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Profar, Pierzynski Turn Momentum

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Profar, Pierzynski Turn Momentum

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A.J. Pierzynski

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Tuesday night's game started like so many other games have started for the Texas Rangers recently, by giving up an early run and putting themselves in an early hole against a really good team on their home field — never a good combination.

The Oakland A's had pulled even with the Rangers and a win on Tuesday would knock the Rangers out of first place in the AL West for the first time in nearly a month. It looked like Oakland was about to extend its early lead after Josh Donaldson doubled in the third inning. With two outs, Yoenis Cespedes hit a sharp grounder to the hole between shortstop and third base that looked sure to get through and likely score Donaldson from second base.

Instead, Jurickson Profar, starting at shortstop for the injured Elvis Andrus, made a diving stop that appeared to do nothing but preserve the run as Cespedes would surely get to first without a throw.

But for some reason, Donaldson rounded third and headed for home, thinking the ball had gotten through the hole. Profar fired home to catcher A.J. Pierzynski and BAM!

Pierzynski and Donaldson have a history. Back on June 20, a relay from Craig Gentry to Andrus to PIerzynski gunned down Donaldson to end the game in a 4-3 Rangers win in Arlington. A mass celebration ensued, Pierzynski gave Donaldson the "X" and Donaldson commented after the game that next time he "wouldn't be sliding."

Next time came on Tuesday, and Pierzynski stood firm, took the collision and held on to the ball for the final out of the inning, keeping the A's at one run. Soon after, the Rangers took the lead and never looked back.

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