<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - - [DFW] Red Fever]]>Copyright 2018http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sportsen-usSat, 20 Jan 2018 11:22:08 -0600Sat, 20 Jan 2018 11:22:08 -0600NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Rangers' Diekman Reflects Back on His Past Year]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:14:10 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/diekman_a_year_later_1200x675_1141295683730.jpg

Rangers reliever Jake Diekman missed most of the 2017 season after having surgery to remove his colon. He explains what the past year was like and which New Orleans Saints player provided a little inspiration.

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<![CDATA[Rangers Embrace Being the A.L. West Underdog]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 21:06:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers_banister_where_we_want_to_be_1200x675_1141293635551.jpg

Being in the same division with the defending World Series champion Houston Astros and much improved Los Angeles Angels, Rangers manager Jeff Banister explains how the team embraces being the underdog. ]]>
<![CDATA[Darvish Still Available, Are the Rangers Interested?]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 20:06:03 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/172*120/AP_17306138178100.jpg

There is less than a month before pitchers and catchers put on the Rangers uniform and report for spring training to Surprise, Arizona. No doubt, there are plenty of questions surrounding the team going into the season.

One question currently on the table- is Yu Darvish returning to Arlington?

It didn’t seem likely a few months ago when the righty was pitching in the World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers but here we are. The 31-year old is a free agent and still on the market. He didn’t exactly rule out a return to the mound to The Globe when he was traded at last year’s trade deadline.

Money talks but will the price be right for the Rangers?

Most teams around the league seem to be looking to trim payroll rather than increase it, which may explain why many consider the offseason boring this time around. Darvish might be looking for something in the six-year, $160-million dollar range. The thought process of possible back-loaded contracts apparently doesn’t seem to be high on the priority list for teams such as the Rangers.

However, that’s not ruling out a reunion between the organization and its former ace. Darvish still lives in North Texas and is apparently working out at Highland Park.

One team that is considered the front-runner for Darvish is the “evil empire” themselves, the New York Yankees. However, the whole payroll thing is an issue, even with the Bronx Bombers.  The Yankees have no plans to blow past the luxury-tax threshold this year and are shopping outfielder Jacob Ellsbury and his heavy contract. If they find someone willing to take it, that might free up some space to put Darvish in the famous pinstripes.

The Minnesota Twins and Chicago Cubs are also in the mix. Twins general manager Thad Levine was with Texas when Darvish arrived in the Lone Star State in 2012. The familiarity could play a part in maybe a move to the Twin Cities.

Of course, the asking price could come down and things get really interesting after that. The Rangers likely won’t offer anything more than four years and the price tag of $25 million a year just isn’t happening.  The team has also made moves in the offseason to fill out the pitching staff but they did lose lefty Martin Perez for the start of the season due to elbow surgery on his non-throwing arm after a farming mishap. That could open a door or two.

Another twist to this, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels has maintained a good relationship with Darvish and both sides even got together for dinner recently.  Crazier things have happened.

The hot stove could still be heating up even with spring training right around the corner. File this under the “to be continued” category.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Sign 3 to Minor Deals With Spring Invites]]>Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:41:05 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas-rangers-spring-cap-generic.jpg

The Rangers have signed three more players to minor league contracts that include invitations to major league spring training.

Texas announced Thursday that it has signed catcher Curt Casali and re-signed outfielder Jose Cardona and right-hander Tayler Scott. The trio is among 21 non-roster invitees to major league spring training with the Rangers.

Casali has appeared in the majors each of the past four seasons with Tampa Bay, hitting .199 over 161 games. The 31-year-old catcher has thrown out 26 of 85 attempted base stealers, or 31 percent, in his major league games. He spent most of last season at Triple-A Durham.

The 23-year-old Cardona, entering his eight season in the Rangers organization, and Scott are going to major league spring training for the first time.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers to Host Painting Experience at Globe Life Park]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:00:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*125/January+26+painting.jpg

The Rangers will be hosting a series of painting classes at Globe Life Ballpark beginning later this month.

The painting classes are the first in a series of new events that will be happening at the ballpark in the future. Each class will be hosted by local instructors.

"Our aim is to make Globe Life Park more accessible year-round and bring new audiences through our doors, while also offering new experiences," said Mark Neifeld, the Rangers Vice President of Events.

Local artist Thomas Menezes will lead the first class on January 26, which will be held in the Cholula Porch.

All attendees will complete a painting they can take home. New paintings will be offered for each class. No experience is required to participate and all supplies are included. A cash bar will also be available for the event. 

Classes are open to ages 16 and older unless class description states otherwise, and minors must be accompanied by an adult. 

Tickets for the painting classes are $40 and can be purchased at texasrangers.com/experiences.

Upcoming Class Schedule:

Friday, January 26                     7:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 3                 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 14            7:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 26               10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Friday, March 9                         7:00-9:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 24                   10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 12                      10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Texas Rangers]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Add Minor League Players as Non-Roster Invitees]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:01:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-167235676.jpg

The Rangers have signed right-handed pitcher Deolis Guerra to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

The 28-year old spent the last two seasons in the Los Angeles Angels organization, going 2-2 with a 4.98 ERA in 19 games last season. Guerra became a free agent at the end of last season after declining an outright assignment by the Angels.

He has a career record of 7-2 with a 4.17 ERA in 73 games with both the Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates.

Texas has also invited five players from their minor league system to spring training in Surprise, Arizona, three with ties to Double-A Frisco.

Pitcher Reed Garrett, infielder Andy Ibanez and outfielder Scott Heineman spent time with the Roughriders last season.

Garrett went 2-5 with a 4.98 ERA with 10 saves in 44 games last season with Frisco. The 25-year old righty had the fourth most saves in the Rangers farm system after making the move to the bullpen in April. Garrett had a 0.79 ERA with 26 strikeouts over his final 20 relief appearances last season.

Heineman hit .284 with nine home runs and 44 RBI in 117 games with Frisco and ranked among the team leaders in several offensive categories. The 25-year old was an 11th round pick in the 2015 Draft and ranked as the Rangers No. 24 prospect.

Ibanez, No. 16 on the Rangers prospect list, spent most of his last two seasons in Frisco. The 24-year old hits .265 with eight home runs and 29 RBI in 82 games last year with the Roughriders. He’s seen action at both second and third since signing with Texas as a free agent in 2015.

Pitchers Adrian Sampson and Jeffrey Springs round out the five new non-roster invitees.

In his first season in the Rangers organization, Sampson went 2-2 with a 3.45 ERA in eight starts with rookie-level Arizona Rangers, High-A Down East and Triple-A Round Rock. The 26-year old righty returned to the mound in July after undergoing elbow surgery. He was a waiver claim from the Seattle Mariners in 2016.

Springs was 2-8 with a 3.68 ERA and two saves in 31 games last season with Down East. The southpaw led all Rangers minor league pitchers with 146 strikeouts (second in the Carolina League).

With the additions, the Rangers currently have 18 non-roster invitees to the major league camp.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Announce 2017 Minor League Award Recipients]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:12:44 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Round+Rock+Guzman.jpg

Award season continues for the Rangers with less than a month before the start of spring training. The organization has announced their 2017 Minor League Award recipients.

Tom Grieve Player of the Year – Ronald Guzman

Part of the Rangers famous international “Class of 2011” that also included Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor, Guzman is on the 40-man roster and perhaps the first baseman of the future in Arlington. Considered the No. 3 prospect in the Rangers system, “Condor” hit .298 with 12 home runs and 62 RBI in 125 games at Triple-A Round Rock.

Guzman also led the Express in runs, hits and multi-hit games. Hitting from the left side of the plate, Guzman is at his best when he keeps his swing compact and focuses on drilling line drives to all parts of the field.

Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year – Kyle Cody

The Rangers No. 18 prospect, Cody had the lowest ERA among the organization’s minor league pitchers. The 6-foot-7, 245-pound righty went 9-6 with a 2.64 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 23 games with Low-A Hickory and High-A Down East.

Cody has shown to maintain a 92-95 mph fastball deep into and climbed as high as 98 on the radar gun. He was drafted in the sixth-round by the Rangers in 2016 and has the make-up to be in the starting rotation as early as 2020.

Defender of the Year – Jose Trevino

Trevino rated statistically as the top defensive catcher in the Texas League at Double-A Frisco. The Rangers No. 13 prospect has won two consecutive minor league Gold Glove Awards and is currently on the Rangers 40-man roster.

Known more for his defense, Trevino had a caught-stealing percentage at 41.3 percent behind the plate for the Roughriders. He was a sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2014 and started at three positions (third base, catcher and shortstop) during his college career at Oral Roberts.

Reliever of the Year – Ricardo Rodriguez

Rodriguez combined to go 5-1 with 17 saves and a 1.34 ERA in 35 relief appearances with High-A Down East and Double-A Frisco. The righty is on the Rangers 40-man roster and made his major league debut against the Detroit Tigers in August, striking out two in one inning of work. He appeared in a total of 16 games last season with the Rangers, striking out 11 in 13 innings and got his first MLB save against the Los Angeles Angels.

The minor league recipients will be honored at the 2018 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner, which takes place this Friday, January 19 at Gilley's Dallas. Tickets for the dinner, which will honor a number of baseball personalities and feature appearances by Texas Rangers past and present, are now on sale at www.texasrangers.com/awards. Individual tickets for the Dr Pepper Awards Dinner are priced at $110.00 each with tables of ten also available. Net proceeds benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

The dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m.

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<![CDATA[Rangers' Lewis to Receive 2018 Mark Holtz Alumni Award]]>Tue, 16 Jan 2018 15:27:50 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-611853262.jpg

Colby Lewis was always clutch on the mound under playoff pressure for the Rangers. Now the former pitcher will be honored for his contributions to the organization.

Lewis, now a special assistant to the general manager, is the recipient of the 2018 Mark Holtz Alumni Award.

He ranks among all-time Rangers leaders in starts, wins and innings. The 28th overall selection by Texas in the 1999 MLB draft, Lewis made his MLB debut in 2002 and spent parts of three seasons with the Rangers. After spending time with four other MLB organizations and a two-year stint in Japan, Lewis returned to Arlington and was a mainstay in the Rangers starting rotation for seven seasons, winning ten or more games four times.

It was the postseason where Lewis made his money. He went 4-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 10 career playoff games (nine starts). That’s good enough for the most wins and tied for most starts in franchise history. Lewis won two starts in the 2010 ALCS against the New York Yankees, including the series-clinching Game 6 to help send the Rangers to their first-ever World Series. He had the lone win for the Rangers during that series with the San Francisco Giants. He allowed two runs on five hits and struck out six in the 4-2 win.

Lewis also won Game 2 of the 2011 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He started the infamous Game 6, allowing four runs (two earned) in just over five innings of work. Rangers fans know the rest when it comes to Game 6.

Lewis will be honored at the 2018 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner on Friday. Tickets for the dinner, which will honor a number of baseball personalities and feature appearances by Texas Rangers past and present, are now on sale at www.texasrangers.com/awards. Individual tickets for the Dr Pepper Awards Dinner are priced at $110.00 each with tables of ten also available. Net proceeds benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

The dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Golf Club to Open this Summer]]>Fri, 12 Jan 2018 21:50:34 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers+golf+club+sign.jpg

Rangers Hall of Famer Ben Grieve and Arlington mayor Jeff Williams discuss the partnership between the Rangers and the City of Arlington on the new Texas Rangers Golf Club. ]]>
<![CDATA[Will the Rangers Use Turf or Natural Grass at New Ballpark?]]>Fri, 12 Jan 2018 17:58:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/turf_or_natural_grass_at_new_rangers_ballpark_1200x675_1135949379870.jpg

There are options on the table concerning the new ballpark for the Texas Rangers, which includes using natural grass or turf. Rangers executive vice president Rob Matwick discusses the debate. ]]>
<![CDATA[Hamels Wins 2017 Jim Sundberg Community Service Award]]>Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:06:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Ace_Cole_Hamels_And_Wife_Heidi_Donates_Missouri_Mansion.jpg

The following is a news release from the Texas Rangers, published Jan. 10, 2018.

Pitcher Cole Hamels is the recipient of the 2017 Jim Sundberg Community Achievement Award, it was announced today.

Since its formation, The Hamels Foundation has taken a community-based approach to education by providing financial assistance to schools and other education based non-profits in need of support. This includes but is not limited to providing stimulating learning environments, high-quality educational programs and provisions to promote learning. Because of their commitment, Cole and Heidi underwrite all administrative expenses, so that 100% of funds raised through The Hamels Foundation go directly to support educational programs and projects. The Hamels have awarded more than $1.1 million in grant funds to schools throughout Philadelphia, over $400,000 in grants to schools in Missouri, and another $100,000 in college scholarships.

In December, Cole and Heidi gifted their 32,000 square-foot home in Branson West, Missouri to Camp Barnabas and Barnabas Prep.

Since joining the Texas Rangers in 2015, Cole and his foundation have supported the Texas Rangers Youth Academy in Dallas by funding an educational classroom in the Globe Life Training Center, which was dedicated in December. Also, Cole has presented checks to local, low-income schools to provide a new counseling center and physical education equipment.

The commitment of Cole's work extends globally to Malawi, Africa. The Hamels Foundation has built a 16-classroom primary school that will educate more than 650 students in the Mulanje District of Malawi annually. The $2.5 million project also includes teacher housing, library, kitchen and more. Along with an education, all students receive medical treatment, vision care and daily meals.

In addition to The Hamels Foundation, Cole is involved in the community in many other ways. Annually, Cole oversees Operation 35, a charitable ticket program honoring U.S. Military Veterans and their guests with Rangers game tickets, concession coupons, special t-shirts and the opportunity for a private meet and greet with Cole prior to the game.

Hamels will be honored at the 2018 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner, which takes place on Friday, January 19 at Gilley's Dallas. Tickets for the dinner, which will honor a number of baseball personalities and feature appearances by Texas Rangers past and present, are now on sale at www.texasrangers.com/awards. Individual tickets for the Dr Pepper Awards Dinner are priced at $110.00 each with tables of ten also available. Net proceeds benefit the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. The dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Gilley's Dallas is located at 1135 S. Lamar St. in Dallas. The 2018 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner is also sponsored by FOX Sports Southwest, CBS11/TXA21, and 105.3 The FAN.

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<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Announce 2018 Game Times]]>Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:01:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TEX_TimedSchedule.jpg

The Texas Rangers released the final version of the 2018 schedule Wednesday, revealing the home and road game times.

Regular home game times in 2018 will once again be 7:05 p.m.  for night games; 1:05 p.m. for weekday day games; and 2:05 p.m. for Sunday games.

The confirmed exceptions are --

  • Thursday, March 29, the home opener versus Houston which will take place at 2:35 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 31 versus Houston (3:05 p.m. for FS1 national telecast); Wednesday, May 23 versus New York Yankees (6:05 p.m.)
  • Saturday, May 26 versus Kansas City (3:05 p.m.)
  • Saturday, June 9 versus Houston (6:15 p.m. for FOX national telecast)
  • Saturday, June 16 versus Colorado (3:05 p.m.)
  • Saturday, June 30 versus Chicago White Sox (8:05 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, July 4 versus Houston (6:05 p.m.)

All game times are subject to change pending changes in the schedule of national television games. The complete 2018 schedule is below.




Photo Credit: Texas Rangers]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Sign Mike Ohlman to Minor Deal, Invite to Spring]]>Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:47:45 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-683488318.jpg

Free agent catcher Mike Ohlman has agreed to a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers and will report to major league spring training.

Ohlman made his major league debut last season, when he appeared in seven games for Toronto and went 3 for 13 with one RBI.

Texas also said Wednesday it had agreed to minor league deals with infielder Ryan Brett, right-hander Brandon Cumpton and left-hander Brandon Mann.

Brett's only big league experience was when he went 2-for-3 with a walk in three games with Tampa Bay in 2015. Cumpton was 5-5 with a 4.02 ERA over 22 games (15 starts) with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2013-14. The 33-year-old Mann has never pitched in the majors.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Agree to Terms With Ryan Rua]]>Tue, 09 Jan 2018 15:32:17 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers_ryan_rua_1200x675_895889475931.jpg

The following is a news release from the Texas Rangers, Jan. 9, 2018.

The Texas Rangers today announced that the club has agreed to terms with outfielder Ryan Rua on a one-year contract for the 2018 season. No further terms were disclosed.

Rua had been eligible for salary arbitration. With this agreement, the Rangers now have three remaining players eligible for salary arbitration for the 2018 season: left-handed pitcher Jake Diekman, right-handed pitcher Keone Kela, and infielder Jurickson Profar.

Rua batted .217 with 3 home runs and 12 RBI over 63 games spanning four stints with the Rangers in 2017: Opening Day-June 15, July 31-August 11, August 21-27, and September 8-end of season. Rua is one of only 10 Rangers to appear at the big league level in each of the last four seasons.

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<![CDATA[Arlington May Rename Golf Course for Texas Rangers]]>Mon, 08 Jan 2018 16:40:01 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Golf+Ball+Generic.jpg

There is a proposal on the table to rename Arlington's Chester W. Ditto Golf Course the Texas Rangers Golf Club, making the team the first in the MLB to have a co-branded golf course.

The plan calls for the city to pay re-branding expenses and would include incentives and discounts for the team, Rangers employees, VIPs and guests staying at Texas Live! In exchange, the team must promote the course -- hopefully driving more golfers onto the links.

The course, a 164-acre 18-hole course not far from the ballpark, is currently being renovated. The city has owned the land at Collins Street and Brown Boulevard since 1968, when it was purchased from the Ditto family, but a golf course wasn't opened there until 1982.

The city called together the Rangers, Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau and the University of Texas at Arlington to work with Colligan Golf Design to redevelop the course into a "destination golf course that could be one of the best golf courses in North Texas."

In the deal, the city agrees to maintain the course "in a manner so that excellent playing conditions exist for both the championship and the average golfer." Nearby courses, Texas Star (Euless), Tierra Verde (Arlington), Cowboys Golf Club (Grapevine) and Bridlewood (Flower Mound) were all held up as the standard.

The Arlington City Council will vote on the plan Tuesday night during their weekly meeting. If passed, the name would remain in place until Dec. 31, 2054.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Rangers, Nippon Ham Fighters Agree to Partnership]]>Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:40:27 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas+rangers+logo.jpg

The following is an unedited news release from the Texas Rangers, published Jan. 5, 2018.

The Texas Rangers and the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball today announced a multi-year partnership agreement beginning in 2018 that will encompass both baseball and business operations.

"The Rangers are very excited to be entering into this new relationship with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters," said team President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels. "This agreement will allow us to share baseball information and instruction techniques that should be very beneficial to both organizations. There is also common ground in the fact that both franchises are in the process of building new ballparks. We look forward to working with the Hokkaido group in what will be a very productive partnership.

"The Rangers organization has been very active in Japan and the Pacific Rim for a number of years and this agreement allows us to extend our reach."

The teams will be exchanging scouting reports and other baseball operations information. In addition, the Fighters will have a member of their baseball staff work in the Rangers' system as an instructor during spring training and the regular season in 2018. Texas personnel will also travel to Japan to observe the Fighters' operation.

The Rangers will also be advising the Fighters on their plans to build a new ballpark in Sapporo. That project was announced in July 2017 and similar to the Rangers' new Globe Life Field project, is expected to include a mixed-use entertainment district. Hokkaido currently plays in the Sapporo Dome.

"The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters are proud to announce the brand new official business partnership with one of the greatest organizations in MLB, Texas Rangers," said Hokkaido General Manager Hiroshi Yoshimura. "We are looking forward to being actively involved in a broad range of fields, including sharing scouting information, personnel exchanges, and mutual cooperation in many different business aspects, including our new stadium. We are hoping this new partnership will help make huge strides and further development for both clubs."

The Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters play in the NPB Pacific League and are three-time Japan Series champions, most recently in 2016. Former Fighters who have played in Major League Baseball include all-star pitchers Yu Darvish and Hideki Okajima, pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama, and outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo as well as Shohei Ohtani, who signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December. In addition, recently signed Rangers pitcher Chris Martin was with Hokkaido in 2016-17.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Camera Installed Outside Globe Life Field Construction Site]]>Wed, 03 Jan 2018 18:03:55 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Interior_Seating_Bowl.jpg

Texas Rangers fans can now watch construction progress of Globe Life Field online thanks to a camera installed by the team.

The camera can be seen here.

The following is a new release from the team on the installation.

Texas Rangers fans will be able to watch the construction progress of the team’s new ballpark, Globe Life Field, through the lens of a time-lapse camera that became operational today.

The camera feed, which is programmed on a delayed basis, can be viewed 24 hours a day at texasrangers.com/globelifefield. Fans will be able to pan and zoom in on different images of the camera feed using the technology available on the website.

The camera was manufactured by EarthCam and was installed by Manhattan Construction, the General Contractor of Globe Life Field. The camera is mounted on the back of the right field video board of Globe Life Park in Arlington and provides a view looking south on the 13-acre Globe Life Field construction site.

Installation and wiring of two additional cameras is on-going that will face east (camera installation on east façade of AT&T Stadium), and west (camera installation on utility pole on Stadium Drive).

Founded in 1996, EarthCam is a global company providing webcam content, technology, and services.

Groundbreaking on the 1.1 billion dollar ballpark took place in late September. General site excavation, installation of the soil retention system, pier drilling, and running of underground utilities are the principle construction activities currently in progress. The 1.7 million square foot facility is scheduled to be completed for the 2020 season.



Photo Credit: Texas Rangers Baseball Club]]>
<![CDATA[Do You Love or Hate Glitter During the Holidays?]]>Sat, 23 Dec 2017 23:43:55 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Young-Glitter.jpg

We all know the battle during the holidays. The "glitter battle." It can make cards and presents look so festive, but then the stuff is left behind EVERYWHERE!

You may have even done the "glitter shuffle" when you get a holiday card in the mail, rip it open and see it's covered in glitter. At that very moment is when the precautions go into place as you try to open and read the card without actually touching it.

Earlier this week, Former Texas Ranger great Michael Young posted on Twitter, expressing his hatred for all things glitter, and I don't blame him.


Sometimes we can even get caught up in the allure of glitter. I found some beautiful holiday cards at the store just the other day. I purchased them only to get home and realize that they were COVERED in red glitter. I did all of my family and friends a favor and boxed them up and put them away in the holiday closet.  Maybe I'll use them one day.


As you do that last minute holiday shopping, there's just one decision you need to make..... will you cover everything in glitter or skip it all together?



Photo Credit: Rosie Greenway & NBC 5
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<![CDATA[Andrus Channels Griswold in Rangers Holiday Card]]>Fri, 22 Dec 2017 11:49:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/217*120/elvis-andrus-holiday-card.JPG

Shortstop Elvis Andrus is the key figure in the Texas Rangers 2017 holiday card -- and he's got a little Griswold in him.

