MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 28: Joe Saunders #47 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on May 28, 2014 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
When Joe Saunders does what he did on Tuesday night, in his first home start as a member of the Texas Rangers, the Rangers have to take advantage of it.
On Tuesday night, they didn't, seeing a tied game in the eighth inning quickly devolve into an 8-3 loss to Baltimore, getting the Rangers' nine-game homestand off to a sour start.
Saunders took his second straight no-decision in a quality outing and notched his first quality start (min. 6 IP, max. 3 earned runs) of the season while again proving to be plenty capable of taking on a rotation spot in the light of the Rangers' mass injury list.
Saunders scattered 10 hits over six innings, which sounds bad, but he got out of jams and allowed just two runs while throwing a season-high 101 pitches. He struck out two and walked one. Now, in his past two outings since returning from a near-two month stint on the disabled list, Saunders has allowed those two earned runs in 11 innings of work.
On the season, Saunders is now 0-1 in three starts with a 3.68 ERA. He's doing his job, and the Rangers would be well-served to win games like the one on Tuesday.