WP: Jeremy Jeffress (3-2); LP: Corey Knebel (1-4); Save: none; HR: Mil, Jonathon Villar (19); Tex, Rougned Odor (32), Carlos Gomez (13)
The Texas Rangers posted their 49th come from behind win tonight, rallying from a 5-3 fourth inning deficit with one in the fourth and four in the eighth to take two of three in the series.
Tonight’s ballgame started with a flurry. The Brewers scored on the first pitch of the game when Jonathon Villar homered to left center on a Cole Hamels fastball. Villar is now one homer short of joining Ricky Henderson, Joe Morgan, and Eric Davis as the only players to ever have a 20 homer/60 steal season. Henderson did it four times.
Domingo Santana followed with a hit and took second on a wild pitch; Hernan Perez drove him in with a two out single.
In the bottom of the first, Chase Anderson got a red-hot Carlos Gomez to pop up to second, but Villar never located the ball and it landed about 15 feet behind him. Gomez was hustling and made it to second. Anderson retired Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran, but Adrian Beltre doubled down the left field line and Rougned Odor lined a home down the rightfield line. The inning ended 3-2 Rangers.
Hamels was still shaky in the second. With one down Martin Maldonado hit a soft single into right and Yadiel Rivera singled to center. Maldy went to third, and Desmond stopped his throw there, then attempted to get Rivera going back to first, but his throw went over Mitch Morland’s head and into the dugout. That scored Maldy and sent Rivera to third with one down.
With the infield in, Villar popped up down the first base line, and Odor caught it. Rivera ran down the line and Odor didn’t believe he was going, and by the time he was convinced Rivera beat the throw to the plate for a 4-3 lead. The official scorer ruled both runs unearned, using the logic that it would have been first and third with one down had Desmond not thrown the ball away, and Villar’s pop-up would not have scored Maldonado. Since Santana struck out, the logic said no runs would have scored. i agree with that call; it did not remove the sac fly rbi for Villar.
Milwaukee added their fifth run in the top of the third. Ryan Braun led off with a single and scored on an RBI double from Perez. Hamels gave up just one hit over his final four innings of work.
Texas scored their fourth run in the bottom of the fourth. With one down, Rivera bobbled Elvis Andrus’ bouncer and then threw wide of first. Anderson walked Gomez, and Desmond singled to drive in an unearned run. Gomez and Desmond took off for a double steal attempt and Maldonado threw to second. Desmond stopped and went back to first but was thrown out there (on review) which negated Gogo’s steal, as that goes as a caught stealing for Desmond.
Beltre doubled leading off the bottom of the fifth and made it to third on a ground ball by Odor, but Lucroy struck out on a high fastball, and Morland flew out to center.
The Rangers were swinging and missing at more and more fastballs as the game went along; I’m sure that post-season opponents of the Rangers will pay attention to that.
Rob Scahill and Carlos Torres had three-up, three-down innings in the sixth and seventh, but Corey Knebel was the victim of an error in center by Perez with one out, allowing Lucroy to reach second. Morland walked and Nomar Mazara struck out. Craig Counsell elected to go with Tyler Thornburg for a four out save, but Elvis Andrus singled in the tying run and Gomez drilled a three run homer to left to put the Rangers up 8-5.
Gomez was the MVP of the series, going 7 for 12 with two doubles, two homers, three runs scored, and eight RBI. He even walked once. You go, Gogo.
Jeremy Jeffress pitched the eighth for Texas, giving up his trademark lead-off hit to set up the 5-4-3 double play, and came out for the ninth. Again, a lead-off single led to a 5-4-3 double play. Jeffress gets the win for the Rangers, the ex-Brewers get a good week’s work against their old club, and the Rangers put another game between them and the Red Sox. Good luck in the post season!
The Brewers are off tomorrow, and are starting lefty Brent Suter in Denver Friday night. Suter is 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA, but his most successful work has come from the bullpen after a rough start in his first appearance. He will face Chad Bettis, who is 13-8 with a 4.92 ERA for the Rockies. (Don’t forget that Bettis’ ERA is a Coors Field influenced ERA.)