The video card, an homage to the 1989 film Christmas Vacation, was published this week on the team's fan page.

The card begins with several shots of someone stringing up lights around Globe Life Park. The decorator is eventually revealed be Andrus, who then assembles a collection of onlookers to witness his grand illumination.

"Five hundred thousand lights, one magic moment," Andrus says in the video, before flipping a switch.

Fizzle.

True to Christmas Vacation, the lighting doesn't go off without a hitch.

While Andrus fumbles with his mess of wires, Rangers Captain shows up in an odd hairdryer scene. Somehow unplugging his appliance closes Andrus' circuit allowing the ballpark to be bathed in the glorious light of incandescent C9 bulbs.

It's cute. See the card for yourself here on the team's fan page.




Photo Credit: Texas Rangers Baseball Club]]>
<![CDATA[Darvish Tweets photo with Rangers Jon Daniels]]>Thu, 21 Dec 2017 23:15:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/darvish_tweets_photo_with_jon_daniels_1200x675_1122203203589.jpg]]><![CDATA[Rangers Sign Tolleson, Espino to Minor League Deals]]>Thu, 21 Dec 2017 15:47:57 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-519728116.jpg

The Texas Rangers have signed right-handed pitchers Shawn Tolleson and Paolo Espino to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training.

The 29-year-old Tolleson was 11-7 with 46 saves and a 3.84 ERA for the Rangers from 2014-16. He spent last season in the Tampa Bay Rays organization and had season-ending Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on May 17. He is expected to continue rehabilitation through the upcoming season.

The 30-year-old Espino was assigned outright by Texas to Triple-A Round Rock on Oct. 10. He made six relief appearances with Texas after being acquired in an August trade with Milwaukee.

The Rangers also signed outfielder Brett Eibner and right-handed pitcher Zeke Spruill to minor league contacts.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Pitcher Cole Hamels Gives Away $10M Mansion]]>Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:21:53 -0600Realtor.com)]]>Realtor.com)]]>https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Hamels-with-Mansion.jpg

Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, are donating their $9.75 million mansion in Branson, Missouri, to charity.

The home on Table Rock Lake will be given to Camp Barnabas, a nonprofit organization in southwest Missouri.

See interior and exterior photos of the unfinished home below.

The organization helps individuals with special needs and chronic illnesses.

"Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it," Hamels said. "Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way." 

The 32,000-square-foot mansion will be the largest gift in the history of Barnabas, according to a press release by the Hamels Foundation

The Hamels began building the mansion in 2012. It went up for sale in August of this year. The home sits on 104.7 acres of land with more than 1,700 feet of shoreline along Table Rock Lake.

"Our mission is to change lives through disability ministry, and we've been strategically looking for ways to expand our ministry outside of a summer camp," said Jason Brawner, CEO of Camp Barnabas. "We have no doubt this gift will allow us to do just that." 

You can see more photos of the mansion on our media partner's site, The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: Hilton Realtors/Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Could the Astros Be in the Mix for Yu Darvish?]]>Tue, 19 Dec 2017 21:27:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/Darvish+Dodgers+Astros.jpg

There’s a chance that Yu Darvish returns to the Lone Star State after all. However, there’s a catch.

 It might not be with the Rangers.

Darvish packed his bags and left Arlington for Hollywood minutes before last season’s trade deadline. The Rangers made the move, sending him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects. Then the Dodgers punched their ticket to the World Series. Darvish faced off against a team he was familiar with during his days in a Rangers uniform, the Houston Astros.

The results were positive if you were an Astros fan. Their lineup tee’d off on Darvish in his two World Series starts, including the deciding Game 7.  The 31-year old is now a free agent and the Dodgers don’t appear to be interested in bringing him back.

It’s the offseason. Things are about to get interesting.

The team that lit him up in the World Series is now planning on meeting with the righty. The extent of the interest from the Astros is unknown but there’s apparently enough for the two sides to sit down and talk. Keep in mind, Nolan Ryan is with the Astros front office now. He was the Rangers CEO when they signed Darvish prior to the 2012 season.

However, a reunion in Arlington isn’t exactly off the table either. General manager Jon Daniels has reportedly kept an open dialogue with Darvish, who still lives in Dallas. Plus, the ante may have been raised with the recent injury to Martin Perez.

The Chicago Cubs have already met and made their sales pitch to Darvish. The Minnesota Twins are also in the running. Thad Levine, the Twins general manager, was with the Rangers front office when Darvish came on board from Japan. The Rangers are said to be “monitoring” these situations.

Before the postseason, teams were looking at shelling out somewhere around six-years, $160 million for the righty. Those numbers might have come down after the World Series showing. It also remains to be seen how much payroll capacity the Rangers have. They are aiming for the 2018 payroll to come in around the $155 million mark. Signing Darvish could take them well over that point.

There are conflicting reports on if or when the Rangers meet up with their former ace. Jim Bowden of the MLB Network on SiriusXM says a team source told him that Texas will talk with Darvish after the Astros do. However, Daniels said there was no meeting planned at this point.

The Astros aren’t exactly in need of a rotation upgrade with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock. Although teaming Darvish with Verlander and Keuchel does seem strong as they embark on a repeat. Houston also has some upper-level prospects that could soon become rotation worthy. The Astros look like they are going to be a force for a while.

Another team that has been sneaky quiet but could still enter the picture the Seattle Mariners. They have been thought to make a run at a big-time pitcher after losing out on Shohei Ohtani.

So the pursuit of Yu Darvish continues on with both teams in Texas reportedly in the hunt. Where he goes, nobody knows at this point.

That’s the way baseball go.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers' Perez Injured in Bull Pen Incident]]>Tue, 19 Dec 2017 15:35:27 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Martin+Perez+Angels.jpg

The season hasn’t even started yet but the Rangers are already dealing with injuries to the starting pitching staff. This time it involves Martin Perez, a bull and a pen.

Let’s get weird.

Perez broke his right elbow (non-throwing) on his ranch in Venezuela. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told 105.3 The Fan that Perez was in a ‘pen or wherever they keep animals' and a bull moved towards him. He moved to get out of the way and landed on the elbow.

You know, just normal offseason baseball stuff.

Perez underwent surgery on Monday to repair a fracture of the radial head in his right elbow. He’s expected to be on the sideline for about four months, although Daniels is optimistic about a plan for Perez to be ready by Opening Day. That plan includes the lefty to undergo rehab and a throwing program in Arlington after the first of the year.

Before this unfortunate injury, Perez was penciled in as the Rangers No.2 starter behind Cole Hamels. Perez has led Texas in starts in each of the last two seasons.

There has been a fair share of frustration from Rangers Nation when it comes to Perez and it involves the word “inconsistency.” There would be a start where he looks like he’s arrived on the “ace” level. Then the bottom would fall out during the next outing or two. There’s also the belief that Perez is a 4 or 5 starter at best and the idea of sticking him in the bullpen has even been thrown out there.

On second thought, maybe it’s not such a good idea.

This isn’t the first time strange things have happened to Rangers pitchers during the offseason. Remember that one time a few years ago when Derek Holland injured his knee playing with his dog at home.  Holland had knee surgery and was out until the All-Star Break.

Martin Perez just joined that club.

The front office has spent the offseason trying to piece together a starting rotation around Hamels and Perez. Now they are down an arm, thanks to farm animals. Let’s stay on the crazy train here and ask if this adds fuel to the fire in bringing back free agent Yu Darvish. A reunion has been on the table. However, the Cubs recently jumped into the picture and met with Darvish in Dallas on Monday. Both teams are in need of a top-line starter. Now the question is who will pony up the money.

The Rangers had plenty of bullpen problems last season, and now it appears a bull in the pen has caused some damage before spring training even had a chance to arrive.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Free Agent Darvish Meets With Cubs, Minus Translator]]>Tue, 19 Dec 2017 08:53:05 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-869166702.jpg

The Chicago Cubs are making a pitch for Yu Darvish.

The free agent right-hander says he had a "very good meeting" on Monday with Cubs officials. Darvish tweeted a statement in Japanese confirming the get-together amid reports that Chicago executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were in Dallas to speak with him.

Darvish is one of the top starting pitchers available this offseason, and the Cubs have been busy filling holes on their staff. The NL Central champions already have signed free agent starter Tyler Chatwood and relievers Brandon Morrow and Steve Cishek.

Darvish was 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA last season for the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Dodgers. The four-time All-Star pitched well in a pair of playoff starts but was hit hard by Houston in the World Series, losing both his outings as the Dodgers were beaten in seven games.

Darvish also used the meeting to sharpen his English. The 31-year-old says he did not bring a translator because "I wanted to put myself in a more challenging stage regarding my English."

The 3 1/2-hour sit-down left Darvish "very tired," but he says he "will work hard again tomorrow speaking English."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jeff Banister Discusses A Busy Offseason for the Rangers ]]>Mon, 18 Dec 2017 20:40:10 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers_banister_offseason_1200x675_1119386179744.jpg

Manager Jeff Banister talks more about the busy offseason for the Rangers during the team's visit to Cook Children's Medical Center on Monday. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Switch from Bullpen to Starting Rotation for Matt Bush ]]>Mon, 18 Dec 2017 17:46:18 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers_bush_talks_switching_to_starter_1200x675_1119255107982.jpg

Pitcher Matt Bush discusses the process involved in moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation during the Rangers holiday visit to Cook Children's Medical Center. ]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Make Holiday Visit to Children's Hospital]]>Mon, 18 Dec 2017 17:25:50 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers_cook_childrens_hospital_visit_1200x675_1119246915670.jpg

The Rangers spent Monday spreading holiday cheer and putting smiles on children's faces at Cook Children's Medical Center. ]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Acquire Pitcher Matt Moore From Giants]]>Fri, 15 Dec 2017 20:49:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/matt-moore-ap.jpg

Left-hander Matt Moore was traded from the San Francisco Giants to the Texas Rangers for minor league right-handers Israel Cruz and Sam Wolff.

Texas also received $750,000 in international signing bonus pool allotment from the Giants as part of the trade announced Friday.

San Francisco last month exercised Moore's $7 million option for 2018. He went 6-15 with a 5.52 ERA in 174 1/3 innings last season, setting a career high for losses, as the Giants finished last in the NL West. He allowed a career-worst 107 earned runs.

He joins a rotation with two other lefties in 13-game winner Martin Perez and Cole Hamels, who won 11 games this year. Right-hander Andrew Cashner, another 11-game winner, became a free agent after completing a $10 million, one-year deal with Texas.

Texas went 78-84 and finished third in the AL West behind the World Series champion Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels.

San Francisco acquired Moore at the 2016 trade deadline from Tampa Bay for third baseman Matt Duffy. The lefty's best season came in 2013, when he was 17-4 with the Rays.

Perez and Hamels were the only holdover Texas starters when the offseason started. Counting Moore, the Rangers have added three options to their rotation.

Right-hander Doug Fister agreed to a $4 million, one-year deal that could be worth up to $11.5 million over two seasons, and lefty Mark Minor received a $28 million, three-year contract.

Minor was a reliever for Kansas City last season but previously was a starter for Atlanta before missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons with shoulder issues. Texas general manager Jon Daniels has said the club intends to use Minor as a starter.

In 2011, Moore pitched seven scoreless innings at the Rangers in his playoff debut in Game 1 of an AL Division Series, allowing just two hits in a 9-0 Tampa Bay victory. The Rangers won the next three games to take the series.

In his only postseason start for the Giants, Moore had 10 strikeouts in eight innings to help San Francisco to a 5-2 lead over the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the 2016 NL Division Series. The Cubs rallied in the ninth for a 6-5 victory to win the series on their way to the World Series title.

The 20-year-old Cruz was 3-2 with a 5.91 ERA in three starts and nine relief appearances for the Arizona League Rangers in 2017 this year. Wolff, 26, was 2-3 with a 3.54 ERA and three saves in 16 games at Double-A Frisco this year and 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 24 games at Triple-A Round Rock. He had surgery in August to repair a torn right flexor tendon.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: The Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Sign Arlington High Grad Chris Martin]]>Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:15:30 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/chris-martin-rangers-intro.jpg

The Texas Rangers have signed free agent right-handed pitcher Chris Martin to a two-year contract.

"It's a dream come true for me. I've grown up my whole life watching the Rangers," Martin said in the locker room after the team's announcement Friday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team, though multiple reports indicate it's worth about $4 million.

The 31-year-old, a 6 foot 8 inch tall RHP who graduated from Arlington High School in 2004, returns to the United States after pitching the past two seasons for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

A shoulder injury nearly ended his career just after high school, but he fought his way back, stocking shelves at Texas Alliance and playing catch with co-workers.

"I'm in a shirt, jeans and boots, trying to catch this guy throwing 80 miles an hour fast balls in a warehouse. When it got to that point almost broke my thumb and the glove, we were like, 'OK, we think you're ready,'" said Jordan Bostick, Martin's longtime friend who hired him at Texas Alliance.

Martin was picked up by the Grand Prairie AirHogs, then the Boston Red Sox. He played a season for the Colorado Rockies and the New York Yankees before going to Japan.

"It's been a whirlwind with my shoulder injury and very humbling working in a warehouse. The experience has driven me throughout my career," Martin recalled.

But his Arlington High School Coach, David Nix, described him as a fierce competitor on the mound and said he wasn't surprised by Martin's perseverance.

"He's a hard worker and loves the game, so we're excited to see him come back," Nix said.

Martin produced the lowest ERA (1.12) and opponents batting average (.154), fewest baserunners per nine innings (6.11), and second-lowest strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.00) among all NPB relievers with at least 90 appearances in 2016-17. He went 0-2 with one save and a 1.19 ERA (11 ER/88.1 IP) spanning 40 appearances for the Fighters in 2017. Martin’s 21 saves in 2016 ranked tied for 5th in the Pacific League.

While with the Rockies, Martin faced the Rangers twice in 2014, including a lone appearance at Globe Life Park on May 7, 2014.

With the signing of Martin, the Rangers now have 39 players on the club’s major league roster.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Texas Live!, New Ballpark Construction Moving Along]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:59:55 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Interior_Seating_Bowl.jpg

Construction of Texas Live! and the new Globe Life Park in Arlington is moving right along.

Texas Sky Ranger was over the area Thursday where development where the frame for Texas Live! is beginning to take shape and where crews and bulldozers were preparing the ground for the new stadium.

The new ballpark, which will cost an estimated $1.1 billion and have a retractable roof, is scheduled to open in 2020.

The groundbreaking for the new ballpark took place at the site of the new stadium's home plate, which was formerly the back of Parking Lot B, on Sept. 28.

Rangers executives call the designs of the new retractable roof stadium "truly amazing."

"It opens a world of possibilities to us," Rangers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Rob Matwick said. "We want it to be the best Major League Baseball facility that there is."

The stadium is slated to open before the start of the 2020 season.

The City of Arlington will cover $500 million of the total cost. Voters there overwhelmingly approved extending a package of tax increases that had been used to pay for the construction of AT&T Stadium.

The city's deal with the team keeps the Rangers in Arlington through 2054; their current 30-year lease on Globe Life Park was set to expire in 2024.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Texas Rangers Baseball Club]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Sign Hanser Alberto, Kevin Jepsen to Minor League Deals]]>Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:58:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas+rangers+logo.jpg

The Texas Rangers announced Thursday they'd signed infielder Hanser Alberto and right-handed pitcher Kevin Jepsento to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training camp.

The Rangers acquired outfielder Carlos Tocci from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for cash considerations.

"Tocci was selected by the White Sox in the major league phase of this morning's Rule 5 Draft, and would have to remain on the Rangers' active roster for the entire 2018 season or be offered back to Philadelphia. Also in the Rule 5 Draft, Rangers outfielder Anthony Gose was selected by Houston from the Triple-A Round Rock roster," the team said in a news release.

Below is more information on each player from the team.

Alberto, 25, was not tendered a major league contract offer by the Rangers prior to the deadline on December 1, making him a free agent. He spent the entire 2017 season on the disabled list with right shoulder problems and had surgery to repair right rotator cuff debridement on June 19. His only action was 5 games on injury rehabilitation assignment at Frisco (June 1-4) and Round Rock (June 5-6). Originally signed by Texas as a non-drafted free agent on November 23, 2009, Alberto has spent his entire career in the Rangers organization. He appeared in 76 major league games with the club in 2015-16.

Jepsen, 33, saw action at the major league level every season from 2008-16, compiling a 3.92 ERA (174 ER/400.0 IP) over 448 relief appearances with the Los Angeles Angels (2008-14), Tampa Bay (2015-16), and Minnesota (2015-16). He tied for the A.L. lead with 75 relief outings and posted a career-best 15 saves in 2015 with the Twins and Rays. In 2017, he signed with the Washington Nationals on June 26 and spent the balance of the season with Triple-A Syracuse, going 0-1 with a 5.32 ERA (14 ER/23.2 IP) and one save over 19 relief appearances. The right-hander recorded 29 strikeouts and held International League opponents to a .237 average (22-93). Jepsen was a non-roster invite with the Arizona Diamondbacks last spring and was released on March 25.

Tocci, 22, combined to bat .294 (142-483) with 19 doubles, 7 triples, 3 home runs, and 52 RBI over 130 games with Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley in the Philadelphia organization last season. He spent the bulk of the campaign with Reading, earning mid-season All-Star honors in the Eastern League. The Venezuela native has spent the majority of his career as a centerfielder, but has also seen action at both corner outfield spots. The right-handed batter and thrower was rated by Baseball America as one of Philadelphia's top ten prospects every season from 2012-15 and entered the 2017 campaign as the organization's 29th-best prospect. He joined Aragua in the Venezuelan Winter League on December 6 and has batted .308 (8-26) over his first seven games with the club. Last season, Tocci was named the Venezuelan Winter League Rookie of the Year after batting .323 (70-217) in 59 games with Aragua.

Gose, 27, signed a minor league contract with Texas on December 4, and he had been invited to the club's major league spring training camp. He spent the last of three seasons in the Detroit organization in 2017, when he saw his first action as a pitcher, going 0-2 with a 7.59 ERA (9 ER/10.2 IP) over 11 relief appearances with High-A Lakeland.

With the addition of Tocci, the Rangers now have 38 players on the club's major league roster.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Could There Be a Rangers-Darvish Reunion?]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:29:50 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/darvish-yu-rangers-face.jpg

Is Yu Darvish returning to the Texas Rangers? NBC 5 Sports Director Newy Scruggs tells why he thinks this is a bad idea.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Yu Darvish in Town Playing Catch With Former Teammate]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:56:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/yu-clayton.JPG

Former Texas Rangers pitcher, and current free agent, Yu Darvish is in town throwing with a former teammate.

Darvish posted on Twitter and Instagram Tuesday that he was playing catch and asked, "Who has [a] better throwing partner than me?"

Given the location, Highland Park High School, it should be no surprise who Darvish was tossing around the ball with -- current LA Dodger and Highland Park alum Clayton Kershaw.


Darvish, of course, was traded to the LA Dodgers during the 2017 season and ended up starting in two World Series games for the Dodgers. Darvish's Game 3 performance was not good and his Game 7 appearance was, well, no better. In two starts Darvish only managed to pitch 3.1 innings.

Kershaw, on the other hand, won Game 1 and pitched 15.2 innings in three games with 17 strike outs. While his 4.02 ERA isn't great, it's far better than the 21.6 turned in by Darvish.

The answer to Darvish's question ... it's hard to imagine many better.

Despite the awful World Series appearance and having been out in 2015 sidelined by Tommy John surgery, Darvish is still among the top free agents going into the 2018 season.



Photo Credit: Instagram/Darvishsefat11
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Former Arlington Star Returns Home After Deal with Rangers]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 16:43:51 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/176*120/GettyImages-471467084.jpg

It’s been a long, unusual journey for Chris Martin, one that has led him back to Arlington.

The Rangers need some arms in the bullpen and Martin was apparently available. So both sides have reportedly come to a two-year, $4 million contract agreement. According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the deal includes $550, 000 in incentives each year based on games finished. The Rangers have not yet announced the agreement.

But it’s the journey that makes this move interesting.

The 31-year old righty was an All-State player at Arlington High in 2004 and drafted in the 18th round by the Detroit Tigers. However, Martin did not sign, choosing to go to college instead. He enrolled at McLennan Community College in Waco and received some interest from Division I schools Oklahoma and Texas after his freshman year with the Highlanders.

The Colorado Rockies selected him in the 21st round of the 2005 MLB Draft, but Martin chose to return to McLennan for his sophomore year.  However, the dreaded injury bug struck, with Martin suffering a shoulder injury that would require surgery. The Rockies decided not to offer him a contract. Sometimes, that’s just the way baseball go.

After graduating from McLennan, Martin went the independent league route, signing with the Fort Worth Cats in 2007. However, he never pitched a game for the Cats due to shoulder discomfort. The medical recommendation was to undergo surgery. Martin instead chose to quite the game of baseball.

He then went to work loading trucks for UPS at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, moving refrigerators for Lowe’s and stocking washing machines and clothes dryers at an appliance warehouse in Arlington.

Then Martin began playing catch with a coworker, Jordan Bostick, at the warehouse. Martin noticed his shoulder felt stronger and decided to give the game another shot, with the encouragement of Bostick. After being out of the game for three years, Martin tried out and eventually signed with the Grand Prairie AirHogs, now known as the Texas AirHogs. He finished the 2010 season at 4-0 with a 1.96 ERA.

AirHogs manager and former Rangers slugger Pete Incaviglia soon began contacting MLB teams about Martin. The Boston Red Sox offered him a tryout in spring training before the 2011 season and signed him to a minor league contract. Martin was 6-2 with a 2.55 ERA in 23 games in the minors that season.

After the 2013 season, Martin was part of a trade package sent to the Rockies, who insisted that he was to be included in the deal. Eight years after being drafted by the Rockies, the two sides are reunited.

He made his major league debut in 2014, pitching a scoreless inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He threw a total of 15 2/3 innings for the Rockies to the tune of a 6.89 ERA with 14 strikeouts before being sent to the minors.

The Rockies then traded Martin to the New York Yankees before the 2015 season, where he made the Opening Day roster. He spent the season back and forth between the parent team and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He would finish the season at 0-2 with a 5.66 ERA in 24 games on the major league level.

The Yankees sold the contractual rights to Martin to the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan for $750, 000 after the 2015 season. If that team sounds familiar, it’s the same one that Shohei Ohtani suited up for. The Rangers recently missed out on the Ohtani sweepstakes, with the Los Angeles Angels instead landing the “Babe Ruth of Japan.”

During his two years over in Japan, Martin had 22 saves with a 1.12 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP in over 88 innings. He averaged 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 2016-17.

