Ian Kinsler, right, and Adrian Beltre were both big parts of a big inning on Sunday.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We realize the Texas Rangers were playing the lowly Houston Astros over the weekend and missing their likely two best starting pitchers, but there's still something to be said about the Rangers' run explosion over the weekend. And there's even more to be said when you consider the lineup's struggles over the better part of the past two months.
Put it this way, it had been a good while since the Rangers forced area Papa John's restaurants to give away half-price pizzas the day after the Rangers score seven or more runs in a game. The past two days, it's happened, and in the past three the Rangers have had big innings to put a game away.
In all three games against the Astros over the weekend, the Rangers were having trouble finding holes through the first five innings or so before exploding late in the game with a five-run fifth on Friday, a five-run fifth on Saturday and a seven-run sixth on Sunday en route to sweeping the Astros and retaining the coveted (not really) Silver Boot trophy.
The big blow on Sunday was a bases-clearing triple from Ian Kinsler, during a stretch when six straight Rangers reached base with two outs. It was capped off with a blast from Adrian Beltre for his 11th home run of the season.
“We keep grinding and grinding,’’ Rangers manager Ron Washington said after Sunday's game. “When you keep battling and put the pressure on, something good happens. It could be a walk or an error, but when we get that break, we take advantage. Guys have a tough time getting through our lineup.’’
For a good while, it didn't seem that way, but if the weekend trend holds true this lineup could be back to being the most feared in the game.