The story of Thursday night's Texas Rangers win that helped keep them in the forefront of the AL Wild Card race with 10 games remaining in the regular season will be of the Rangers' offense coming to life and bailing out a struggling Yu Darvish after all the support issues he'd had recently.
But one of the hidden keys to Thursday's win that kept the Rangers in a tie for the Wild Card with Tampa Bay was the play of backup catcher Geovany Soto. The veteran backstop who was relegated to backup duty this year with the signing of Pierzynski has turned into a personal catcher for Darvish, on and Thursday he helped bail Darvish out of trouble every bit as much as the Rangers' offense did.
In the second inning with the Rangers trailing 2-1 and with Darvish struggling horribly with his control, Soto threw out Yunel Escobar trying to steal second base after he'd walked for the second out of the inning. After Ben Zobrist got on base, he took off, too. And the result was the same.
Soto to Andrus, perfect strike, inning over.
Soto added a deep home run in the eighth inning when the game was already well in hand to pad the Rnagers' lead even more, but his resistance to the Rays' running game in the early innings provided a huge boost to a struggling starter on a night that could have been much different if even one of them was safe.