The 6-foot-8, 215-pound Martin throws a fastball that averages 95 miles per hour. He mixes in a slider and cut fastball. During his time in Japan, Martin struck out 91 while only walking 13.

Now, he returns home.

Once it’s official, Martin gives the Rangers another right-handed setup reliever to go along with Matt Bush, Tony Barnette and Keone Kela. Keep in mind, the Rangers are also considering the possibility of moving Bush into the starting rotation.

The Rangers are in need for bullpen help. A local product might be able to provide some help with that.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Trade Talk: Profar for Harvey on the Table?]]>Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:11:34 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-809491436.jpg

Could the Dark Knight be making his way to Arlington?

The MLB winter meetings are underway this week in Orlando, Florida. Know what that means? All sorts of fun topics that make their way out into the real world.

One such example is the rumor that the Rangers and New York Mets have engaged in trade talks involving pitcher Matt Harvey and infielder Jurickson Profar. Keep in mind, it’s just chatter right now but crazier things have happened. That’s what the winter meetings are for. It’s like a college mixer, talk to some people and see if anything comes from it.

The Mets are in need infield help and considering moving their former ace in the process. Harvey is projected to earn $5.9 million in arbitration before reaching the free agent marking at the end of the season. Plus, the love affair between Harvey and the Mets appears to be over. If a deal is done and he can return to form, the Rangers have another ace in the rotation to go along with Cole Hamels.

Harvey was known for bringing the heat during his days in the Big Apple, with the four-seam and two-seam fastball ranging 93-98 miles per hour with movement, mixed in with a slider that can top out at 92. The overhand power curve had plus potential but wasn’t used as frequently. Harvey favored the slider instead.

Meanwhile, the Rangers have ran out of minor league options for Profar, who’s been frustrated over not being on a major league roster and there doesn’t appear to be an open one in Texas. This makes the Rangers’ forgotten man trade bait. Profar didn’t get the September call-up last season, a decision that left the Rangers with three more seasons of arbitrary control, which only enhances his trade value.

Profar’s overall big league numbers doesn’t seem too attractive on paper- .229 batting average with 12 home runs and 53 RBI in 206 games from 2012-17. However, he’s only 24 years old with a high ceiling. It wasn’t that long ago that Profar was going to be the starting second baseman before suffering a shoulder injury. As a result, Rougned Odor got his chance at second and never looked back.

The Rangers need pitching. Matt Harvey is a pitcher. This makes sense.  Whether the front office in Arlington feel that Harvey is a risk to take remains to be seen.

The winter meetings are officially off and running. Buckle up, it might be a wild ride. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Add Shortstop Lost by Braves in Scandal: AP]]>Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:13:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-127235790.jpg

The Texas Rangers have signed free-agent shortstop Yenci Pena, one of the players taken from the Atlanta Braves as punishment for circumventing international signing rules, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Saturday.

The agreement comes after the Rangers missed out on Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, who chose the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced.

The Rangers had one of the largest amounts of international bonus money for the pursuit of Ohtani at more than $3.5 million. They can spend that money on other international players.

The 17-year-old Pena is from the Dominican Republic and was among 13 prospects the Braves lost when former general manager John Coppolella was banned for life by Major League Baseball last month.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said MLB's investigation determined the Braves funneled extra signing bonus money to five players in 2015-16 by giving the funds first to another player considered a foreign professional under baseball's rules and having the money redistributed to the other five.

If the money had been counted for the other five, the Braves would have exceeded their pool by more than 5 percent and been restricted to signing bonuses of $300,000 or under for international amateurs through June 15, 2019.

Because of that, MLB voided the contracts of nine players the Braves would have been ineligible to sign. Pena's $1.05 million deal was among them.

Three other players the Braves signed were set free because Atlanta gave additional money to their agents by signing others to deals with what MLB called "inflated" bonuses. A contract with South Korean shortstop Ji-Hwan Bae was rejected because of compensation outside the deal.

Pena played 45 games last season for the Braves' rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate, hitting .230 with two home runs and 19 RBIs.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Japanese Star Ohtani Reportedly Joining Angels]]>Fri, 08 Dec 2017 23:38:55 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ohtani-ap.jpg

Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, known as the Babe Ruth of Japan, will sign with the Los Angeles Angels, his agent says.

Aside from the Rangers, the Dodgers, Cubs, Giants, Padres and Mariners all had interest in Ohtani.

Ohtani is the rare player who was both a pitcher and a hitter in Japan and grades out high in both. Now the 23-year old wants to do the same thing on the world’s biggest baseball stage to show he’s the real deal.

In 403 career games for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani had 48 home runs and 166 RBIs. On the mound, he went 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA and 624 strikeouts. The fastball was clocked as high as 102 mph and touches triple digits regularly. Combine that with his splitter and slider and the repertoire is just nasty.

Bottom line- He’s an All-Star in both phases.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Give Out Baseball Gloves]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:00:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Texas_Rangers_Give_Out_Baseball_Gloves.jpg

The Texas Rangers gave some C.F. Carr Elementary School students an early holiday present, a new baseball glove.]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Hand Out New Gloves to Students]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:01:42 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/Rangers+Gloves.jpg

The Texas Rangers gave some West Dallas elementary students an early holiday present.

Rangers players handed out gloves donated by State Farm at a C.F. Carr Elementary School assembly Thursday afternoon.

School officials say 95 percent of the students there are on free or reduced lunch.

Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation said it wanted the kids to know what its like to have a glove of their own.

Some players say they grew up in poverty and still remember that feeling.




Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[The Pursuit for Japanese Superstar Shohei Ohtani]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:15:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/205*120/ap-shohei-otani3.jpg

The pursuit for the Babe Ruth of Japan continues and the Rangers are right in the mix.

The process of elimination for the services of Shohei Ohtani is underway with seven teams still in the running. Out of those seven, the Rangers and Chicago Cubs are the only two that are not on the West Coast. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners also have Ohtani.

The Japanese superstar has until Dec. 22 to make the call on where he’ll sign his first pro contract in the United States. All seven teams have met with Ohtani and made their sales pitch on why he should wear their uniform.  Now, the wait begins.

So why is he the cool kid that everybody wants to hang out with?

Ohtani is the rare player who was both a pitcher and a hitter in Japan and grades out high in both.  Now the 23-year old wants to do the same thing on the world’s biggest baseball stage to show he’s the real deal.

In 403 career games for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Ohtani had 48 home runs and 166 RBI’s at the plate. On the mound, he went 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA and 624 strikeouts. The fastball was clocked as high as 102 mph and touches triple digits regularly. Combine that with his splitter and slider and the repertoire is just nasty.

Bottom line- He’s an All-Star in both phases.

So what chance do the Rangers have in landing Ohtani? Well, they made it to the final round of seven over teams such as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and world champion Houston Astros. Plus, the rumor that Ohtani likely prefers the small market teams over the big market ones plays helps and could also eliminate the Los Angeles teams in the long run. Add in the fact that the Rangers were one of the teams courting Ohtani out of high school helps present a strong case.

However, Rangers Nation may not feel the same way. According to a recent poll on NBCDFW.com, 57 percent said Texas wouldn’t land Ohtani.

There was a similar feeling in 2012 with a Japanese pitcher named Yu Darvish. Granted, the international rules and posting system was different compared to now but very few gave the Rangers a chance to win the bidding war over teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.

If the magic does happen, you could be looking at a Rangers team with a six-man starting rotation with Ohtani in the mix. Plenty of clubs fell out of the hunt early when they said they weren’t willing to budge on letting him both pitch and hit, eliminating the possibility of seeing something special.

Ohtani’s two-way ability may also lead to something that baseball has never seen. As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News pointed out, that ability would eliminate the need for an extra bat on the bench and make more room available in the bullpen. Keep in mind, the Rangers ran through some pitchers last season in a bullpen that was among the worst in the majors.

And keep in mind, Darvish is a free agent and there’s always the possibility that a deal between him and the Rangers could lead to a reunion. It may sound like crazy talk but there’s a chance.

Could it be déjà vu all over again? Waiting is the hardest part.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Announce Minor League Coaching Assignments]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:08:46 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/frisco-rough-riders-david-watkins.jpg

The Texas Rangers announced Thursday the managers, coaches, and staff for all minor league affiliates in 2018.

Texas affiliates combined for three division titles and one league championship in 2017.

Former major league infielder Spike Owen has been elevated to manager at High-A Down East as he enters his third season as a skipper in the Texas farm system. He managed the club's High-A affiliate in 2015, leading High Desert to a second half division title and the California League semifinals. Matt Hagen will manage Hickory after his debut season as a manager with Spokane last year. Hagen led the Indians to the postseason in his only season at the helm. Kenny Holmberg returns to a managerial role in 2018, taking over for Hagen at Spokane. Holmberg previously managed the DSL Rangers in 2011 and the AZL Rangers from 2013-15. In addition to managing in Spokane, Holmberg will retain his responsibilities as the organization's infield coordinator.

Several Texas coaches will be with new affiliates in 2018. The Round Rock staff will feature a pair of new coaches in pitching coach Brian Shouse and hitting coach Howard Johnson. Shouse spent last season at Frisco, while Johnson led Down East to a Carolina League co-Championship as a manager. Johnson has been a major league hitting coach with Seattle (2013-15) and the New York Mets (2008-10).

In addition to Johnson, there will be new hitting coaches at several affiliates, as Kenny Hook (Down East), Chase Lambin (Hickory), Jared Goedert (Spokane), and Jeremy Moore (AZL Rangers) will all have new assignments. Greg Hibbard (Frisco) and Jono Armold (Spokane) will serve as pitching coaches with new clubs in 2018.

Round Rock (AAA)  

  • Manager Jason Wood
  • Pitching Brian Shouse  
  • Hitting Howard Johnson  
  • Coach Geno Petralli  
  • Trainer Carlos Olivas
  • Strength Eric McMahon

Frisco (AA)

  • Manager Joe Mikulik
  • Pitching Greg Hibbard
  • Hitting Jason Hart
  • Trainer Jacob Newburn
  • Strength Wade Lamont

Down East (High-A)

  • Manager Spike Owen
  • Pitching Steve Mintz
  • Hitting Kenny Hook
  • Coach Carlos Maldonado
  • Trainer Alex Rodriguez
  • Strength Al Sandoval

Hickory (Low-A)

  • Manager Matt Hagen  
  • Pitching Jose Jaimes  
  • Hitting Chase Lambin  
  • Coach Turtle Thomas  
  • Trainer Luke Teeters Strength Ed Yong
  • Strength Adam Noel

Spokane (Short-A)

  • Manager Kenny Holmberg
  • Pitching Jono Armold
  • Hitting Jared Goedert
  • Trainer Bronson Santillan

Arizona (Rookie)

  • Manager Matt Siegel
  • Pitching Henderson Lugo
  • Pitching Chris Egelston*
  • Hitting Salomon Manriquez
  • Hitting Jeremy Moore
  • Coach Guilder Rodriguez
  • Strength Chandler Geller

Dominican (Rookie)

  • Manager Carlos Cardoza
  • Pitching Jesus Delgado
  • Pitching Pablo Blanco
  • Hitting Chad Comer
  • Coach Alexis Infante
  • Coach Chu Ovalle Asst.
  • Coach Roberto De La Rosa
  • Coach Luis Encarnacion
  • Strength Eduardo Thomas

Roving Instructors

  • Field Coordinator Corey Ragsdale
  • Pitching Coordinator Danny Clark
  • Hitting Coordinator Josue Perez
  • Catching Coordinator Chris Briones
  • Base Running Coordinator Damon Mashore
  • Hitting/Outfield Coordinator Dwayne Murphy
  • Asst. Pitching Coordinator Jeff Andrews
  • Infield Coordinator Kenny Holmberg
  • Director, Peak Performance Josiah Igono
  • Medical Coordinator Jason Roberts
  • Rehab Coordinator Sean Fields
  • Asst. Medical and Rehab Coord. Chris Olson
  • Strength and Conditioning Coord. Napoleon Pichardo
  • Asst. Strength and Conditiong Coord. Eric McMahon
  • Rehab Strength and Cond. Coord. Ric Mabie
  • Rehab Pitching Coordinator Keith Comstock
  • Special Assistant, Pitching Mark Connor

Arizona Complex Operations

  • Coordinator, Arizona Operations Stosh Hoover
  • Minor League Equipment Manager Chris Ackerman

The organization's entire group of roving instructors return in 2018.

The lone new hire in the organization is Chris Egelston as a pitching coach with the AZL Rangers. Egelston previously operated his Triple Play Baseball Academy in Blue Springs, Missouri and joined the organization during the 2017 campaign.

A look at the 2018 staff (changes from 2017 underlined in italics; new hires denoted by*):

The organization's roving instructor staff remains completely intact from 2017. Corey Ragsdale will lead the group in his third season as Field Coordinator. Danny Clark begins his 13th season in the Texas system and 10th as the organization's pitching coordinator. Josue Perez will be in his fourth season in the role of hitting coordinator.

Former major league infielder Jason Wood returns for a fourth season at the helm of the Express and ninth season overall in the organization. Newcomers Howard Johnson and Brian Shouse join Wood in Round Rock this season, while former Texas backstop Geno Petralli will be on the staff for a fourth straight season. Carlos Olivas (athletic trainer) and Eric McMahon (strength and conditioning) both return. McMahon will continue with additional responsibilities as the organization's assistant strength and conditioning coordinator.

Joe Mikulik returns to Frisco for his fourth season, his 20th season overall as a minor league manager. Former Ranger Jason Hart enters his seventh season as the Frisco hitting coach and Greg Hibbard joins the staff after two seasons at Round Rock. Jacob Newburn begins his third season as Frisco's athletic trainer and Wade Lamont will be the strength and conditioning coach for a second straight year.

Owen's staff at Down East will feature Steve Mintz (pitching), Kenny Hook (hitting), and Carlos Maldonado (coach). Mintz is the only holdover from the 2017 staff, as Hook spent last season at Hickory and Maldonado was a player/coach at Frisco. Alex Rodriguez (athletic trainer) and Al Sandoval (strength and conditioning) round out the staff.

Hagen will be joined in Hickory by Jose Jaimes (pitching), Chase Lambin (hitting), and Turtle Thomas (coach). Lambin and Thomas were both apart of Hagen's staff in Spokane last season and Jaimes enters his third season with the Crawdads. Athletic trainer Luke Teeters also moves to Hickory in 2018 and Adam Noel will be in second season as the team's strength and conditioning coach.

Holmberg's staff will feature nearly all newcomers to the Spokane club. In addition to Holmberg, Jono Armold (pitching) will move to Spokane after spending last season with the AZL Rangers. Hitting coach Jared Goedert will have a new role on the staff following one season as the team's fourth coach. Athletic trainer Bronson Santillan will also be in his first season at Spokane. Strength and conditioning coach Ed Yong returns for his 10th season with the Indians.

Matt Siegel will manage the Arizona League Rangers for a third straight season. Henderson Lugo and Egelston will serve as pitching coaches. Salomon Manriquez returns as a hitting coach, while Jeremy Moore joins the staff after one season as a coach for Down East. Former Ranger Guilder Rodriguez will be a member of the AZL Rangers staff for a second straight year. Chandler Geller returns for his second season as the club's strength and conditioning coach.

Carlos Cardoza will manage the Dominican Summer League Rangers for a third straight season. Jesus Delgado and Pablo Blanco both return to the staff as pitching coaches, while Chad Comer, Alexis Infante, Chu Ovalle, Roberto De La Rosa, and Luis Encarnacion also return. Eduardo Thomas will be the team's strength and conditioning coach for an 11th season.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[How the Rangers Could Land Shohei Ohtani]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 18:13:23 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers+doney+grant+ohtani.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney and Evan Grant from the Dallas Morning News discuss the possibility of the Rangers getting free agent pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani. ]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Complete $28 Million Deal With Minor]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 16:22:49 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mike-minor-signed.jpg

The Texas Rangers completed a Minor deal Wednesday while waiting for Shoehi Ohtani to decide where he wants to play.

A day after meeting in Los Angeles with the Japanese pitcher and outfielder, Rangers officials were back home in Texas to introduce left-hander Mike Minor after finalizing a $28 million, three-year contract.

General manager Jon Daniels described Minor as a primary target in the team's offseason pursuit to replenish and bolster its pitching staff.

"He's somebody that we've liked back in his amateur days. ... Gets to the big leagues, promising starter, had a hiccup and then dominant last year again," Daniels said of Minor, a standout reliever for Kansas City last season.

While the Rangers' interest in Ohtani has been well-known, Daniels and other team officials didn't want to talk Wednesday about the pitcher-outfielder or their visit with him.

Ohtani was put up for bid last week by the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters for the maximum $20 million posting fee. The 23-year-old has until 11:59 p.m. EST on Dec. 22 to agree to a contract with an MLB team. The Rangers are among seven teams he is considering.

Meanwhile, Minor is the second pitcher the Rangers have signed in a week. He gets a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $8 million next season and $9.5 million each in 2019 and 2020. He has a limited no-trade provision that allows him to list 10 teams each year he can't be traded to without his consent.

When the offseason began, the Rangers had only left-handers Cole Hamels and Martin Perez signed for their 2018 rotation. Right-hander Doug Fister last week agreed to a $4 million, one-year deal that could be worth up to $11.5 million over two seasons.

Minor was 6-6 with a 2.55 ERA in 77 2/3 innings over 65 relief appearances last season with Kansas City. He previously was a starter for Atlanta before missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons with shoulder issues. The Braves picked him seventh overall in the 2009 amateur draft.

"Our plans are for Mike to start for us," Daniels said. "He's done both with success in the big leagues. There is some flexibility that his past provides us."

Minor, who turns 30 the day after Christmas, became a free agent last month when he declined his $10 million player option to stay with the Royals. He was 38-36 while starting 110 of 111 games in Atlanta from 2010-14, and said he wanted to be a starter again.

"I wanted that to be an option for teams, and I felt like Texas was the only team that kind of stepped up and gave me that option," Minor said. "As everybody knows, I've always been a starter. Last year was my first year in the pen, and I was comfortable doing it. Deep down in my well, I still feel like there's something there and I feel like I can help this team being a starter."



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA['Muchas Gracias, Beisbol': Beltran Retires After 20 Seasons]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:10:24 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_17317625723703.jpg

After 20 seasons, Carlos Beltran is leaving baseball on top.

After winning his first World Series ring with the Houston Astros this year, the outfielder is retiring, he announced Monday in a personal essay for The Players' Tribune

"I am blessed to have played this game for 20 years. I am blessed to have played for so many great organizations," he wrote. "And I am blessed to be a champion."

Beltan played for seven teams -- Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Houston Astros -- and made nine All-Star appearances. He won the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year award and three Gold Gloves.

But he almost didn't even pursue the sport, he revealed in his Tribune essay. The Puerto Rican native was equally passionate about volleyball as a teenager, but he ultimately realized there is more opportunity for success in baseball. 

Baseball, he wrote, was always about more than winning.

"And as I got older, and I became the player that the younger guys came to for advice, I started to understand something … that my purpose in this game is not only to hit home runs or to win championships. It is to share what I know with the younger players, like so many other players have done for me," he wrote. "It is to give back to the game of baseball."

He realized this purpose when he nervously approached slugger Barry Bonds during the 2007 All-Star weekend to ask for hitting advice and Bonds received him with kindness and a willingness to coach him. 

He finishes his 20-year career with with a .279 average, 435 homers, 1,587 RBIs and 312 stolen bases.

Beltran said he never felt pressured to win a World Series before he retired, determined instead to "give back to the game of baseball."

"But it still feels nice to have a ring," he wrote. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File]]>
<![CDATA[Gallo Hits HRs 40, 41 to Lift Rangers Over A's 8-4]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 22:00:51 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-856069900.jpg

Joey Gallo hit his 40th and 41st home runs, Andrew Cashner pitched six solid innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 8-4 on Saturday night.

Gallo had a two-run homer in the second inning and a solo shot in the third, becoming the sixth Ranger to hit 40 homers in a season and the first since Josh Hamilton had 43 in 2010. Gallo ranks fifth in the majors in home runs. He also walked twice and scored on a single by Rougned Odor in the seventh.

Cashner (11-11) limited Oakland to five hits and two runs in six innings. He finished his season with a 3.40 ERA, good for ninth in the AL.

Gallo gave Cashner an early lead when he homered on a 1-1 pitch from Daniel Gossett (4-11) that hit the batter's eye in straightaway center.

Texas tacked on two more runs in the second when Odor and Jared Hoying had back-to-back doubles and Delino DeShields singled, knocking out Gossett after 1 2/3 innings.

Oakland cut the lead to 5-2 in the sixth on a double by Khris Davis and an RBI groundout from Matt Chapman.

Texas added two more runs in the sixth when Willie Calhoun had an RBI single and then scored on a double from Elvis Andrus.

Matt Joyce hit a solo homer for Oakland in the eighth and Marcus Semein homered in the ninth.

HELPING OUT

Oakland RHP Kendall Graveman made his final start on Sept. 27 against Seattle, but he's still helping out his teammates during the series against Texas and has been volunteering his time as a clubhouse assistant.

"He seems to be enjoying himself with it," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "And actually you have to almost take a double take when you walk by him, because he actually looks like he fits in pretty well doing it. The guys are getting a kick out of it."

MAXWELL KNEELS AGAIN

Bruce Maxwell took to a knee in the Oakland bullpen during the national anthem. The catcher was warming up Gossett and out of view from many fans, but was still booed by a handful of attendees.

Maxwell has been the only major league baseball player to kneel for the anthem, a movement started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to protest police treatment of blacks. Mawell was booed before each plate appearance Saturday.

TRAINERS ROOM

Rangers: Rangers manager Jeff Banister said 3B Adrian Beltre (strained hamstring) could make an appearance Sunday -- possibly as a pinch hitter -- so fans could see and honor the player to close out the season.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (2-2) will make his fourth start since getting recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Sept. 5.

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (12-5) will close out the season for Texas and looking to rebound from a loss against the Houston Astros on Sept. 26.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Manager Jeff Banister Speaks on Players' Protests]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:06:33 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Jeff_Banister_on_Protests_1200x675_1054601795510.jpg

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister speaks about the protests by athletes during the national anthem, which includes at least one Major League Baseball player, that have drawn criticism from President Trump.]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Helps Rangers Yu Darvish Find Pitching Flaw]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 04:45:28 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-823253876.jpg

Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish is coming off the worst start of his MLB career and he might have found the reason for his struggles on Twitter.

Last Wednesday, in what might have been his last start with the Rangers, Darvish gave up 10 runs on two walks and nine hits — including two home runs — in 3⅔ innings pitched.

Three days later, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan tweeted that a Marlins official told him Darvish was pausing slightly before throwing his fastball.

An hour after Passan's tweet, Darvish thanks Passan for passing the information along.

