Rangers Ballpark on record sellout streak
ARLINGTON, Texas — There's been a playoff atmosphere at Rangers Ballpark, and it's not just because the Rangers have been playing the Yankees and Rays.
Saturday's game marked the fifth consecutive sellout, a new club record. Sunday night's series finale with the Rays is also a guaranteed sellout, which will stretch the streak to six games — the entire homestand.
A season-high crowd of 49,197 showed up Saturday for Adrian Beltre Bobblehead Night, but the crowds have been showing up for more than just bobbleheads. And the players notice the support.
"Of course they do," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Listen to the noise. It's like we're in the playoffs. And they're into the game. And they've been staying until the game is over, whether we're winning or losing. I don't see people vacating the stadium, they're staying."
After Sunday's game, the Rangers will have eight sellouts on the season. Last year they had 11 sellouts in all of 2011, and high-drawing teams like the Angels and Red Sox have yet to visit Arlington.
The Rangers go on the road after Sunday's game, but upon their return May 11 they start a three-game series with the Angels. The sellout streak could easily extend beyond six.
"It's been great," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "It's always fun to play in an atmosphere like that when you get 49,000 people all cheering and into the game. It gives you a little extra as a player trying to win the ballgame."
Traditionally, the Rangers have struggled to draw during the week until school lets out for the summer. However, four games during this sellout streak are on school nights.
"You definitely notice," Rangers starter Colby Lewis said. "Just like last night when we're down four and pretty much everybody stuck around in the eighth when we're one swing away from tying the game up. It's huge we have that kind of fan support."
Saturday night's game, a 7-2 win over the Rays, was up against a Dallas Mavericks playoff game on television. But with the Rangers holding the best record in the majors at 16-5, and coming off back-to-back trips to the World Series, tickets to Rangers Ballpark have been scarce.
"The fans are excited," Washington said. "They love the product we're putting on the field and they love the way these guys do their job and they're showing up.
"Everybody loves a winner and right now we're playing winning baseball, and when you do that they're showing their appreciation by coming out. We certainly appreciate the fact that they come out."
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire