. He can get it on target. But we’re going to continue to take our shots. That was one of them right there.”
The Rangers have to hope that Tuesday is a sign that there are plenty of more shots to come.