Darvish told MLB.com's Sam Butler he wouldn't have known he was tipping his pitches if not for Passan's tweet, as the subtleties are often hard to find.

"I didn't know if I was tipping or not" he told MLB.com. "I watched the video, and when I would throw a fastball, I paused. And then breaking ball was faster [in my delivery]."

Darvish's next scheduled start is Tuesday night at home against the Seattle Mariners. He has been rumored to be available by trade before Monday's non-waiver trade deadline at 3 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Monday's Sports Headlines With Pat Doney and Chris James ]]>Mon, 11 Dec 2017 19:54:49 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/doney+sports+james+webcast1.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney and Chris James talk Rangers baseball, Cowboys playoff chances, Stars problems with consistency and TCU basketball. ]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers in the Mix for Japanese Superstar Shohei Ohtani]]>Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:11:05 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers+chat+pic.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney and Chris James discuss the Rangers pursuit of Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani. ]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Ink 4 Minor League Deals, Includes Spring Invites]]>Mon, 04 Dec 2017 16:37:12 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-648038308.jpg

The following is an unedited news release from the Texas Rangers, published Dec. 4, 2017.

The Texas Rangers today announced the signings of four players to minor league contracts with invitations to 2018 major league spring training camp: right-handed pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez, outfielder Anthony Gose (pronounced Goes), left-handed pitcher David Hurlbut, and infielder Christian Lopes.

Gonzalez, 25, was not tendered a 2018 contract offer by the Rangers prior to the deadline on December 1, which made him a free agent. He missed the entire 2017 season with an ulnar collateral ligament tear in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery on July 24. The Rangers' first selection in the 2013 June draft, Gonzalez saw major league action with the club in 2015-16, combining to go 4-8 with a 4.54 ERA over 17 games/13 starts.

Gose, 27, spent the last of three seasons in the Detroit organization in 2017, when he saw his first action as a pitcher. The left-hander posted a 0-2 record with a 7.59 ERA (9 ER/10.2 IP) over 11 relief appearances with High-A Lakeland, recording 14 strikeouts against 6 walks with a 1.219 WHIP and .189 opponents batting average. He last pitched on July 2 before missing the duration of the season with left elbow inflammation. Once rated as one of the top prospects in baseball, Gose owns a career .240 batting average with 12 home runs, 69 RBI, and 57 stolen bases across 372 major league games as an outfielder for Toronto (2012-14) and Detroit (2015-16).

Hurlbut, who turned 28 last month, was 10-8 with a 3.44 ERA (50 ER/130.2 IP) over 23 games/22 starts with Triple-A Rochester. The southpaw was selected by Minnesota in the 28th round of the 2011 June draft out of Cal State Fullerton and has compiled a 3.27 ERA over 151 games/114 starts in seven minor league seasons. He currently has a 2-0 record with a 3.38 ERA (10 ER/26.2 IP) in 6 games/5 starts with Licey in the Dominican Winter League.

The 25-year-old Lopes played at three levels of the Toronto farm system in 2017, batting .269 (94-349) with 7 home runs and 46 RBI over 96 games with rookie-level Bluefield, High-A Dunedin, and Triple-A Buffalo. He has appeared at shortstop, second, third, and left field since the Blue Jays chose him in the seventh round of 2011 June Draft out of Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Do Not Tender 2018 Contracts to Four Players]]>Fri, 01 Dec 2017 20:55:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-167235676.jpg

The Rangers have cleared some space on the roster with spring training just a couple of months away.

Texas will not tender 2018 contract offers to right-handed pitchers Chi Chi Gonzalez, A.J. Griffin and Nick Martinez, along with infielder Hanser Alberto.

Gonzalez missed the entire 2017 season with an ulner collateral ligament tear in his pitching elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in July. Once considered a top prospect with a future as a starter, Gonzalez struggled at times in Arlington. He was 4-8 with a 4.54 ERA in 2015 and 2016 as both a starter and reliever with the Rangers.

Griffin was a reclamation project that the Rangers took a flyer on after being released by the Oakland A’s after the 2015 season. He was signed to a minor league contract right before Christmas of that year. Griffin got off to a hot start last season but missed a large chunk of time with an oblique injury. He struggled upon his return; finishing 6-6 with a 5.94 ERA in 18 games, 15 of those were starts.

Nick Martinez logged plenty of mileage up and down I-35 between Arlington and Round Rock, home of the Triple-A Round Rock Express. He had four different stints with the Rangers this season, going 3-8 with a 5.66 ERA in 23 games as both a starter and coming out of the bullpen.

Alberto spent all of last season on the disabled list with right shoulder problems and had rotator cuff surgery in June. Of course, Alberto will always have a spot in the hearts of Rangers Nation with his go-ahead single in the 2015 ALDS Game 2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

With today’s movements, the Rangers now have 35 players on the major league roster.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Altuve, MLB Helping Disaster Victims]]>Thu, 30 Nov 2017 18:04:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/jose_altuve_disaster_relief_help_1200x675_1107163715579.jpg

American League MVP Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros, along with Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez and other current and former MLB players, help build homes and raise funds for disaster victims. ]]>
<![CDATA[Fister Finalizes $4M Deal With Rangers, Who Need Starters]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 20:52:45 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-859063586.jpg

Right-hander Doug Fister spent a lot less time on the free agent market this offseason, finalizing a $4 million, one-year deal Tuesday with the pitching-needy Texas Rangers.

After being unsigned last season until May, Fister became the first of this year's 166 major league free agents to complete a big league contract and the first to switch teams.

"The Rangers approached me with a quality offer, and I figured it was definitely a fair one, and I think that was something we both can benefit from," Fister said. "That's kind of why I went ahead and went with it."

Asked if his experience last year made him want to move a bit more quickly this offseason, Fister responded, "I'm sure that it had something to play into all of this."

Fister moves into a Rangers rotation that had only left-handers Cole Hamels and Martin Perez signed for next season. Fister will get a $3.5 million base salary for next year, and the contract includes a $4.5 million team option for 2019 with a $500,000 buyout.

The 33-year-old right-hander agreed last May to a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He made three Triple-A starts before he requested his release and was claimed off waivers by Boston.

Fister made his debut with the Red Sox on June 25, and went 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA while starting 15 of his 18 games. He had a seven-start stretch from July 1-Sept. 6 when he went 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA and held opponents to a .194 batting average. He earned $956,284 in base salary plus $450,000 in performance bonuses for starts, a total of $1,406,284.

"I really feel like I've reverted back to some of my old ways, of pitching philosophy and physical mechanics," said Fister, who also got his sinker back.

In 230 games over the past nine major league seasons with five teams, Fister is 82-85 with a 3.68 ERA. His best season was with Washington in 2014, when he was 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA in 25 starts.

After going 5-7 for the Nationals in 2015, he went to Houston as a free agent and was 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA in 32 starters before his extended free agency.

"Doug profiles the kind of guy we were looking for, excellent makeup, pounds the strike zone, success in the American League," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Without elite velocity, he has got excellent command and excellent movement."

Daniels said the Rangers are still in the market for starting pitching and bullpen help. Texas is among the teams interested in Shohei Ohtani, the star pitcher-hitter from Japan.

Fister said he was able last season to make changes that allowed him to repeat his delivery and get his pitch quality back where it used to be. He also looks forward to being able to prepare for and go to spring training.

"Having that natural timeline of getting into the season I feel like is going to be a benefit for me," Fister said. "I feel 100 percent healthy and being able to get back and manipulate the baseball the way I used to."

A day earlier, right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma became the first of the big league free agents to finalize a deal, a minor league contract to remain with the Seattle Mariners.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Claim Catcher Juan Centeno from Astros ]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:51:26 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-167235676.jpg

The Rangers added another catcher to the mix on Monday, claiming Juan Centeno from the Houston Astros in a waiver claim.

Centeno spent some time as a backup catcher with the World Series champion Astros, hitting .231 with two home runs and four RBI in 22 games during three different stints on the major league club. He’s a career .235 hitter in 101 games with the Astros, Minnesota Twins and New York Mets.

Defensively, the scouting report on Centeno reads that he’s struggled to throw out runners during his brief major-league career and has graded out as a poor pitch-framer.

With that being said, the Rangers are thin at the catching position. Robinson Chirinos and Brett Nicholas are the only two catchers on the 40-man roster with big league experience. The Rangers did add one of their top overall prospects, Jose Trevino, to the 40-man roster last week.

Trevino hit .241 with seven home runs and 42 RBI last season with Double-A Frisco while receiving the 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove Award as one of the best catchers in the minors.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fister Agrees to Deal With Rangers Pending Physical]]>Mon, 27 Nov 2017 14:34:30 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-859070452.jpg

The Texas Rangers have made the first move toward replenishing their starting rotation, agreeing on a contract with free agent right-hander Doug Fister.

A person familiar with the move told The Associated Press that the completion of the deal was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because that process wasn't finished.

Fister will get a $4 million deal, with a base salary of $3.5 million next season plus potential incentives, and a club option for 2019 that includes a $500,000 buyout.

The 33-year-old right-hander started 15 of his 18 games with the Boston Red Sox last season. He was 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA.

Fister was among the final free agents to sign last season, when he agreed in May to a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels. He made three Triple-A starts before being released and getting claimed off waivers by the Red Sox and making his debut with them on June 25.

This offseason, he is one of the first free agents to sign. He joins the Rangers, who are looking to fill three rotation spots behind left-handers Cole Hamels and Martin Perez.

In 230 games over the past nine major league seasons with five different teams, Fister was 82-85 with a 3.68 ERA. His best season was with Washington in 2014, when he was 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA in 25 starts. He was 5-7 for the Nationals in 2015 before becoming a free agent, then went 12-13 with a 4.64 ERA in 32 starts for Houston in 2016.

Texas also is interested in Shohei Ohtani, the pitcher-hitter from Japan.

Yu Darvish was traded by Texas to the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31. Tyson Ross was released in September, and the Rangers said after the season that they wouldn't make a $17.4 million qualifying offer for free agent Andrew Cashner, who is seeking a multiyear deal after going 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA in his only season in Texas.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Rangers to Sign Starting Pitcher Doug Fister]]>Sun, 26 Nov 2017 16:06:39 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Red+Sox+Doug+Fister.jpg

There’s no doubt the Rangers need starting pitching. On paper, there’s Cole Hamels, Martin Perez and several question marks afterwards.

However, the first step in possibly answering at least one of those question marks appears to have happened over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston is reporting that the Rangers have agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with righty Doug Fister, pending a physical.  The deal would also include a team option for 2019. Rangers Nation may remember Fister from his days in the A.L. West with the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. Now it seems this time around Fister will be wearing the Rangers uniform when stepping onto the mound in Arlington.

The numbers from last season don’t look that impressive on the surface. Fister was 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA as both a starter and a reliever. He was last seen giving up three runs in 1.1 innings against the Astros in Game 3 of the ALDS. However, look beyond the surface and the signing of Fister may not be such a bad idea, despite the obvious desperation to fill out the starting rotation before spring training rolls around in February.

The velocity and strikeouts improved during Fister’s year in Beantown.  The 33-year old had 83 strikeouts in 90.1 innings pitched, averaging 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. That average was 5.7 in 2016 with the Astros, plus 5.5 and 5.4 in his two seasons before that with the Washington Nationals.

Fister flourished under the Red Sox coaching staff after being claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. Now the question is whether that improvement can be maintained once he arrives in Arlington.

Even with the addition of Fister, there is still work to be done with the Rangers starting rotation.  There are even names on the free agent market with Texas Connects Us ties such as Yu Darvish, Andrew Cashner and John Lackey. Other interesting options include Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, Tyler Chatwood and C.C. Sabathia.

And then there’s the pursuit of outfielder/pitcher Shohei Ohtani. The Rangers are among the favorites to land the “Japanese Babe Ruth” once he’s eligible to be posted as a free agent by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, which can be as soon as Friday.

One thing is for sure, the signing of Fister could be the beginning of an interesting offseason for the Rangers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Current and Former MLB Players to Help Disaster Victims]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:05:04 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pudge_Puerto_Rico_Fundraiser_6p_92317.jpg

More than 50 current and former major leaguer baseball players will roll up their sleeves to help displaced flood victims return home, when they visit the Habitat for Humanity warehouse in Dallas to frame two houses for victims of the Houston floods caused by Hurricane Harvey. 

Among of the former and current players involved in the project is former Rangers catcher and Hall of Famer Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and American League MVP Jose Altuve of the World Series champion Houston Astros.

When complete, the structures will be trucked to their Houston locations where they will be prepared for occupancy in spring 2018. 

While at the Dallas warehouse, the players and their families will also assemble holiday gift packages for 177 Houston Habitat for Humanity families who lost their homes to the flooding.

Later that evening, the Players Trust will host a fund-raising dinner and auction at the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas to benefit victims of the recent disasters that have devastated areas across the Americas.

For additional information, visit www.PlayersTrust.org.

]]>
<![CDATA[Where the Rangers Stand in the Sweepstakes for Otani]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:10:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/MLB+Shohei+Otani.jpg

At some point, the sweepstakes is expected to begin for the player known as the “Babe Ruth of Japan.” This magic could happen as early as 7 p.m. tonight.

Shohei Otani is possibly the most sought after free agent this offseason. That is if or when he becomes available to major league teams.

The MLBPA did extend their deadline to finalize an agreement regarding the transfer system for players moving between Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball. The stopping point is at 7 p.m.  Parties in interest are expected to continue negotiating in hopes of finding an agreement on posting rules that will allow clubs from NPB to make certain players available to MLB teams. The rules call for the Japanese club to set a maximum $20-million posting fee and any MLB club willing to bid that amount would be able to negotiate with a player such as Otani for 30 days.

The Rangers are considered to be among those in the running for landing Otani. The 23-year old played both outfield and pitcher in five seasons for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. The left-handed hitter has 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 403 career games.  His slugging percentage is an even .500 with a .859 OPS. At 6-foot-5, Otani is very athletic with raw power. If he was just a hitter alone, teams would still roll out the red carpet for him.

On the mound, Otani went 42-15 with a 2.52 ERA and 624 strikeouts during that same stretch. While he hits from the left side of the plate, Otani is a righty when he totes the rubber. His fastball has been clocked as high as 102 mph and touches triple digits regularly. Otani throws in a nasty splitter and slider that’s just as good.

Otani wants to be a two-way player in the big leagues and will likely get that opportunity if everything works out as planned. Scouts feel he has the tools to do it, the only remaining question is which uniform will he be wearing.

The New York Yankees are considered the front-runners in the sweepstakes, with the Los Angeles Dodgers mentioned in the same breath. The Yankees have already started making roster moves in what might be considered to make space for Otani.

However, Texas is also in the mix and may have one big advantage on their side. Let’s talk international bonus pool money.

The Rangers come in with over $3,535,000 in international bonus pool money remaining, $285-thousand more than the Yankees. The Minnesota Twins are the only other team with at least $3 million to invest in signing bonus. Money talks and the Rangers are banking that Otani will listen to them.

Don’t forget, the Rangers were able to pony up the money and shock the “big-market” clubs in 2012 to land another player from the Nippon Ham-Fighters- a right-handed pitcher named Yu Darvish.

Let’s also not forget the Darvish aspect in all of this. Otani grew up idolizing Darvish, which a few months ago probably made the Rangers the favorite. However, after Darvish was sent to the Dodgers at the trade deadline, things got a little more interesting.

Darvish is now a free agent, and where he lands could possibly impact the pursuit of Otani. Could you see both in a Rangers uniform next season? Chances are you are more likely to see Otani on the field in Arlington than Darvish. However, crazier things have happened.

The Rangers have had success in the past in bringing in international free agents and making them feel at home. They are banking on that magic once again.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Frisco Roughriders to be Featured on Popular Food Show]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:29:05 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/frisco-rough-riders-david-watkins.jpg

The dining choices available during Frisco Roughriders games at Dr. Pepper Ballpark will soon be featured on a popular food show.

The Travel Channel’s Food Paradise will focus on those dining choices in the “Minor League Baseball” episode, which premieres on Sunday, Nov. 26.

Food Paradise visited Dr. Pepper Ballpark last season to sample the signature dining choices available to fans at games. Food from other minor league ballparks were featured as well.

“We’re proud that Food Paradise has chosen to showcase our menu of one-of-a-kind food offerings, along with the best ballpark in Minor League Baseball, with the rest of the country,” RoughRiders Executive Vice President and General Manager Jason Dambach said in a statement.

The Roughriders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, open the 2018 season on April 5 at Dr. Pepper Ballpark.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Morgan Urges Voters to Keep Steroid Users Out of HOF]]>Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:12:20 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Joe-Morgan-P1.jpg

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep "known steroid users" out of Cooperstown.   

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball's steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers' Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall's board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.   

"Steroid users don't belong here," Morgan wrote. "What they did shouldn't be accepted. Times shouldn't change for the worse."   

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.   

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.  

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.   

Morgan said he isn't speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.   

"Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball's investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in," Morgan wrote. "Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right."   

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.   

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.   

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a "tricky issue," but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.   

"The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too," he wrote. "The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn't bear."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Get Your Calendar, Rangers Reveal Spring Training Dates]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:46:19 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas-rangers-spring-cap-generic.jpg

The following is an unedited news release from the Texas Rangers, published Nov. 20, 2017.

The Texas Rangers are scheduled to play 34 spring training games in 2018, including 32 Cactus League contests. The club released its complete spring training schedule and pricing on Monday.

The schedule includes a pair of exhibition games with the Cincinnati Reds at Globe Life Park in Arlington to close the spring schedule on Monday, March 26 (7:05 p.m. CT) and Tuesday, March 27 (1:05 p.m. CT). It will mark the fourth straight season that the club has hosted exhibition games versus a major league team in Arlington to close the spring training slate. Ticket information will be announced at a later date for those games.

Texas’ 32-game Arizona schedule features 17 contests at Surprise Stadium/Billy Parker Field. The Rangers will be the home team for 15 of those games and will be the visiting club for two contests against the Royals, who share the Surprise complex with Texas. Those two teams will play three times overall in Surprise in 2018, the Surprise Sundancers Charity Game on Monday, March 12 at 6:05 p.m. MT, a Royals’ home game, and a day-night split doubleheader on Saturday, March 17 at 12:05 p.m. MT (Royals home game) and 6:05 p.m. MT (Rangers home game).

In addition, the Rangers will play the Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners twice each in Surprise with single home games against the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres, and San Francisco Giants. At the other Cactus League parks, the team has two games versus the White Sox, Indians, and A’s with one each against the Cubs, Reds, Rockies, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers, Padres, Giants, and Mariners.

Texas will play a record four night games in Surprise in 2018, all at 6:05 p.m. MT. In addition to the Kansas City games on March 12 and 17, the Rangers will host the Rockies on Monday, March 19 and the Reds on Thursday, March 22 under the lights. All other Rangers games in Surprise will begin at 1:05 p.m. MT with the exception of the day game versus Kansas City on March 17 and the team’s Cactus League finale versus Cleveland on Saturday, March 24, both at 12:05 p.m. MT.

2018 individual ticket prices for Texas Rangers games at Surprise Stadium: Lower Premium--$30.00; Lower Dugout--$29.00; Upper Dugout--$26.00; Infield--$25.00; Plaza--$19.00; and Lawn--$8.00. Dynamic pricing may apply to select premium games with ticket prices ranging from $12.00-$35.00. Full season, half season, and 7-game ticket packages are also available as well as group ticket packages. Parking is free to all games at Surprise Stadium.

Season ticket packages go on sale Saturday, Dec. 9, and information is available by calling 623-222-2222 or by going to texasrangers.com. Spring training individual tickets for 2018 may be purchased in one of four ways:

  • BY MAIL beginning Saturday, Dec. 9. Fans can go to surprisespringtraining.com to download an order form.
  • ON THE INTERNET beginning Saturday, December 9 at texasrangers.com.  
  • BY PHONE beginning Saturday January 6, 2018 at 623-222-2222.
  • IN PERSON beginning Saturday, January 6, 2018 at the Surprise Stadium Ticket Office, 15960 N. Bullard Ave. in Surprise.

RANGERS ANNOUNCE REPORTING AND FIRST WORKOUT DATES

The Rangers also announced the dates for reporting and first workouts for their 2018 spring training camp in Surprise, Arizona:

Wednesday, February 14—Pitchers and Catchers Report
Thursday, February 15—Pitchers and Catchers First Workout
Monday, February 19
—Infielders and Outfielders Report
Tuesday, February 20
—First Full Workout.

The complete 2018 spring training schedule is below.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Add Six Players to 40-Man Roster]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:30:53 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas+rangers+logo.jpg

The following is an unedited news release from the Texas Rangers, published Nov. 20, 2017.

The Texas Rangers today announced the following roster moves:

  • Purchased the contracts of right-handed pitcher Ariel Jurado, catcher Jose Trevino, and infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa from Double-A Frisco of the Texas League.
  • Purchased the contracts of right-handed pitcher Jonathan Hernandez and left-handed pitchers Brett Martin and Joe Palumbo from High-A Down East of the Carolina League.

The 21-year-old Jurado was 9-11 with a 4.59 ERA (80 ER/157.0) over 27 starts with Double-A Frisco. The right-hander earned Texas League Mid-Season All-Star honors and will be in big league spring training for the 2nd straight year.
 
Kiner-Falefa, 22, batted .288 (148-513) with 31 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, and 48 RBI over 129 games with Frisco, setting career bests in nearly every offensive category. Kiner-Falefa saw action at second base, third base, shortstop, center field, and a career-high 33 games at catcher.
 
The 24-year-old Trevino batted .241 (130-402) with 12 doubles, 7 home runs, and 42 RBI over 105 games with Frisco. The Corpus Christi native rated statistically as the top defensive catcher in the Texas League and earned his 2nd consecutive Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove. Trevino was a non-roster invite to spring training in 2016.
 
Hernandez, 21, combined to go 5-11 with a 4.03 ERA (50 ER/111.2 IP) in 23 games/22 starts with Low-A Hickory and High-A Down East. The Dominican Republic native represented the Rangers at the All-Star Futures Game in Miami and posted a 2.20 ERA (14 ER/57.1 IP) in his final 12 games/11 starts for the Wood Ducks.
 
The 22-year-old Martin went 4-8 with a 4.70 ERA (44 ER/84.1 IP) over 16 starts for Down East. The southpaw went 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA (13 ER/34.1 IP) and 37 strikeouts over his final 6 starts with the Wood Ducks.
 
Palumbo, 23, made three starts at Down East before undergoing UCL surgery on April 26. The left-hander entered the season as the club’s 9th-best prospect according to Baseball America and compiled a 0.66 ERA (1 ER/13.2 IP) with 22 strikeouts in the 3 starts.
 
With these transactions and the acquisition earlier today of right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera from the New York Yankees, the Rangers have 37 players on the major league roster.
 
