Rangers snap home losing skid in win over Padres
Maybe all the Texas Rangers needed to cure their ills was a little lead to work with.
For the first time on their eight-game homestand they got one Friday and made it stand up as the Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over San Diego.
Texas hadn't led in the first 45 innings of the homestand but that changed in the first when Delino DeShields manufactured a run by walking, stealing second, going to third on a passed ball and scoring on a pop-up to deep short.
Sure the lead was only 1-0 but that was a start.
"Obviously when you get a lead it takes a little pressure off our guys," said Texas manager Jeff Banister. "I felt like they relaxed. They know the situation. They know what's at stake and then know where we've been at home, the number of consecutive losses at home (eight before Friday's win). They want to get it right here too. They're not tight. They're still a relaxed group. It's a lot easier playing in front than coming back."
The Rangers weren't done playing from in front as they pushed their lead to 2-0 in the third and then 4-0 in the fourth on back-to-back homers from Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre.
Texas then held on as the Padres chipped away and had the tying run on second base in the ninth before Shawn Tolleson struck out Matt Kemp to end the game.
The victory also made a winner out of Wandy Rodriguez, who like the Rangers has struggled in Arlington. Rodriguez (6-4) was winless at Globe Life this season and hadn't won at the park since his first outing in 2006.
He struggled with the mound in his last start but threw off it between starts and got some help from the grounds crew too. It all added up to 5 1/3 innings of work and one run allowed
"It's my first time to win at home," Rodriguez said "I feel very excited and happy. Today I felt a lot better. I got better angle and the ball was low in the zone."
Banister liked what he saw out of Rodriguez.
"It was a really nice job by Wandy, effective tonight," he said. "You saw the velocity kind of creep back to where we saw it early, that 88-89. When he's got that he's a little sharper, able to move the fastball around. He could go to work with the secondary stuff."
The Rodriguez outing wasn't the only encouraging sign for the Rangers in the rare home win. Beltre's homer was his first since May 25 and he seems to be rounding into the same form he had before he missed most of June with a strained left thumb.
Fielder, who had two of the four Texas RBI, thinks that's the case.
"I think he's doing great," Fielder said. "He's coming off a tough injury. Any time you have an injury to your hand it's tough. It's not easy. It's already hard enough."