The updated Rangers’ roster is below.




Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Trade LHP for Yankees' Ronald Herrera]]>Mon, 20 Nov 2017 12:18:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-696105450.jpg

The following is an unedited news release from the Texas Rangers, published Nov. 20, 2017.

The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has acquired right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera from the New York Yankees in exchange for minor league left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin.

Herrera, 22, has been added to Texas’ major league roster. He combined to go 8-1, 1.91 (16 ER/75.1 IP) in 14 starts at Double-A Trenton, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and the Rookie League Gulf Coast Yankees in 2017. Herrera also made his major league debut, issuing two runs in 3.0 innings in two relief appearances with New York.

After opening the year on the Trenton disabled list, Herrera excelled with the Thunder, going 8-0, 1.13 over nine starts and earning Eastern League pitcher of the week honors for June 5-11. He was assigned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on June 24 but was on the disabled list from July 7-Sept. 1 with right shoulder inflammation. Overall, he had a 4.35 ERA in 2 starts at SWB and was 0-1, 4.00 in three starts on rehab assignment for the Gulf Coast Yankees.

Herrera was recalled by the Yankees from Trenton on June 14 and made his major league debut that night at Anaheim, allowing two hits and two runs in 2.0 innings to take the loss in relief vs. the Angels. He returned to Trenton the next day. He was also with the Yankees from June 26-30, working 1.0 scoreless inning in his only appearance on June 29 at the Chicago White Sox.

Originally signed by Oakland as an amateur free agent in May 2012, Herrera was traded to San Diego in May 2014 and to the Yankees in November 2015. On April 26, 2016, he pitched the first 8.0 innings of a combined no-hitter with Jonathan Holder for Trenton against New Hampshire. Herrera was 10-7 in 23 starts with Trenton in 2016 and was named the club’s pitcher of the year. He was added to New York’s 40-man roster after the 2016 season.

Sanmartin combined to go 7-2, 2.45 in 14 games/11 starts between Short Season A Spokane and Low-A Hickory in 2017, his third season in the Texas organization.

The Rangers have 31 players on their major league roster pending additions of several minor league players later today.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Elvis Andrus Named Rangers Player of the Year]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:21:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-683092186+%281%29.jpg

The 2017 season was considered a disappointment for the Rangers. Yes, they were in the wild card hunt until the final weeks of the season. But once the smoke cleared, the Rangers finished under .500 and then watched the in-state rival Houston Astros make their march towards a World Series title.

Needless to say, that really didn’t sit well in Arlington.

However, there were a few bright spots for the Rangers last season, one of those being the play of shortstop Elvis Andrus.  Simply put, Andrus had himself a career year. For that, he was named the Rangers Player of the Year by the Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Andrus hit .297 with career highs in runs (100), hits (191), doubles (44), home runs (22) and RBI (88) in 158 games. He also ranked third in the American League in hits and was also a finalist for the Gold Glove award for his defensive work at shortstop.

The two-time All-Star turns 29 in August. Why is that important? Andrus is in the prime of his career and continues to grow as a player, both on the field and in the clubhouse. That will be a key ingredient if the Rangers want to return playing October baseball.

Andrus is signed through 2022 with an opt-out clause following the 2018 season.

Other award recipients will be named in the upcoming weeks, including the Rangers’ 2017 Pitcher and Rookie of the Year. 

Andrus will accept his award at the 2018 Dr Pepper Texas Rangers Awards Dinner on Friday, Jan. 19 at Gilley’s Dallas.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Complete Coaching Staff for 2018 Season]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 20:05:58 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-511292554.jpg

Don Wakamatsu is back with the Texas Rangers as their bench coach, and now working with one of his neighbors.

The Rangers on Monday announced the hiring of Wakamatsu, who was initially on their staff from 2003-07. They also hired former New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen as assistant pitching coach.

Manager Jeff Banister said he and Wakamatsu, bench coach for the Kansas City Royals the past four seasons, live in the same area in North Texas and both have sons that play baseball.

Wakamatsu was available after the Royals decided that he wouldn't return next season. Banister had vacancies on his staff, but bench coach wasn't one of them.

"We did not set out this winter to change bench coaches," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Had this one particularly candidate not come about, we would have gone down the path that initially looked like we were going down looking for a first base coach. This is just about a specific candidate becoming available."

Steve Buechele, the bench coach the past three years, agreed to switch to first base coach. Hector Ortiz moved from first base coach to bullpen coach last month when the Rangers said Brad Holman wouldn't return in that role.

Wakamatsu was bench coach for Texas from 2003-06 and third base coach in 2007, then was bench coach in Oakland for a season before serving as Seattle's manager from 2009 until August 2010. He was Toronto's bench coach for two years before going to Kansas City.

Warthen spent the last nine-plus seasons with the Mets, as pitching coach since June 2008. He was also pitching coach for five other teams, included Detroit from 1999-2002, with current Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail as one of his relievers those first two seasons.

The Rangers have also hired former pitcher Colby Lewis as an assistant to the general manager and promoted Ross Fenstermaker from being an international cross-checker to director of pro scouting.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Exercise Option on Perez, Decline Napoli, Barnette]]>Mon, 06 Nov 2017 23:01:19 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-841038816.jpg

The Texas Rangers declined their 2018 club options for slugger Mike Napoli and reliever Tony Barnette on Monday, and won't make a $17.4 million qualifying offer to free agent pitcher Andrew Cashner.

Texas did exercise its $6 million club option for 13-game winner Martin Perez, a 26-year-old left-hander, while Napoli and Barnette became free agents.

Perez, who would have gotten a $2.45 million buyout if his option hadn't been picked up, had team highs with 32 starts and 185 innings pitched. He became the first Rangers pitcher to make at least 30 starts in consecutive seasons since Matt Harrison in 2010-11.

General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers wouldn't make qualifying offers on any of their free agents. That includes Cashner, the Texas native who was 11-11 with a 3.40 ERA in 28 starts in his only season with the Rangers, and center fielder Carlos Gomez.

When Napoli signed last spring to return for his third stint with the Rangers, he got $8.5 million for this year with an $11 million club option for 2018. He will instead get a $2.5 million buyout after hitting a career-low .193 with 29 home runs.

Napoli started 116 games, 90 at first base and 26 as the designated hitter. He didn't play after Sept. 14 because of a stress reaction in his lower right leg.

Texas had a $4 million club option on Barnette, who will get a $250,000 buyout. He was 2-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 50 appearances this year.

Daniels said the team still has an interest in bringing Barnette back, and is still talking to him.

The GM said the Rangers "haven't necessarily closed the door on Nap either." But Daniels said the initial focus this offseason is on pitching, and that corner bats aren't a top priority for position players at this point.

Cashner last November agreed to a $10 million, one-year deal to join the Rangers. He was a first-round pick by the Chicago Cubs out of nearby TCU in 2008.

While the Rangers will stay in touch with Cashner, Daniels said the pitcher is hoping to get a multiyear deal. The GM wasn't sure if Cashner would have accepted the qualifying offer, but said it was an economic decision by the team not to extend one.

Catcher A.J. Jimenez and right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who was 32 last May when he made his major league debut after 318 games over 12 minor league seasons, were assigned outright to Triple-A Round Rock and can choose free agency.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Offseason Outlook for the Rangers]]>Sat, 04 Nov 2017 21:01:50 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers+offseason.jpg

NBC 5's Pat Doney and Jared Sandler from 105.3 The Fan and the Rangers Radio Network discuss the hot topics surrounding the Rangers during the offseason. ]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Rangers 106-Year-Old Super Fan Passes Away]]>Fri, 03 Nov 2017 13:32:45 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/elizabeth+sullivan+105.jpg

One of the Texas Rangers' biggest and oldest fans has died.

Elizabeth Sullivan, 106, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 1, her family confirmed to NBC 5.

"Not the reason that I wanted to return to Texas, but will celebrate that she and my Granddad are reunited again, and together in a better place," said Rick Taylor, Sullivan's grandson, who lives in Washington.

The Rangers invited Sullivan to throw out the first pitch before the team's season-opening homestand in April 2016 and Sullivan was thrilled.

"Why would they choose me, who doesn't amount to a hill of beans, while just last year they had a former President of the United States?" she said to NBC 5 back then.

Sullivan was one of the oldest people to ever throw out a Major League first pitch.

Back when Sullivan turned 100, she said she credited her good health to drinking a bottle of Dr Pepper every day.

When Dr Pepper got wind of that, the company promised her free drinks for life.

Details surrounding Sullvan's death were not provided. Her funeral arrangements are pending. 



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[The Debate Over the Nolan Ryan Statue in Arlington ]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 17:28:40 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/globe+life+park+nolan+ryan+statue.jpg

Nolan Ryan is forever linked to the state of Texas. The Hall of Fame pitcher took the mound wearing both the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros uniform during his illustrious career. Three of his seven career no-hitters happened in those uniforms (two with Texas, one with Houston). His number is retired by both franchises.

The Rangers will soon be taking the field at a brand new ballpark. They will leave the comforts of Globe Life Park for a new home in 2020. No need to worry, the new home will be in the same vicinity as the current one so no extra mileage is needed when making those spring and summer trips to witness “Baseball Time in Arlington.”


Right now, you are probably asking yourself “what do these two have in common?” The answer is simple – a statue.

The million dollar question is whether the Nolan Ryan statue currently at The Globe will be moved to the new ballpark. Now is when things get fun.

Ryan didn’t exactly leave Arlington on the best of terms with the Rangers. He retired as the Rangers president and CEO in 2013 after a well-documented power struggle with team president and general manager Jon Daniels. It was like a bad divorce. The Rangers made their only World Series trips in 2010 and 2011 with those two in the front office. That was all that was left after the separation.

As fate would have it, Ryan was then hired by the Astros in 2014 as an executive advisor to owner Jim Crane and general manager Jeff Luhnow. His son, Reid Ryan, is the Astros president. Basically, Ryan lends his voice whenever needed.

Once again, a team tied with Nolan Ryan on the office payroll is playing in the World Series, this time for the Rangers’ heated in-state rival Houston. Maybe that bothers part of Rangers Nation and those on “Team Daniels.” Maybe it doesn’t.

That leads us back to that statue of the Hall of Famer at The Globe. Does the fact that Ryan now works for the Rangers biggest rival warrant enough displeasure to leave that statue behind when the move to the new ballpark is made? Some may think so. Then again, we are talking about the best pitcher to ever put on a Rangers uniform. Is that enough to let the statue live on in Arlington?

Let the debate begin.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Newy's 2017 World Series Prediction]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 16:43:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/kershaw+altuve+split.jpg

Give me the Dodgers to win the 2017 World Series over the Astros.

I know Sports Illustrated put the Astros on the cover of their magazine three years and called for them to be the 2017 World Champions.

Give me the best team in baseball, the Dodgers. Give me the best pitcher in the game, Clayton Kershaw of Highland Park to follow in the footsteps of other legendary Dodgers pitchers: Orel Hershiser (1988), Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Sandy Koufax (1965), Don Drysdale (1963), Johnny Podres (1955).

Kershaw has three Cy Young awards, a MVP award, seven All Star appearances, a Gold Glove, a no hitter, five time NL ERA leader and three time NL strikeout leader. All he needs to cap his Hall of Fame career is a World Series title.

Give me the Dodgers in six games. 




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Infielders Gosselin, Middlebrooks Now Free Agents]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 17:11:55 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-105658084.jpg

Texas Rangers infielders Phil Gosselin and Will Middlebrooks have become free agents after declining outright assignments to Triple-A Round Rock.

The Rangers said Tuesday that Gosselin, Middlebrooks, right-hander Paul Espino and outfielder Jared Hoying cleared waivers and were assigned outright to the Triple-A team.

Gosselin, acquired from Pittsburgh on a waiver claim Aug. 12, hit .125 in 12 games over three stints with the team. Middlebrooks led Round Rock with 23 homers and 64 RBIs before being called up by the Rangers on Sept. 1, and then hit .211 in 22 games.

Espino had a 5.68 ERA in six relief appearances after being acquired from Milwaukee in an Aug. 26 trade. Hoying hit .222 with one homer in 36 games.

Copyright The Associated Press




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Missed Postseason, But It's Not Time to Panic]]>Fri, 06 Oct 2017 06:04:57 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEWY_RANGERS_WEB_HIT_1200x675_1063956547928.jpg

The Texas Rangers failed to make the postseason in 2017, but NBC 5's sports director Newy Scruggs tell you why you need to trust general manager Jon Daniels and manager Jeff Banister.]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Not Considered A Rebuilding Project Going into 2018]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:37:49 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers+Flag.jpg

There’s no playoff baseball in Arlington this year. That realization was on display Monday when walking through the locker room at The Globe and seeing boxes being packed sitting next to empty lockers.

Of course, any season that doesn’t involve a trip to the playoffs is considered a disappointment and that’s no different for the Rangers. Despite all the injuries and bullpen problems, Texas was in the wild card hunt until the last week of the season. “Never Ever Quit” is more than a motto, it’s a lifestyle.

“We expect to win,” said general manager Jon Daniels. “We are always going to have that mindset.  The Astros are going to be a team to beat in the publications and on paper. Our division is very challenging.”

The Rangers finished the season fourth in the A.L. West at 78-84, 23 games behind the division champion Astros and seven games out of the wild card. So, is this a team in a rebuilding phase? Daniels is not looking at it that way and points to the teams that were in the playoff picture and even punched their ticket to the postseason as an example why rebuilding isn’t in the plans.

 “This is not a rebuild,” Daniels said. “I know sometimes teams will say it’s not a rebuild. I think you look at teams like Milwaukee, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, even the Yankees this year; these were not clubs that came into the season in an ‘all in’ mode. They were building, they were developing, and as things happened they made the right moves.”

PITCHING ISSUES:  Addressing the pitching issues is at the top on the list of things to do this offseason for the Rangers. They say you can’t win a pennant in April but you can lose one. That seemed to play out in Arlington as the bullpen never got on track, costing some much needed wins during the first month of the season while the Astros took off.  The Rangers soon fell in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.

The bullpen was among the worst in baseball with 21 blown saves in 50 opportunities. There remains no real answer at the closer role, with Matt Bush and Keone Kela the favorites to make a case. However, both had chances to seal the deal during the season and struggled. Lefty specialist Jake Diekman missed most of the season after having his colon removed but made the inspirational return to the mound in September and figures into the plans going into next year. Everything else remains up in the air.

“We probably have two starters and four relievers that we can pencil in right now,” said Daniels. “There are a number of other guys in competition.  We are going to look to remake half the staff. We are going to get after that this winter.”

The starting pitching ranked in the middle of the pack in the American League statistically in 2017. After Yu Darvish was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deadline deal, Cole Hamels took over sole possession of the ace role. Hamels did struggle down the stretch but was solid for most of the season, one that saw him miss some time with an oblique strain. He finished at 11-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 24 games.

“All in all; didn’t hit any of the goals so I think that was the tough part,” said Hamels. “At least during the season you can at least say you hit one of your realistic goals. An injury can certainly put a damper on any realistic goal but sometimes a postseason can kind of cover that up and make things better. Unfortunately for us not being able to do so, you have to re-adjust. I know I’m confident that we are going to be able to do what we set out to do next year. It makes you come back that much harder. “

The Rangers are still waiting for Martin Perez to take the next step as a starter and move past the “one big inning” that continues to creep up and be a problem. The lefty did lead the team in wins with a 13-12 record in 32 games. However, his ERA remains high at 4.82. He did have a strong end to the season, going 8-3 in 12 games. The Rangers have felt Perez is a number three starter but that remains in question.

COACHING DECISIONS: The Rangers have picked up the 2019 contract option on manager Jeff Banister. He won two division titles in 2015 and 2016, his first two years at the helm in Texas.

“With Jeff as our manager, we have had a lot of success over the last three years,” said Daniels. “Despite a number of challenges with injuries and other circumstances in 2017, our team stayed in contention until the last week of the season. His leadership and work ethic played a significant role in that. I look forward to working with Jeff as we begin planning and preparing for 2018.”

However, part of the coaching staff will be different next season. The organization has decided to not exercise the 2018 option for bullpen coach Brad Holmen. First base coach Hector Ortiz will now take over that role.

WORTH THE HYPE: The 2017 season saw the emergence of Joey Gallo, who became one of the most feared power hitters in the game. Gallo would put Statcast to work on any given night with moonshots that were legendary. He finished third in the A.L. in home runs with 41 and eighth in the league with a .537 slugging percentage.

Gallo’s bat became so valuable that the Rangers were forced to play him at different positions in order to just keep him in the lineup. He started the season at third base with Adrian Beltre out with an injury. As the season went along, Gallo also played at first base, left field and saw time at DH.

“I’m sure we will continue to evaluate what is the best option for Joey Gallo,” said Banister. “Coming off a year where a young man had some significant growth at the major league level, I look at it as I’m proud of the challenges he was able to accept and excel at. Ultimately with most players, you would like to think there is a singular position for them that they could play.”

With Beltre returning at third, you could possibly see Gallo more at first base should the Rangers decide not to bring Mike Napoli back. Napoli has an $11 million option with a $2.5 million buyout for 2018.

BRIGHT SPOT: One of the most memorable moments from a tough season was on a Sunday afternoon in July when Beltre became the 31st player to collect 3,000 career hits, usually a sure lock for the Hall of Fame.

The 38-year old is showing no signs of hanging up the cleats anytime soon. However, whether his career continues in a Rangers uniform is on the table this winter. Beltre is expected to talk to Daniels about the direction the Rangers are going. He says he wants to stay but also wants another shot at winning before he retires.

“You never know,” said Beltre. “The future is always up in the air. Obviously I don’t want that to be the case but it’s out of my control right now. I know that I want to be here.”

Beltre will be in the final year of his contract next season.

FIELDER RELEASED: The Rangers also officially released first baseman/DH Prince Fielder. The move was made to free up a roster spot going into next season. Fielder spent the entire 2017 season on the 60-day disabled list after having neck surgery last year. His last game on the field wearing a Rangers uniform was on July 18, 2016. He finished his major league career with a .283 batting average, 319 home runs and 1,028 RBI with the Rangers, Brewers and Tigers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Make Bullpen Change, Exercise '19 Option on Banister]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:10:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-664243766.jpg

The Texas Rangers are making some adjustments to manager Jeff Banister's staff, which will no longer include bullpen coach Brad Holman after a rough season for the relievers.

Holman's contract option for 2018 is not being exercised by the Rangers. Hector Ortiz, the team's first base coach the past three years, will take over as the bullpen coach and continue his role as catching instructor.

"An ex-catcher who communicates very well with a pitching staff, who sees and thinks situationally with the approach of pitching and different situations throughout the game," Banister said of Ortiz. "I think it just adds a different element to this group."

Texas also exercised its 2019 option on Banister's contract Wednesday. When he initially joined the Rangers, Banister got a three-year contract with an option for 2018. That option was exercised last year when he got a reworked contract that added the 2019 option.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail, third base coach Tony Beasley, bench coach Steve Buechele, hitting coach Anthony Iapoce and assistant hitting coach Justin Mashore are all expected to return next season. The team said major league field coordinator Josh Bonifay will also return, but in a role to be determined that could be at the major or minor league level.

Banister has a 261-225 record over three seasons in his first managerial job. The Rangers were AL West Division champions his first two seasons but missed the playoffs this year with a 78-84 record, largely because of the bullpen woes, though they weren't eliminated from wild card contention until the 157th game.

Holman had been the bullpen coach the past two seasons. Before that, he spent time seven years as a pitching coach in the Rangers minor league system, with stops at Low-A Hickory, High-A Myrtle Beach and Triple-A Round Rock.

"By no stretch are we putting the bullpen struggles on Brad," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We all came in thinking we were going to have one of the better bullpens in the league. We thought we had one of the better pens. We weren't alone."

After leading the majors with a club-record 56 saves in 2016, the Rangers this season had only 29 -- the second-lowest total in the majors. They converted 29 of 50 saves, that 58-percent success rate the second-lowest in the American League. Relievers allowed a majors-high 40 percent (104 of 263) of inherited runners to score.

Sam Dyson, who became the closer in 2015, lost that role after blowing his first three save opportunities two weeks into the season. He was designated for assignment in June before getting traded to San Francisco.

Hard-throwing Matt Bush, who has discussed with Rangers officials the possibility of becoming a starter, also had a stint as the closer before left-hander Alex Claudio was used primarily in that role late in the season.

Copyright The Associated Press



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[After 3K, Beltre Wants 2018 in Texas for Another Ring Chance]]>Mon, 02 Oct 2017 16:26:48 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-452286106.jpg

Adrian Beltre is signed through next season with Texas, and wants his 21st major league season to be with the Rangers.

The third baseman who joined the 3,000-hit club this season also wants another chance to win a World Series.

And there lies a possible conundrum for the Rangers (78-84) coming off only their second losing season in nine years. While Beltre and Elvis Andrus provide solid leadership and offense, and there are young sluggers like Joey Gallo and Rougned Odor, the starting rotation is thin going into the offseason and the bullpen needs a boost.

"There's no doubt that we have a lot of questions to be answered," said Beltre, who will turn 39 early next season.

Beltre wants to know that the Rangers are still trying to win, and not planning a rebuild, and has spoken with general manager Jon Daniels about that.

"It doesn't matter what stage (of his career) he's at, that's always where his head is. ... He wants to win," Daniels said. "That's a lot of what he brings to the table, that winning mindset. I wouldn't expect anything less."

Beltre finally got to play in the World Series in 2011, his first season with the Rangers. They won the AL West the past two seasons, then lost to Toronto in the AL Division Series. He hit .312 this season, starting 51 games late because of calf issues and ending the year with a strained left hamstring.

Ace pitcher Yu Darvish, near the end of his six-year contract after leaving Japan, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for three prospects on July 31. That was the day after Beltre got his 3,000th career hit .

With Andrew Cashner (11-11, 3.40 ERA) set to become a free agent, the remaining starters set for the rotation are left-handers Cole Hamels (11-6) and Martin Perez (13-12).

After a single in Sunday's finale for his 3,048th hit, Beltre was lifted for a pinch-runner and got an extended rousing ovation. He was asked after the curtain call if he thought it might his last in Texas.

"You never know obviously," Beltre said. "The future is always up in the air, and obviously I don't want that to be the case. But it's out of my control right now."

Some other things to know after the Rangers missed the playoffs for the first time in manager Jeff Banister's three seasons:

HEALTHY HAMELS

Hamels ended the season healthy after missing more than seven weeks with a right oblique strain. He threw only 148 innings after seven consecutive years of at least 200 innings.

"You want to finish the season healthy. I think that's the case, and it's good to build off of that," Hamels said.

SOME NOTABLE NUMBERS

Odor was the first Ranger to play all 162 games since Michael Young and Mark Teixeira in 2006. Odor hit only .204 but had 30 home runs. ... Nomar Mazara's two-run single in his final at-bat gave him 101 RBIs. Juan Gonzalez and Ruben Sierra are the only other Rangers with 100-RBI seasons at age 22 or younger. ... Andrus had career highs with 191 hits, 100 runs, 44 doubles, 20 homers and 88 RBIs.

GALLO GOING DEEP

With Beltre on the DL, Joey Gallo started the season as the everyday third baseman. The 23-year-old slugger remained in the majors all season playing third, first base and left field. His 41 homers ranked third in the AL.

SMALL PREVIEW

Willie Calhoun, the primary prospect the Rangers got back in the Darvish deal, hit .265 with a homer in 13 games after his September call-up. He finished with a five-game winning streak. Mainly a second baseman in the Dodgers organization, Calhoun also showed some progress playing left field.

Copyright: Associated Press



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Athletics End Last-Place Season With 5-2 Win Over Rangers]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 16:12:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/183*120/GettyImages-856091600.jpg

Daniel Mengden struck out eight, Khris Davis hit his career-best 43rd homer and the last-place Oakland Athletics ended the season with a 5-2 win at Texas on Sunday.

The Athletics (75-87) finished at the bottom of the AL West for the third consecutive season, a franchise first, but won six more games than last season thanks to 17 victories in their last 24 games. Manager Bob Melvin even got a contract extension this week, adding a year through 2019.

Texas didn't have a base runner against Mengden (3-2) until Adrian Beltre's 3,048th career hit, a single leading off the fifth. Mengden walked one and allowed only four singles in his seven innings.

Blake Treinen worked the ninth for his 16th save in 21 chances.

After winning the AL West title the past two seasons, the Rangers (78-84) slipped from 95 wins last year.

Oakland went ahead to stay after four consecutive hits to open the third off Cole Hamels (11-6). Dustin Garneau and Marcus Semien had singles before Matt Chapman's RBI double. Jed Lowrie followed with his 49th double, extending his single-season team record while driving in two runs.

Davis, already only the second A's player other than Jimmie Fox (1932-34) with consecutive 40-homer seasons, went deep in the eighth. Davis hit 42 homers last season.

The Rangers didn't score until Nomar Mazara's two-run single in the eighth, giving him 101 RBIs.

Beltre played for the first time since Tuesday, the night the Rangers were eliminated from wild-card contention. He missed only two weeks after a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring Aug. 31, but was back two weeks later and was the DH in 13 consecutive games when the team still had a chance to make the playoffs.

After being lifted for a pinch-runner, Beltre got an extended ovation from the crowd that included a curtain call. The 38-year-old third baseman, who hit .312 in his 20th major league season, is signed with the Rangers through next season.

Hamels struck out five in his three innings. The lefty, who missed more than seven weeks because of a right oblique strain, ended the season with 148 innings -- his fewest since 132 1/3 innings as a rookie with Philadelphia in 2006. He had thrown at least 200 innings each of the past seven seasons.

MAWELL PROTEST

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell took a knee during the national anthem, something he did the last nine games of the season. He is the only Major League Baseball player who has done that, and the series at Texas was the first on the road. He kneeled in front of teammates before Sunday's finale, and loud boos were heard after the anthem.

UP NEXT

Athletics: At home for their 2018 opener on March 29 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Rangers: Their 2018 opener is March 29 at home against Houston.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Law Enforcement Appreciation Night at Texas Rangers Game]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 19:21:26 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/texas+rangers+logo.jpg

A big celebration at Globe Life Park tonight as the Texas Rangers honor law enforcement.

Law enforcement officers, correction officers, and 9-1-1 dispatchers came together for a pre-game presentation.

The first 1,000 fans went home with a limited edition law enforcement themed Texas Rangers cap.

The North Richland Hills Police Department tweeted out a photo of several of their motorcycle officers as they were feature on the jumbo-tron.




Photo Credit: NBC 5 Sports
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<![CDATA[Choo Homers as Rangers Top A's 5-3]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 22:08:46 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-541905318.jpg

Shin-Soo Choo tied a career high with his 22nd home run and the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 5-3 on Friday night.

Martin Perez (13-12) allowed three runs and five hits as Texas ended a seven-game skid. The 13 wins are a career high for Perez and the loss guaranteed Oakland would finish last in the AL West.

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell took a knee during the national anthem and was booed by a portion of the crowd before and after the song. It was the first time Maxwell has taken a knee on the field in an opposing ballpark. He took a knee during the anthem on Thursday, but he was warming up starting pitcher Sean Manaea in the bullpen and out of view from television cameras and fans.

Maxwell wasn't in the lineup Friday, and took a knee in alongside his standing teammates in front of the dugout. He entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh and grounded out to second.

Perez had an early lead to work with after Choo and Elvis Andrus scored on an infield single by Nomar Mazara in the first.

The single gave Mazara 99 RBI for the season. With an RBI in the final two games Mazara would become the just the second Ranger in the past five seasons to have 100 RBI in a season.

Choo homered on the first pitch he saw in the fifth and doubled the lead to 4-0.

It was the final pitch of the night for A's starter Raul Alcantara (1-2), who allowed five hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Texas tacked on another run in the fifth against reliever Sam Moll when Mazara scored on Willie Calhoun's single to left. Renato Nunez hit a three-run homer in the in the seventh inning to cut the lead to 5-3.

Nunez had a chance to give Oakland lead in the eighth, but struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

Alex Claudio worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his 11th save for Texas.

"I DO"

Teresa and Lloyd Price exchanged vows and were married between the second and third inning. They wore Rangers jerseys and the wedding was officiated by a judge that had come to the game with the couple. They were appropriately named the "Fans of the Game" on the Rangers television broadcast.

TRAINERS ROOM

Athletics: Oakland manager Bob Melvin said that CF Dustin Fowler (knee) is progressing well and the hope is that he'll be ready to compete for a starting job in spring training.

UP NEXT

Athletics: RHP Daniel Gossett (4-10) is making his 18th start and will be making his first start against Texas.

Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner (10-11) will make his 28th start of the season and is trying to finish with a .500 record or better for just the second time in his career.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Healy, Manaea Lead A's Past Slumping Rangers 4-1]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 21:48:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-855328848.jpg

Ryon Healy hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the sixth inning to help the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 4-1 on Thursday night.

It was the fifth straight road win for the Athletics and seventh consecutive loss for the Rangers. It's Texas' longest skid since an eight-game slide in 2015.

Bruce Maxwell took to a knee in the Oakland bullpen during the national anthem. The catcher was warming up starter Sean Manaea, out of view from many fans and cameras. One fan near the Oakland dugout said "boo" in a normal voice, and a small number of fans booed when Maxwell batted in the second inning. Maxwell has been the only major league baseball player to take to a knee, mirroring protests by NFL players against racial injustice. This was Maxwell's first road game since he began his protest last weekend.

A's manager Bob Melvin said before the game he expected the protest to continue because of Maxwell was committed to it.

Manaea (12-10) gave up three hits and no earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. Blake Treinen pitched a scoreless ninth for his 15th save in 20 opportunities.

Oakland's sixth-inning runs came with two outs. Jed Lowrie singled and went to third base on a double by Khris Davis. Healy then looped a fly ball that dropped in front of center fielder Delino DeShields.

Matt Chapman also drove in two runs, with his 14th home run in the fifth and a single in the ninth.

Drew Robinson tied the game for Texas with a run-scoring single in the fifth.

Chapman's homer off losing pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (8-13) cleared the center field fence just above the outstretched glove of DeShields.

Manaea had been scratched from his previous scheduled start, at home against the Rangers on Saturday, because of a strained left upper back.

Oakland is 16-5 in September. By beating fourth-place Texas, the A's retained hopes of avoiding their third straight last-place finish in the AL West. The Rangers have a two-game lead with three to play.

Earlier in the day, the A's announced an extension of Melvin's contract through the 2019 season.

Melvin, who took over as the A's manager after the 2011 season, had been signed through 2018. In late July, the 55-year-old earned his 1,000th managerial win. He currently has a 1,029-1,040 career record with Seattle, Arizona and Oakland. His 536 wins with Oakland trail only Tony LaRussa (798) and Art Howe (600). Melvin has been a Manager of the Year in both leagues.

TRAINER'S ROOM

A's: Rookie utility player Chad Pinder, who sustained a concussion when crashing into a wall last Friday, isn't expected to play again this season. Pinder made starts at six different positions.

Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor, who has continued to play since spraining his left ankle Sept. 10, wasn't in the starting lineup. It was only the third time in the Rangers' 159 games that he hasn't started this season. But he did pinch hit and still has a chance to be the first Rangers player to appear in all 162 games since 2006, when Michael Young and Mark Teixeira both did.

UP NEXT

A's: Right-hander Raul Alcantara (1-1), who was designated for assignment by Oakland in late April after one start, is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in four games (two starts) since returning to Oakland three weeks ago after Triple-A Nashville ended its season. Both of his career wins have been against Texas.

Rangers: Martin Perez (12-12, 4.83 ERA) will make his team-high 32nd start, one shy of his career high. The lefty has lost two of three starts since a career-best seven-game winning streak.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Globe Life Field Ground Breaking (Full Program)]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:00:58 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Globe_Life_Field_Groundbreaking_Full_Program_1200x675_1057310275678.jpg

Officials with the city of Arlington, the Texas Rangers and Major League Baseball broke ground on the team's new $1.1 billion stadium Thursday, Sept. 27, 2017. To close the program, Rangers Hall of Famers Kenny Rogers and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez tossed out the ceremonial first pitch -- they tossed out the first game pitch at the Ballpark in Arlington in 1994.]]>
<![CDATA[Globe Life Field Ground Breaking]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 14:00:17 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Globe+Life+Field+Groundbreaking+2.jpg

Officials with the city of Arlington, the Texas Rangers and Major League Baseball broke ground on the team's new $1.1 billion stadium Thursday, Sept. 27, 2017. To close the program, Rangers Hall of Famers Kenny Rogers and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez tossed out the ceremonial first pitch -- they tossed out the first game pitch at the Ballpark in Arlington in 1994.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Break Ground on Rangers' Globe Life Field]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:08:41 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Globe+Life+Field+Groundbreaking+2.jpg

Officials with the Texas Rangers and city of Arlington broke ground Thursday on the team's new $1.1 billion stadium, Globe Life Field.

Rangers Hall of Famers Kenny Rogers and Ivan Rodriguez — who pitched and caught the first regular-season pitch at the current stadium April 11, 1994 — performed a "ceremonial first pitch" at Thursday's event.

The groundbreaking took place at the site of the new stadium's home plate, which was formerly the back of Parking Lot B.

Rangers executives call the designs of the new retractable roof stadium "truly amazing."

"It opens a world of possibilities to us," Rangers Executive Vice President of Business Operations Rob Matwick said. "We want it to be the best Major League Baseball facility that there is."

The stadium is slated to open before the start of the 2020 season.

The City of Arlington will cover $500 million of the total cost. Voters there overwhelmingly approved extending a package of tax increases that had been used to pay for the construction of AT&T Stadium.

The city's deal with the team keeps the Rangers in Arlington through 2054; their current 30-year lease on Globe Life Park was set to expire in 2024.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Astros Wrap Up Sweep, Rout Rangers 12-2]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 16:13:38 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-854795512.jpg

Justin Verlander struck out 11 to win his fifth straight start since getting traded to Houston, major league batting leader Jose Altuve reached 200 hits for the fourth season in a row, and the AL West champion Astros completed a dominating three-game sweep by routing the Texas Rangers 12-2 on Wednesday.

Carlos Correa hit two home runs and George Springer had a grand slam as Houston (98-60) outscored Texas 37-7 in the series. The Astros are trying to catch Cleveland for the best record in the American League -- the Central champion Indians began the day at 98-59.

Correa went deep in consecutive innings, hitting a solo shot in the fifth and a two-run homer soon after Springer's slam in a seven-run sixth. Correa had four hits and drove in four runs.

The Rangers (76-82), who had won the AL West the past two seasons, lost their sixth straight game and ensured themselves a losing record for only the second time in nine seasons. They were eliminated from the wild-card race Tuesday night.

Verlander (15-8) matched his season high for strikeouts while allowing two runs without a walk in six innings. The right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in his five starts since being traded from Detroit to Houston on Aug. 31.

Willie Calhoun and Drew Robinson hit solo homers off Verlander. It was the first career homer for Calhoun, the young outfielder who was the main piece the Rangers got back when they traded Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31.

Altuve, who is hitting .347, got his 200th hit on a single in the first off Nick Martinez (3-8), who gave up six runs and 10 hits pitching into the sixth.

The Astros second baseman is only the fourth right-handed hitter in major league history with four consecutive 200-hit seasons. The last was Michael Young, with five in a row for Texas from 2003-07. Altuve has a chance to be the first player to lead the AL or NL in hits outright four consecutive seasons.

------

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: OF Josh Reddick, who didn't play in the Rangers series because of a sore back, is likely to return to the lineup Thursday in Boston.

Rangers: A day after Texas was eliminated from playoff contention, 3B Adrian Beltre (strained left hamstring), CF Carlos Gomez (right ankle) and catcher Robinson Chirinos (hamstring) were out of the lineup. They all are likely done for the season.

UP NEXT

Astros: Brad Peacock (12-2) pitches Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series at AL East-leading Boston, a matchup of teams that could meet again in the AL Division Series next week.

Rangers: The final homestand of the season, a four-game series against last-place Oakland, starts Thursday night.

Copyright The Associated Press



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Fans Push for Public Transportation to New Ballpark]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 21:59:12 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Globe_Life_Field_Aerial.jpg

A new survey by the Texas Rangers shows fans favor adding public transportation to the new $1 billion ballpark.

According to the survey, 36 percent of those responding said mass transit was the best way to improve the “travel and parking” experience.

Other solutions — like more parking, better ingress/regress, and a shuttle service — were far down on the list.

Arlington has been criticized for years for a lack of public transportation.

One fan from Richardson said he can easily travel to Dallas Stars or Mavericks games but has no options when he comes to Arlington to a Rangers game.

"It's a shame that this ballpark is so nice," he said. "But it's so hard to get out here, especially during the weeknights during the year. It's awful."

“We don’t have mass transit here and it’s something on everyone’s lips these days,” said Arlington council member Roxanne Thalman.

The problem is funding, she said. Public transportation projects have been turned down three times by voters.

A large-scale bus service is not in the cards for Arlington, Thalman said.

She suggested the answer is in new technology like ride-sharing or even driverless cars.

"The old systems that have worked for our surrounding cities are probably not solutions that we're looking at," she said.

Fort Worth also is grappling with how to pay more for public transportation — a key requirement in Amazon’s search for a city to build a huge new headquarters.

Some city leaders in Fort Worth are pushing a regional approach to transportation funding, which likely would include Arlington.



Photo Credit: Texas Rangers Baseball Club]]>
<![CDATA[Astros Rout Rangers 14-3; Texas Eliminated in Wild Card Race]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 03:54:19 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-854453798.jpg

The Houston Astros know they will begin their best-of-5 American League Division Series at home in Minute Maid Park, with the opponent yet to be determined.

Carlos Correa, Brian McCann and Cameron Maybin had three RBIs each and Dallas Keuchel allowed one earned run and five hits in six innings as the Astros routed the Texas Rangers 14-3 on Tuesday night to clinch no worse than the second-best record in the AL.

Houston (97-60) trails Cleveland by one game with five to play in the race for the league's best record. The Indians own the tiebreaker, having won the season series.

The Astros will face the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees or Minnesota Twins.

"This team has earned those first couple home games and home-field advantage," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We'll see how it shakes out, who we play, but some playoff baseball's coming to Minute Maid pretty soon."

"We're still trying to lock up home-field advantage (for the ALCS), too," Keuchel said. "That would be real nice."

Texas was eliminated from wild-card contention when Minnesota won earlier Tuesday night. The Rangers were only 2½ games out of the second wild-card spot with 10 games left only to lose their last five, equaling their longest skid of the season, by a margin of 38-7.

"Obviously it's a disappointment," Adrian Beltre said. "We knew we had a shot. We played pretty well down the stretch until the last week."

Keuchel (14-5) struck out eight and walked one. Owning a 9-0 record before going on the disabled list in early May with neck discomfort, he improved to 5-5 since.

"I've been feeling a lot better, and better to the point of I'm back in mid-season form," he said.

The Astros chased Rangers ace Cole Hamels (11-5) before he could record an out in the fourth inning. Hamels allowed four runs in the first inning and two in the fourth, giving up six hits and four walks. It was his shortest outing since allowing seven runs in 1.2 innings on Sept. 5, 2016 in a 14-6 loss at Seattle.

Charitable Contributions
The Rangers held a telethon during Tuesday's local telecast to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey on Texas' gulf coast. The Astros Foundation — in partnership with Crane Worldwide, FedEx and the Houston mayor's office — will send 240,000 pounds of supplies to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The Astros' Carlos Beltran, who has already donated $1 million to his home island, teared up while talking about the club's efforts: "I talked to my brother the other day. He said there's no water to drink. When you hear that and you know that your family . it means a lot to me."

Short Hops
Maybin, with a home run and three RBIs Tuesday, has four homers and 12 RBIs in 18 games with Houston. ... Delino DeShields' sixth-inning inside-the-park home run was the Rangers' second this season, marking the first time since 1997 that the club has had more than one in a season . ... Home plate umpire Carlos Torres wore a Rangers catcher's mask since his crew's gear didn't arrive by game time.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: 3B Beltre played in the field for the first time since being on the disabled list Sept. 1-11 with a strained hamstring. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.

Astros: 2B Jose Altuve (bruised left forearm) sat out after being hit by a pitch on Monday night. Hinch said Altuve might start Wednesday afternoon's series finale.

Up Next
Rangers RHP Nick Martinez (3-7) is 0-4 with six no-decisions and a 7.02 ERA since winning at Yankee Stadium on June 25.

Houston's Verlander (14-8) is 4-0 with a 0.64 ERA in four Houston starts. In his last Arlington appearance with Detroit, he allowed five runs in six innings in a 10-4 loss on Aug. 15. He'll then have six or seven days' rest before starting Game 1 or 2 of the ALDS.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers on Brink of Elimination After 11-2 Loss to Astros]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 21:17:50 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-853837470.jpg

Collin McHugh indicated he wasn't trying to hit Carlos Gomez with a pitch.

Gomez, his former Houston Astros teammate, felt otherwise.

The one certainty Monday night was that the AL West champion Astros won 11-2, clinching the season series over the Texas Rangers while delivering a virtual knockout blow to their in-state rival's chances of getting into the playoffs.

Batting immediately after Joey Gallo's 39th homer for Texas in the second inning, Gomez took the first pitch high and tight before changing bats. He was then quick-pitched, fouling it off before glaring at McHugh and taking several steps toward the mound. The benches and bullpens emptied, though no punches were thrown.

"I asked him what the issue was and he said, 'Yeah, I got a problem with you.' And everybody else was out there by that point in time," McHugh said. "The game goes on. I don't want to spend any more mental effort thinking about Carlos Gomez. It is what it is."

Marwin Gonzalez had four hits and three RBIs for the Astros (96-60), now within two games of AL Central champion Cleveland for the best record in the league. The Indians own the tiebreaker for home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs if they finish with the same record.

Gonzalez had two hits and scored twice in an eight-run fourth when only one run was earned. Gonzalez had a two-run single that chased starter Andrew Cashner (10-11), then two innings later hit his 23rd homer.

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, the AL leader with 199 hits and a .348 batting average, left in the eighth inning after he was hit by a 95 mph fastball. The team said X-rays were negative and Altuve had a bruised forearm.

"He immediately knew that it wasn't broken. He was coming out of the game anyway," manager A.J. Hinch said. "It was unfortunate that he got hit."

Texas (76-80), division champs the past two years, had an early 2-0 lead before losing its fourth straight game. The Rangers dropped six games behind idle Minnesota for the second American League wild card with six to play.

Gomez has been hit by pitches an AL-high 19 times this season, including by McHugh in a game last month.

McHugh was on the disabled list in early May when he had a heated exchange of words with Gomez, who had to be restrained from Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. after a pitch thrown behind Mike Napoli's head.

"It's always going to be I am the troublemaker. I'm always going to get blamed," Gomez said. "The truth is I got told by one of the people who work for them that he was going to hit me. So, last time I faced him he hit me right away. No one said anything about that, but I react to something, I'm the troublemaker. How am I supposed to react?"

When they were still teammates last season, McHugh responded on the mound with an obscenity after Gomez lost a fly ball while playing center field and it went over his head.

McHugh (4-2) struck out six while throwing 112 pitches in five innings. The right-hander is 15-0 with a 2.94 ERA in 19 starts in September or October during his four seasons with the Astros.

And His ERA Went Down
Cashner's ERA actually dropped — from 3.44 to 3.42 — after becoming the first Rangers pitcher since knuckleballer Charlie Hough in 1987 to allow seven unearned runs, and the third pitcher in the majors this season. There were no Rangers errors in the game when Hough gave up seven unearned runs, but instead six passed balls by catcher Geno Petralli.

The Astros' fourth inning included four hits — two each by Gonzalez and Evan Gattis, who had a two-run double — and was helped by two walks, a hit batter and two errors with two outs.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Manager Jeff Banister rejoined the team after missing the previous two games to be with his mother in the Houston area after she experienced some complications following surgery. "She made it evident that it was necessary for me to come back here," Banister said.

Astros: OF Josh Reddick, who has been dealing with a sore back, was out of the lineup for the second time in three games. Houston manager A.J. Hinch said Reddick is fine but probably won't play Tuesday.

Up Next
Dallas Keuchel and Cole Hamels, left-handed aces who have both missed more than 50 games this season, pitch the middle game of the series. Keuchel (13-5) is making his 12th start since missing 53 games during two DL stints (pinched nerve in back, neck discomfort). Hamels (11-4) missed 51 games because of a right oblique strain.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers' Delino Deshields Speaks on Athletes' Protests]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:09:26 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers_Delino_Deshields_on_NFL_Protests_1200x675_1054605379971.jpg

Texas Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields speaks about the protests by athletes during the national anthem that have drawn criticism from President Trump.]]>
<![CDATA[Davis Slugs 41st, Cotton Goes 5 Strong as A's Top Texas 8-1]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 03:44:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-853200194.jpg

Nearing the end of a long, disappointing season, the Oakland Athletics are finally on a roll.

Khris Davis hit another big home run, Jharel Cotton pitched five shutout innings of one-hit ball and the Athletics extended their season-best winning streak to seven games with an 8-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

Cotton (9-10) struck out six and allowed one walk as he won his fourth straight decision.

"I was excited to come out today for the team and myself, and we're on a seven-game winning streak, so it's pretty fun," Cotton said. "It's a fun clubhouse right now."

Texas got swept over three games at an inopportune time. The Rangers entered the series in contention for the second AL wild card, but fell 5½ games behind Minnesota with a week left in the season. The Twins swept Detroit over four games this weekend.

The Rangers have lost eight straight in Oakland and 10 of 15 overall.

"We made it tough on ourselves," Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "This series was a bad one for us. We expect to come here and at least win the series. It didn't turn out that way."

The Rangers will take their longshot odds back to Arlington on Monday for a seven-game homestand to close out their regular season

"It will be nice to get home tomorrow and finish up with the seven at home," interim manager Steve Buechele said.

Davis' 41st home run, projected at 445 feet by Statcast, came on a 1-1 changeup from starter Martin Perez (12-12). It highlighted a decisive five-run burst in the fifth inning for Oakland.

A's pitchers held the Rangers scoreless for a season-high 21 consecutive innings in the series — their previous best was 16.

The Rangers broke through in the seventh, when Nomar Mazara hit a solo home run — his 20th — off Simon Castro.

Quotable
Said A's catcher Josh Phegley: "We're just kind of relaxing and playing our game and I think we need to take a lesson from that. We need to play like that all the time and I think we come into next year with that same mentality and just play with what we have, have fun, play hard for each other. We've got a great team."

Anthem Protest
A's catcher Bruce Maxwell took a knee during the national anthem for the second straight day. On Saturday, he became the first major league baseball player to participate in the protest movement.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Buechele said it wasn't known when manager Jeff Banister will rejoin the team. Banister flew to Texas on Saturday morning to be with his ailing mother Verda, who lives in Clear Lake.

Athletics: First baseman Matt Olson came out of the game after suffering a hamstring injury turning a double play in the top of the sixth inning. The severity of his injury wasn't immediately known, A's manager Bob Melvin said. ... OF Chad Pinder was out of the lineup for a second straight day and has entered concussion protocol, and it's not clear whether he'll be cleared to play before the end of the season, Melvin said. Pinder suffered injuries previously thought to be whiplash after crashing into the center-field wall on Friday. He was sent home Saturday after his symptoms worsened. ... OF Boog Powell (knee) is on roughly the same timetable as Pinder. ... Maxwell is close to completing concussion protocol tests and could be behind the plate for Monday's game, Melvin said.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Andrew Casher (10-10, 3.44 ERA) will start Monday's series opener against Houston. He is 1-4 with a 4.06 ERA against the Astros in five starts this season. He'll be the first Rangers pitcher to start six games against the same opponent since 2012 (Yu Darvish, vs. the Los Angeles Angels).

Athletics: RHP Daniel Gossett (4-9, 5.38) will pitch Monday's series opener against Seattle. Gossett has lost three of his last four decisions and is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Maxwell Kneels for Anthem, Davis Belts 40th as A's Top Texas]]>Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:12:07 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-852683902.jpg

Bruce Maxwell became the first major league baseball player to kneel during the national anthem, and then Khris Davis hit his 40th home run to lift the Oakland Athletics over the Texas Rangers 1-0 on Saturday night.

Maxwell dropped to a knee and pressed his cap against his chest just outside Oakland's dugout during the anthem, adopting a protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to police treatment of blacks. Maxwell's teammates stood in a line next to him. Teammate Mark Canha, who is white, put his right hand on one of Maxwell's shoulders.

The Athletics released a statement on Twitter shortly after the anthem, saying they "respect and support all of our players' constitutional rights and freedom of expression" and "pride ourselves on being inclusive."

Davis became the first A's player to hit 40 home runs in consecutive seasons since Jimmy Foxx (1932-34). He's the fourth player in franchise history with multiple 40-homer seasons. Foxx (3), Mark McGwire (3) and Jose Canseco (2) are the others.

Davis homered against Miguel Gonzalez (8-12) leading off the second inning as the A's won their season-high sixth straight game.

Raul Alcantara (1-1) threw five shutout innings of two-hit ball in which he struck out five and allowed two walks.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Manager Jeff Banister Leaves to be With Sick Mother]]>Sat, 23 Sep 2017 21:58:33 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/523069048.jpg

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister left the team on Saturday morning to be with his ill mother.

Banister's mother, Verda, lives in Clear Lake, Texas.

Bench coach Steve Buechele will manage the last two games of the Rangers' series against the Oakland Athletics.

The Rangers were on the fringe of the American League wild card race, going into Saturday trailing the Minnesota Twins by 3 1/2 games for the second wild card spot.

"The circumstances of this are terrible, but family first," Buechele said.

Buechele learned about Banister's situation on Friday night but said he didn't know Banister would be flying back to Texas until Saturday morning.

"I don't think he knew," Buechele said.

Buechele surfaced as a candidate for the Colorado Rockies managerial vacancy in 2012. He interviewed by phone for the position before the Rockies hired Walt Weiss.

"In the game of baseball, you don't ever know what will be given to you or afforded to you," Buechele said. "I feel lucky to have the job I have now. Should the opportunity arise somewhere down the road, yeah that would be nice, but that's certainly not on my radar right now."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Fall 3 1/2 Back for Wild Card With 4-1 Loss to A's]]>Sat, 23 Sep 2017 16:16:57 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-852069514.jpg

The Texas Rangers are running out of time to avoid missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.

Rookie Matt Olson hit his sixth home run in seven games, a second-inning drive off Nick Martinez that helped the Athletics beat Texas 4-1 on Friday night and damaged the Rangers' playoff hopes.

"We haven't been able to play good baseball here in Oakland," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "But we've got to a scratch that out and stay positive. Tomorrow is a big game for us."

Texas, which had won four straight, dropped 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card. The Rangers are tied with the Los Angeles Angels.

Shin-Soo Choo hit his 21st home run for Texas in the third but the Rangers were blanked the rest of the way and lost at Oakland for the sixth time in seven games this season.

"At the end of the day tomorrow, we could quite possibly be back to 2 1/2 games back," Banister said.

Martinez (3-7) allowed four runs -- three earned -- and five hits in six innings. He is winless in six starts and four relief appearances since June 25.

Kendall Graveman (6-4) gave up one run, six hits and three walks in seven innings as Oakland won its fifth straight, and Blake Treinen retired three batters for his 10th save. The A's were eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the evening.

"The changeup was really good tonight so we used it," Graveman said. "That's been a pitch that in the last six weeks has kind of come into play, and I'm just trying to make it better each time I go through a bullpen and each time I have an outing."

Texas went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base. The Rangers stranded a runner at third base in the second, left two on in the fourth and failed to score after loading the bases with two outs in the sixth. Choo ended the game by striking out with runners at second and third.

Third baseman Drew Robinson's fielding error led to an unearned run in the third.

OLSON'S ROOKIE TEAR

Olson homered following a leadoff walk to Khris Davis, his 13th home run in September and his 16th in his last 23 games.

"I'm feeling pretty good up there," Olson said. "Finding myself swinging too hard sometimes, but continuing to still feel good."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: Adrian Beltre is moving better and manager Jeff Banister hasn't ruled out the slugger returning to third base before the end of the regular season. Beltre spent time on the 10-day DL this month with a left hamstring strain.

Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton threw a bullpen session and is scheduled to start Sunday. Cotton missed his last turn because of a groin strain. ... C Bruce Maxwell is undergoing concussion protocol. He did some light running before the game. ... OF Boog Powell's knee injury has been diagnosed as a bone bruise.

UP NEXT

RHP Miguel Gonzalez (8-11, 4.75 ERA) is to start for Texas on Saturday in his fourth appearance for the Rangers since he was acquired from the Chicago. Gonzalez has allowed 12 earned runs over 10 1/3 innings. LHP Sean Manaea (11-10, 4.56 ERA) is slated to pitch for Oakland. with Texas.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ivan Rodriguez Helping Native PR With Hurricane Relief Drive]]>Sat, 23 Sep 2017 16:56:42 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pudge+Hall+of+Fame.jpg

Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is on a mission to help his native Puerto Rico.

Pudge will be helping collect relief supplies through Sept. 29 as part of the United for Puerto Rico, a program brought forth by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, in an effort to help those affected by both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

Pudge says most of his family still lives in Puerto Rico. He says he didn't hear from his father until five days after Hurricane Maria hit. His family is okay but Pudge says he gets emotional seeing the destruction in his homeland.

"My mom is sending me videos every day and it makes me cry because its tough, i mean, there's nothing in Puerto Rico that stayed there, it's gone," Rodriguez said.

Among the supplies needed are generators, tents, construction lumber, first aid kits, hygiene products, over-the-counter medicines, blankets, clothing and bottled water.

The drop-off locations are:

Adobos Puerto Rican Cafe
3013 N. Beltline Road
Irving, TX

2800 Story Road West
Irving, TX

For more information, you can visit http://unidosporpuertorico.com

HURRICANE HARVEY BENEFIT: On Tuesday, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation will host a special benefit during the Rangers' Fox Sports Southwest telecast to raise funds in support of Hurricane Harvey victims. The benefit will feature a live online auction where fans can bid on sports and entertainment packages.

The Rangers open up a three-game series with the Houston Astros starting on Monday in Arlington.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hamels Tames Mariners, Rangers Stay Close in Wild-Card Hunt]]>Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:24:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-851162896.jpg

Cole Hamels has a long history of winning down the stretch, and he gave the Texas Rangers exactly what they needed Thursday night.

Hamels dominated for eight innings, Adrian Beltre and Shin-Soo Choo went deep and the Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 to hang around the AL wild-card hunt.

Texas and the Los Angeles Angels are 2½ games behind Minnesota for the second wild card. The Angels lost to Cleveland, while the Twins blew out Detroit.

Hamels (11-4) allowed three hits and a run while striking out eight. He gave up a solo homer to Nelson Cruz — his 35th — in the seventh, along with a pair of singles to Jean Segura.

Hamels has a 29-16 career record in September and October, including 8-3 in three seasons with Texas.

"That's veteran leadership showing up," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "That's knowing how to go out and perform and put your team in a winning situation. We've seen it so many times before from him."

Keone Kela got his second save despite yielding a solo homer to Robinson Cano in the ninth. It was Cano's 22nd this season and 300th of his career.

"It means a lot," Cano said. "In a humble way, it's something that makes me proud of myself, proud of my family and the way they raised me to help me get to this level."

The Mariners have lost five straight games and are five back in the wild-card chase with nine games remaining.

James Paxton (12-5) allowed two runs in 3.2 choppy innings. The hard-throwing left-hander was making his second start since a pectoral injury landed him on the disabled list, and he's struggled both times.

"I was moving the fastball around better, breaking stuff was sharper," Paxton said. "Not as sharp as I can be, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. Tonight, unfortunately, it wasn't enough."

Carlos Gomez had a two-run double in the first that caromed off the glove of Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager.

"It's important for us to finish strong," said Gomez, now in his 11th big-league season. "We showed the young guys that this is going to be tough but we never give up."

Beltre hit his 17th home run in the sixth and Choo hit his 20th in the seventh. For Beltre, that tied him with Jose Canseco, Adam Dunn and Detroit's Miguel Cabrera for 35th on the career home run list with 462.

Safe at Home
Mariners closer Edwin Diaz, whose home island of Puerto Rico has been battered by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, finally heard from his family Wednesday. His cousin called and said the damage was minimal.

"Nothing bad. I'm happy for that," he said, although he doesn't know the status of his house or his grandmother's house.

Diaz has been anxious but said he has to block it out.

"The game is one part and my family is another part," he said. "When I'm in the game, I have to do my work. I think about them, but I have to concentrate 100 percent on what I do."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Gomez started in center field after missing most of 10 games with a right ankle sprain. He did appear in one game, Tuesday, as a pinch hitter.

Mariners: RHP Dan Altavilla, rested the past couple games with a bruised foot, entered with two outs in the fourth inning.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (3-6, 5.47) goes into the Oakland Coliseum, where he has a 1.77 ERA in seven appearances, ninth lowest ever there (min: 35 innings). He'll be opposed by A's RHP Kendall Graveman (5-4, 4.39).

Mariners: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (5-6, 4.56), re-acquired in a July 28 trade with Tampa Bay, makes his 10th appearance with Seattle. Since arriving, he is 1-3 with a 4.22 ERA. The Indians will start RHP Trevor Bauer (16-9, 4.41).

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Renderings Revealed of Texas Rangers' New Ballpark]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:20:45 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers_Stadium_6p_92117.jpg

The Texas Rangers released new architectural renderings Thursday, showing what the team's new home is expected to look like.]]>
<![CDATA[Free Rangers Tickets for Arlington Residents Sept. 28]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 16:06:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-850367994+%281%29.jpg

The Texas Rangers will break ground on their new stadium, Globe Life Field, Sept. 28. That same day, Capital One is inviting Arlington residents to Globe Life Park to see Rangers host the A's for free as a way to mark the milestone.

To get the free tickets, Arlington residents need only go to TexasRangers.com/Arlington to claim their four seats -- though they can also request them at the stadium box office.

Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis in the Corner Box, Lower Reserved, Outfield Plaza, Lexus Club Terrace, Upper Box, and Upper Reserved seating areas.

Proof of Arlington residency will be required (via credit card billing address) for redeeming the tickets either on-line or in person. Tickets will then be sent to fans on game day via text.

The Texas Rangers revealed new renderings of Globe Life Field Thursday. The ballpark is expected to open in March 2020 and will hold about 41,000 fans.

The groundbreaking for Globe Life Field will take place earlier in the day Sept. 28 -- game time vs. the A's is 7:05 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Renderings Revealed of Rangers New Park]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:23:07 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Globe_Life_Field_Aerial.jpgThe Texas Rangers released new architectural renderings showing with the team's new home is expected to look like.

Photo Credit: Texas Rangers Baseball Club]]>
<![CDATA[Architects Unveil Plans for Texas Rangers' New Stadium]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 22:03:46 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Globe_Life_Field_Aerial.jpg

The Texas Rangers say they're finally ready to break ground on their new $1.1 billion retractable roof ballpark.

Thursday, the architects working on the project unveiled brand new artist renderings, giving fans their most complete look at Globe Life Field to date.

"We're really creating the first next generation ballpark here," said Bryan Trubey, Executive Vice President and Director of Sports & Entertainment for HKS, the architecture firm designing the ballpark.

The new stadium will be built just south of Randol Mill Road, across the street from Globe Life Park.

Trubey says they wanted the ballpark to have a distinctly Texas feel, which is why they incorporated a lot of brick, limestone, arches, and landscaping into the design.

"We started with something that the Rangers know is a part of their brand," said Trubey. "The term backyard has come to mind. And that term actually means family, it means security, it means entertainment, and a larger familial connection across their fanbase."

He says another major goal of their design was to bring a lot of natural light into the ballpark, even when the roof is closed. The roof itself will have clear panels and there will be glass walls on multiple sides of the stadium.

"All this works together to make it feel like even though you're inside, you're actually in an outdoor environment," said Trubey.

He also notes that when the roof is open, it will not be visible to fans seated in the ballpark. Instead, it will push back to the west, essentially providing an overhang for one of the stadium parking lots.

Rangers executives call the designs "truly amazing."

"It opens a world of possibilities to us," said Rob Matwick, Executive Vice President of Business Operations for the Texas Rangers. "We want it to be the best Major League Baseball facility that there is."

Matwick believes the climate control and more intimate seating arrangement (Globe Life Field will have a seating capacity of 41,000 -- about 8,000 fewer seats than Globe Life Park) will enhance the fan experience.

As it relates to the team, he says Globe Life Field will provide them with a year-round training facility and a new bargaining chip when trying to attract players.

"It's state-of-the-art, best in the business," said Matwick. "It also becomes attractive to free agents as we're trying to put teams together. So our job design-wise is to make sure it's absolutely the best it can be."

The Rangers will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Globe Life Field on September 28. It's slated to open at the start of the 2020 season.

The City of Arlington will cover $500 million of the total cost. Voters there overwhelmingly approved extending a package of tax increases (sales tax, car rental tax, hotel occupancy tax) that had been used to pay for the construction of AT&T Stadium.

The city's deal with the team keeps the Rangers in Arlington through 2054; their current 30-year lease on Globe Life Park was set to expire in 2024.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Texas Rangers Baseball Club
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<![CDATA[Rangers Beat Mariners 8-6, Move Closer to Playoff Spot]]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 04:02:55 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-850367994+%281%29.jpg

Alex Claudio put his worries aside and made sure Rougned Odor's grand slam did not go to waste.

Odor capped a seven-run fourth inning in style and Claudio earned a six-out save to preserve Texas' 8-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners as the Rangers made up ground in the playoff chase Wednesday night.

"What a gutsy performance the last two nights for him," Texas manager Jeff Banister said of Claudio, whose family is in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. "All of our hearts go out for these guys and everybody in Puerto Rico and all their families."

The Rangers moved within 2½ games of Minnesota for the second AL wild card after the Twins lost 11-3 to the New York Yankees. Seattle dropped its fifth straight and remained four games behind Minnesota.

"We've got 11 to play," Banister said. "We've still got some yard work to do. We've got to go out and continue to play good baseball and continue to get good starts from our starting pitcher."

Seattle, which trailed 7-1 early, pulled to 8-5 on Robinson Cano's two-run single in the seventh but then left the bases loaded. The Mariners made it 8-6 in the eighth on consecutive doubles by Mike Zunino and Ben Gamel.

"Our guys kept fighting," manager Scott Servais said. "Proud of the group there. We kind of knew what we were up against at that point in the game, and we did not quit until the last out."

Andrew Cashner (10-10) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings for Texas. He struck out two and walked three. Claudio got six outs for his 10th save.

"We wouldn't be where we're at right now without him," Cashner said of Claudio. "Especially with everything he's dealing with back home. For him to give us two huge innings tonight against a good ballclub, that's kind of what he's done all season. He comes in in big spots, and he's the same guy. He's just calm, collected and makes pitches."

Longtime ace Felix Hernandez (5-5), making his second start for Seattle since coming off the disabled list, allowed six runs — five earned — on two hits and three walks in 3.1 innings.

Texas capitalized on two errors to set up the decisive outburst in the fourth. Hernandez retired his first nine hitters before walking Delino DeShields to open the inning.

Shin-Soo Choo singled to right, with DeShields taking third on an error by Mitch Haniger. Third baseman Kyle Seager then mishandled Elvis Andrus' bouncer, allowing DeShields to score. Adrian Beltre walked to load the bases and Nomar Mazara followed with a two-run single to make it 3-1.

After Joey Gallo struck out, Robinson Chirinos walked to load the bases again. Andrew Albers relieved and Odor drove a 1-2 pitch to right-center for his 30th home run.

"The first three innings, I was going after hitters," said Hernandez, limited to 15 starts this season because of injuries. "I was throwing a lot of strikes. That was the difference from the first three and the fourth."

Texas added a run in the sixth on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Choo, robbed of a grand slam on a leaping catch above the wall by center fielder Guillermo Heredia.

The Mariners loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, but Cashner allowed just one run on a double-play grounder.

Solo homers by Nelson Cruz in the fifth, his 34th, and Haniger in the first, his 14th, accounted for Seattle's first two runs.

"They hurt, there's no question about it," Servais said of the loss. "It definitely hurts. I think everybody feels it in our clubhouse. We have to play better baseball. You're not going to the playoffs if you continue to make errors and don't execute in critical situations, and pitches. That's where we're at. That's the reality of it."

Haniger Stays Hot
Haniger, whose two stints on the disabled list cost him 60 games, has reached base safely in 17 of his last 19 games. During that span, he is hitting .388 with six home runs, six doubles, 13 RBIs and 15 runs.

Trainer's Room
Mariners RHP Tony Zych (right elbow), on the 10-day DL, threw a bullpen but is not ready to return.

"It wasn't as good as he was hoping, which is a little disappointing considering we'd love to have him back," Servais said. "I'm not saying he can't be back, but I was kind of hoping he'd do cartwheels as he came out of the bullpen. That wasn't quite the case."

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.96 ERA) starts the finale of the three-game series Thursday night. Hamels is 1-3 with a 5.97 ERA in his last five starts. He is 2-3 with a 5.73 ERA in six career starts at Safeco Field.

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-4, 2.98) makes his second start after more than a month on the DL. Paxton struggled with command in his return, allowing three runs and four hits in 1.1 innings with two walks and two wild pitches.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Score Twice in 8th Inning for 3-1 Win Over Mariners]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 16:49:41 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-849852648.jpg

Carlos Gomez had not seen live pitching in more than a week due to a sprained ankle, but he kept asking Texas manager Jeff Banister for an opportunity as a pinch-hitter.

Banister gave Gomez his chance, and the decision helped boost the Rangers' slim playoff chances.

Gomez's leadoff double in the eighth inning started a two-run rally that lifted Texas to a 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly broke a 1-all tie, and Elvis Andrus followed with an RBI single as the Rangers won their second straight after a five-game losing streak.

More importantly, Texas pulled within 3½ games of Minnesota for the second American League wild card.

"He's been by my side and in my ear the last few days telling me he's ready to hit for us and do things like that," Banister said about Gomez. "It was a situation we felt like it was a good time for him."

It was actually the combination of Gomez and Delino DeShields that manufactured the two runs in the eighth. Gomez doubled off Nick Vincent (3-3), and DeShields followed with a perfect bunt single to put runners at the corners with no outs. Choo hit a fly ball deep enough that pinch-runner Will Middlebrooks scored easily to give Texas the lead, and Andrus' broken-bat single scored DeShields.

"It was a good bunt. It's something I've really taken pride in," DeShields said. "After my first year playing professional ball I got convinced it could be used as a weapon, especially with my speed. It's something I work on every single day."

Seattle lost its fourth straight and squandered an opportunity to move within three games of Minnesota. And it was a major baserunning mistake that came back to bite the Mariners.

"Disappointing night, obviously. A chance to gain ground in this race and you lose another day," manager Scott Servais said.

With one out and runners at the corners in the seventh inning, Yonder Alonso was caught too far off third base as Guillermo Heredia pulled back on a bunt attempt. Alonso was easily thrown out by catcher Robinson Chirinos. Heredia eventually singled against Tony Barnette (2-1), but Ben Gamel popped out to end the threat.

"If it's a strike, I'm sure [Heredia[ puts it down and then Yonder scores easy. It wasn't a strike. He did the right thing, backing off it," Servais said. "But again, Yonder got a little bit too aggressive down the line and they made a play on him. It's a point in the game and where we were at, I thought it was worth a gamble."

Starting Off
Texas starter Martin Perez and Seattle counterpart Mike Leake were both excellent but didn't figure in the decision.

Leake allowed one run in 6.2 innings, scattering six hits and striking out five. His only major trouble came in the second when Adrian Beltre led off with a single, advanced to third on Nomar Mazara's double and scored on Joey Gallo's groundout. Leake limited the damage to just that run and immediately went on a roll, retiring 14 of the next 15 before Andrus reached on an infield single with two outs in the sixth. Leake has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his four starts since being acquired by the Mariners from St. Louis.

Perez also allowed just one earned run on Gamel's RBI double in the fifth. He gave up four hits and struck out four, pitching at least six innings for the seventh time in nine starts.

"As a pitcher, if I do what I did tonight, we're going to have a chance," Perez said.

Alex Claudio worked the ninth for his ninth save.

Shut Down
Servais said the club is out of time for right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to return this season. Iwakuma has been rehabbing for months trying to come back from shoulder troubles that first popped up in May. He went on the disabled list May 10 and never returned. Servais said Iwakuma is seeking opinions about whether surgery might be needed to correct the problem.

Back at it
Gomez did some running before the game and Banister said he wanted Gomez to do more defensive drills pregame before putting him back in the outfield.

Up Next
Rangers: Andrew Cashner (9-10) will make his 26th start of the season. Cashner is 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 12 starts since July 5. But he is 1-4 in his career against Seattle.

Mariners: Felix Hernandez (5-4) makes his second start since coming off the disabled list. Hernandez will likely be in the range of 70 or 80 pitches.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gallo Blast Helps Rangers to Win Over Angels]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 04:41:17 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-848605894.jpg

Joey Gallo wasn't sure how far he'd hit his monster home run Sunday, but he knew he hit it good.

All 490 feet of it, according to Statcast. Gallo's second inning solo home run — his 38th of the season, combined with a solid effort from Miguel Gonzalez led the Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Angels on Sunday.

The ball Gallo hit landed near the top of the grass hill in center field, a jaw-dropping home run at Angel Stadium. Gallo was more impressed he was able to fight back in the at-bat.

"It was two strikes. He's nasty," Gallo said of Garrett Richards. "He was nasty all game. Honestly, I was just trying to get something up and put the ball in play and hope for the best. Got the barrel to it and it went out."

It was his 38th home run of the season.

"You need a cab ride to get to it," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I don't think he's going to stop amazing us with the length of home runs. They're far, they're high, they're impressive. He's an incredible talent. Big-time power. It's fun to see him when he gets the barrel to it and they fly like that."

Said Angels manager Mike Scioscia: "That ball was hit."

The Angels dropped two games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card, a day after closing within one game of the Twins. The Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak.

Adrian Beltre ht a two-run double to center field in the first inning to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Gallo's blast made it a 3-0 lead.

Gonzalez (8-11) didn't allow a hit through four innings and earned his first win in a Rangers uniform. He did allow plenty of baserunners via five walks and one hit-by-pitch.

"I was a little wild, but we got it done," Gonzalez said. "(Robinson) Chirinos called a really good game back there, and we got some really good defense."

Mike Trout, batting leadoff for the second straight game, hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the fifth to put the Angels within 3-1. Trout also hit an eighth-inning solo home run to center field against reliever Matt Bush.

Gonzalez allowed one run on two hits in five innings. The Rangers then turned it over the bullpen, which had been the sore spot this season, but it got the job done. Jake Diekman got five outs for his first save.

Garrett Richards (0-2) gave up three runs in five innings of work. He was making his fourth start of the season and was better as the game went on. He threw 74 pitches, the most he's thrown since coming off the disabled list with a biceps injury that sidelined him most of the season. Richards retired the last 12 batters he faced and struck out the side in the fifth. He struck out seven and allowed two hits, one of which was the home run.

"I just overthrew the slider a little bit," Richards said of the Gallo home run. "He swung threw a couple early on and I think I tried to make that last one a little bit too good. He caught it out in front, and good for him."

MVP! MVP!
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, the NBA's reigning MVP, was in attendance for Sunday's game. Westbrook grew up in Southern California and played at UCLA.

Strikeout City
Six Angels pitchers combined to strike out 15 batters Sunday, which matched a season high.

Bet on Beltre
Adrian Beltre had 2 RBI Sunday. Against the Angels this season, he has five home runs and 13 RBI in 10 games.

Trainer's Room
angers: OF Nomar Mazara (quadriceps) was back in the lineup Sunday after returning as a pinch hitter Saturday . Adrian Beltre (hamstring) has been the DH in the lineup for the fourth straight game.

Angels: INF Brandon Phillips (lower back tightness) is still day-to-day .. LHP Andrew Heaney (shoulder) is playing catch and being evaluated every day. A timetable has not been set for his return yet.

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (12-11, 4.82 ERA) will make his team-leading 30th start of the season Tuesday in Seattle. Perez had his seven-game win streak snapped by the Mariners last week in an 8-1 loss Wednesday.

Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (2-5, 4.37) won his last start by pitching seven scoreless innings against Houston. It was his first win since April 22. Skaggs will start Tuesday against Cleveland.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Gain in Wild-Card Race, Beat Rangers]]>Sun, 17 Sep 2017 05:38:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-848161004.jpg

Justin Upton changed teams, but that hasn't slowed his groove. It's followed him from Detroit to Anaheim.

Upton hit two home runs, Parker Bridwell outpitched Cole Hamels and the Angels moved up in the AL wild-card race, beating the Texas Rangers 2-0 on Saturday night.

Los Angeles closed within one game of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot. The victory also prevented Houston from clinching the AL West, leaving the Astros' magic number at one over Los Angeles.

"It was awesome. Every game means a lot to us right now," said Upton, acquired from the Tigers last month. "Any time you can contribute to the win and send us in the right direction, it's fun."

Upton connected in the first inning and again in the eighth. He has 31 home runs and a career-high 103 RBIs this year with Detroit and the Angels -- it's his second straight season with at least 30 homers.

The 30-year-old Upton had just one homer in his first 13 games for the Angels before twice tagging Hamels (10-4).

"I've faced him a lot," Upton said. "He mixes it up really well. He can cut it and run the fastball and throws four-seamer, curveball, changeup, everything. You've got to be ready for anything. If you can get it in the zone and lay off some pitches, you'll put yourself in a good position. I was able to get a couple of good pitches."

Bridwell (8-2) retired the first 13 batters he faced and left after a leadoff walk in the seventh. He allowed three hits, struck out seven and walked two, just what the Angels needed. The Angels are 16-2 in games Bridwell has pitched this season.

Yusmeiro Petit retired the side in the ninth for his third save, completing a combined three-hitter.

Hamels gave up four hits in 7 1/3 innings. He pitched around four walks and struck out five.

"He's been a true warrior on the mound," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It was two pitches. It was a tough loss."

ALWAYS ON THE BASEPATHS

Robinson Chirinos drew a walk for Texas in the fifth and has reached base safely in 29 consecutive games.

CONCERT WITH A CAUSE

Nick Jonas did a postgame concert on the field which benefited "Strikeout for Slavery," an organization starter by Albert Pujols and his wife, Deidre, aimed at ending human trafficking.

Jonas and his brothers chatted with Pujols before the game and took batting practice.

"It's a great cause they're here for," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think it says a lot about their social justice commitment. And, they have nice swings. They swung the bat OK."

It was Nick Jonas' 25th birthday.

A RARE CATCH AT LEADOFF

Mike Trout was in the leadoff spot on Saturday for the first time in more than four years -- June 18, 2013 was the last time.

"(There's) not a lot of flexibility in our lineup today with some of the guys who are banged up," Scioscia said. "We need to write them up and try to get guys as many looks as we can, so that's why he's leading off."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: OF Nomar Mazara (quadriceps) pinch-hit in the eighth.

Angels: INF Brandon Phillips (tightness lower back) is still day-to-day and Scioscia was hopeful he would be back in the lineup Sunday. ... LHP Andrew Heaney (shoulder) is expected to play catch soon and then will be re-evaluated . INF Yunel Escobar (right oblique strain) will start to swing a bat on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (7-11, 4.86 ERA) hasn't pitched more than three innings in either of his two starts for the Rangers since he was acquired from the White Sox in an August trade.

Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (0-1, 1.38) has allowed one or fewer runs in each of his three starts for the Angels this season, since coming off the disabled list with a right biceps strain.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Beat Rangers, Gain Ground in AL Wild-Card Race]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 07:22:35 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-847650164.jpg

Blake Parker ran in from the Big A bullpen with the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth inning. The Los Angeles closer knew he probably had to pull off a six-out save to preserve a victory that the Angels really needed in their playoff chase.

Parker and the Angels haven't been in the best situations in September. They still keep getting it done.

C.J. Cron hit a two-run homer to cap the Angels' five-run rally in the sixth inning, and Los Angeles trimmed its deficit in the AL wild-card race to two games with a 7-6 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.

Andrelton Simmons had two run-scoring singles for the Angels (75-72), who gained a game on the Minnesota Twins (77-70) with just their third win in eight games.

"This is when baseball gets fun," Cron said. "Last year, we were out of the playoffs at this time, and it wasn't as much fun."

Given the atrocious injury problems plaguing their patchwork pitching staff, the Angels won this one in a manner that was somehow fitting. Los Angeles used seven pitchers in a bullpen start, with former closer Bud Norris getting the first six outs and Yusmeiro Petit (5-0) pitching two perfect innings after Jesse Chavez blew an early two-run lead.

Parker then had to come in early after Cam Bedrosian allowed three straight Rangers to reach base in the eighth with a 7-4 lead.

"We have a really tight-knit group in the bullpen, and it makes us want to pick each other up," Parker said. "You want to come in and throw quality strikes, just try to minimize the damage."

Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre drove in runs with sacrifice flies, but Parker kept the Angels ahead. He finished his sixth save -- the first six-out save of his career -- when Mike Trout made a sprinting catch on Rougned Odor's liner.

"That was huge, obviously," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Parker. "For him to just keep the lead after that eighth inning is huge. He made great pitches all night. Blake showed up big-time today."

SLIPPING RANGERS

Shin-Soo Choo hit a two-run homer in the sixth for Texas (72-75). The Rangers have lost four straight and six of seven, their playoff hopes down to a flicker.

"I'm proud of our guys and the way they continue to battle," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "They came up, really, one out short. There was good energy in the dugout and on the field. We just could not get the outs we needed in the sixth."

Brett Nicholas drove in two runs for Texas, and Nick Martinez pitched six-hit ball into the sixth inning. Yohander Mendez (0-1) took the loss.

TIDE TURNED

Choo connected for his 19th homer in the sixth off Chavez to put the Rangers up 4-2, but Los Angeles answered with three run-scoring drives off three pitchers. Justin Upton doubled home Trout and scored on Simmons' tying single before Luis Valbuena's sacrifice fly put the Angels up 5-4.

Cron added his 15th homer moments later, a 427-foot shot into the bullpens beyond left field.

TIGHTENED RACE

The Angels lost ground in the playoff race during their recent malaise, but managed to claw back one game after the Twins lost to Toronto earlier Friday. Los Angeles is six games behind the wild card-leading Yankees (81-66).

STARTER BUD

Norris made his first start since Aug. 31, 2016, after the Angels decided to use their bullpen for the start in place of Andrew Heaney, who had to skip his turn in the rotation due to injury.

"I'd love to do it (again)," Norris said. "I just want to help this team get in the playoffs and make a run at it."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: OF Carlos Gomez is taking batting practice less than a week after spraining his right ankle. The club is hopeful he can return before the season ends.

Angels: 2B Brandon Phillips left the game before the eighth inning after feeling tightness in his side on a swing during the seventh. Scioscia isn't sure of the injury's severity.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Cole Hamels (10-3, 4.05 ERA) has allowed 17 earned runs over 21 1/3 innings in his last four starts, but is 4-1 in his career against the Angels.

Angels: Parker Bridwell (7-2, 3.94 ERA) continues his improbable run in the rotation with his 17th start. The Angels are 14-2 when the unheralded April acquisition from Baltimore takes the mound.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cruz, Seager Lead Mariners Past Rangers 10-4]]>Fri, 15 Sep 2017 12:40:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-847155054.jpg

Time is starting to run out in the AL wild card race.

The Seattle Mariners got a bit of a boost with the return of Felix Hernandez in a 10-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Thursday night that extended a three-game win streak.

"After losing the first game of the series here, kind of regrouping, understanding where we were at was important," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "I thought our urgency, our intensity level was right on point the last three nights."

Nelson Cruz went 4 for 4 with a home run and Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer as Seattle remained 3½ games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card with 15 games remaining.

"It's exciting to see everybody, not only with the patience that we go up there and battle," Cruz said. "It's nice to see everybody on the same page."

Texas entered the game one-half game behind Seattle in the wild card race and fielded a surprise lineup looking for a spark from injured veterans Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli.

One night after making an unexpected appearance as a pinch hitter Beltre was batting fourth as the designated hitter. This was just two weeks after suffering a Grade 2 strain in his hamstring and he was expected to miss at least four weeks, likely the remainder of the season.

Beltre, who joined the 3,000-hit club this season, went 1 for 3 with a single and was replaced by a pinch runner in the seventh inning.

Napoli is dealing with a stress reaction in his lower right leg and is playing through pain. General manager Jon Daniels said Wednesday the Rangers would have to manage his playing time, but Napoli was in the lineup and playing first base Thursday. He went 0 for 2.

Texas departs on nine-game trip with its season on the line.

"We've been punched in the mouth," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We're not out. We're going to play to the end."

Hernandez made his first start since being put on the disabled list with right shoulder bursitis on Aug. 5. He was on a pitch count and threw 54 pitches, allowing three hits and striking out three in 3.2 innings.

"It was good, man. It was fun," Hernandez said. "Didn't try to do too much, trying to get through 50 pitches, out there as long as I can."

Andrew Albers (5-1) pitched the final five innings and allowed three hits.

Hernandez had an early lead to work with when Seager hit a two-run home run in the second. Three innings later Yonder Alonso hit a bases-loaded double to give the Mariners a 5-1 lead.

Alonso's bases-clearing hit was the final batter for Andrew Cashner (9-10). The Rangers starter allowed six hits, five runs, and walked five in 4.1 innings.

"I didn't command my fastball. I'm not very good when I don't do that," Cashner said. "Going back and watching video after the game, my hips were flying open and I was flying open with my front side. Small adjustment to fix."

Seattle pushed the lead to 9-1 during a 34-minute sixth inning that featured 50 pitches and 10 batters.

Rougned Odor hit a three-run homer in the seventh to cut the lead to 9-4 before Cruz homered off the foul pole in the bottom half of the inning.

Trainers Room
Rangers: OF Carlos Gomez has resumed batting practice but is still dealing with a high right ankle sprain. He's progressing as expected, but still struggling with mobility.

Up Next
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-3) will make his first start after being placed on the DL on Aug. 11 with a strained pectoral muscle.

Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (3-6) will make his first start since Aug. 31 against Houston. Martinez has worked as a relief pitcher in September and last made an appearance on Sept. 10 against New York.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Zunino Homers Twice in Mariners' 8-1 Win Over Rangers]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 04:04:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-846652604.jpg

Mike Zunino hit the longest homer of his career, and then went deep again. Those two home runs helped the Seattle Mariners jump over two teams in AL wild-card chase.

Zunino broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with a rare shot into the second-level club deck in left field, and the Mariners went on to an 8-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night to hand Martin Perez his first loss in eight starts.

"There's always that urgency that sets in. Obviously, we're running out of time," Zunino said. "You want to come together and play as well as we can."

Jean Segura also homered for the Mariners (73-73), who went a half-game ahead of both the Rangers (72-73) and Kansas City (72-73). Seattle remained 3½ games behind the second wild card spot held by Minnesota with the only team between them the Los Angeles Angels, who the Mariners play on the final weekend of the regular season.

"Guys have busted their tails all year to put themselves in this position, to play meaningful games," manager Scott Servais said. "We want to stay after it and be aggressive, and just see what happens."

Zunino hit a curveball about 470 feet for only the 23rd homer to reach that club level section in the ballpark that is in its 24th season. His second solo homer, his 23rd of the season, capped a five-run seventh-inning for the Mariners.

Three batters after Zunino's first homer, Segura hit a two-run shot deep into the lower level of seats in left.

Mike Leake (3-0) struck out five and allowed one run in 5.2 innings to win his third consecutive start for the Mariners since they acquired him from St. Louis on Aug. 30. The right-hander was 7-12 in 26 starts for the Cardinals this season.

Perez (12-11) had won seven consecutive starts since losing Aug. 4 at Minnesota, and missed the chance to match Kenny Rogers' franchise-record of eight wins in a row set in 2005. The lefty allowed three runs over 5.1 innings with five strikeouts and three walks.

"Two pitches. I threw one that was supposed to be outside to Zunino and it came in. To Segura, too," Perez said. "After that I did a great job, stayed in the game and trying to get out of the fifth inning and give the guys a chance to win."

Elvis Andrus hit a one-out double off the right-field wall in the Rangers sixth. He scored on a single by Robinson Chirinos that chased Leake before pinch-hitter Adrian Beltre's inning-ending flyout to shallow right-center.

"We need to play with a little bit more urgency," Andrus said. "We don't really have too many games left and we have to leave everything out there on the field every single day."

Beltre's Back — Sort Of
Beltre, who this season joined the 3,000-hit club, appeared in a game for the first time since sustaining a left hamstring strain two weeks ago. The Rangers had said then that he'd be out at least four weeks, though the third baseman is still pretty much limited to pinch-hitting duties for now since he has only done some light jogging.

"I don't want to pass up the opportunity to have our best guy not be able to come up in a situation to change to game," manager Jeff Banister said. "I felt that it was the best opportunity for us to send him out there and take a swing at it."

Short Hops
Chirinos has reached base in 27 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors. ... With the Mariners infield drastically shifted in the third, Delino DeShields was caught stealing at second base on a 2-5 putout. Third baseman Kyle Seager took the throw at second and applied the tag on the close play that was upheld after a replay challenge.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: 1B Mike Napoli missed his fourth straight game with a stress reactor in his lower right leg that was confirmed after a second MRI. The Rangers said he is available to play, and Napoli said he "can go out there and deal with the pain."

Up Next
Rangers: Andrew Cashner (9-9) has gone 6-2 with a 2.49 ERA over his last 11 starts.

Mariners: Felix Hernandez (5-4) is expected to come off the disabled list (right shoulder bursitis) and pitch for the first time since July 31, when he got a no-decision in his last start. That game was also in Texas, where he gave up four runs over 5.1 innings.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Return for Yu: Prospect From Darvish Deal Makes Texas Debut]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:11:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-846250254.jpg

Willie Calhoun was planning to drive from Arizona to California on Tuesday since his Triple-A season was over. Instead, the prized prospect the Rangers got in the Yu Darvish trade flew to Texas for his major league debut.

Then he got an RBI single in his first at-bat.

"It's been pretty crazy," Calhoun said before the game.

The Rangers purchased Calhoun's contract from Triple-A Round Rock, and he batted seventh and played left field against Seattle. He pulled a single through the right side of the infield in the second inning.

Calhoun was one of three minor leaguers the Rangers got from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the July 31 trade that sent Darvish to the NL's top team.

"I try not to think about it as much. I don't put any extra pressure on myself at all," the 22-year-old Calhoun said about being acquired for the former Rangers ace. "I don't really think about that when I'm on the field. I just go out there and play my game and have fun."

Texas released right-hander Tyson Ross (3-3, 7.71 ERA) to make room on the 40-man roster. Ross, signed as a free agent last winter, missed the first 2½ months of the season recovering from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and was out another 2½ weeks because of a blister on his right index finger.

When Round Rock's season ended Sept. 4, the Rangers didn't immediately promote Calhoun. But since then, center fielder Carlos Gomez rolled his right ankle coming out of the batter's box Saturday, and right fielder Nomar Mazara was the designated hitter again Tuesday while dealing with left quad tightness.

Plus, part-time left fielder Joey Gallo is needed in the infield with third baseman Adrian Beltre (left hamstring strain) and first baseman Mike Napoli (ankle) both banged up.

The first action for Calhoun came in the top of the second when Mike Zunino had an RBI single to left. The 5-foot-8 rookie cleanly fielded the ball but his throw was just a bit off line and Nelson Cruz slid in just ahead of the tag.

Calhoun ran a long way to make a sliding catch along the left-field line to take a potential hit away from Kyle Seager in the fifth. Three innings later, Seager hit another ball to left and Calhoun made another sliding attempt. Umpires ruled he trapped the ball, but he still got a forceout at second base after another runner retreated to first thinking the catch had been made.

Beltre was reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday, and took batting practice on the field for the first time since getting hurt Aug. 31. The newest member of the 3,000-hit club hasn't run yet, but said he has felt improvement. With expanded September rosters, there is plenty of room to have him listed as an active player.

"If it was August, he'd still be on the DL," general manager Jon Daniels said. "I don't think he's going to be able to run much. He's still a ways off from that. Could he in theory, perfect game situation, be available to pinch hit? I guess that would be the possibility, and I don't know that answer yet."

Known more for his hitting, Calhoun played mostly left field for Round Rock after playing second base in the Dodgers organization. He hit .300 with 31 home runs and 93 RBIs in 128 Triple-A games.

Manager Jeff Banister said Calhoun would be a regular player for the wild card-hopeful Rangers.

"This is a guy, young player, that has shown promise, and we have a need," Banister said. "Our people feel like this guy has an opportunity to hit at this level."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Release 2018 Schedule]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:12:55 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-664227790.jpg

The Houston Astros will be in Arlington to take on the Texas Rangers in the 2018 season opener.

The game is set for March 29th, which is the earliest opening day in club history.

The Rangers will host the Astros for a four game series before hitting the road for the west coast.

The Rangers will be at home on Independence Day against Houston and on Labor Day against Los Angels Angels.

The entire schedule is listed below. Games times will be announced at a later date.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Big Shots by Gamel, Seager Push Mariners Past Rangers 10-3]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 03:58:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-846223326.jpg

Kyle Seager put himself in some elite Seattle Mariners company with another big blast against Texas.

Seager and Ben Gamel both hit three-run homers to help power the Mariners to a 10-3 victory Tuesday night in a matchup of wild card hopefuls.

"We've been in some tight ball games, and haven't quite been able to get over the hump," Seager said. "So it's nice to get a bunch of runs early and kind of let everything settle down."

The Mariners led 7-1 after Seager went deep in the third for his 150th career home. He became only the third player to reach 150 homers with the Mariners before turning 30 — joining Alex Rodriguez (696 career homers) and Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. (630).

"That's good names to be associated. I think they might have been slightly younger when they hit their 150th," said the 29-year-old Seager, in his seventh season. "For me to stick in the big leagues I had to hit for more power. I wasn't going to steal a bunch of bases."

Seager's 22 homers against the Rangers are his most against any team, and matched Mike Trout and Adam Lind for the most by an active player against Texas.

Texas (72-72) and Seattle (72-73) have split the first two games of their four-game series. The Rangers dropped three games behind Minnesota for the American League's second wild card, while the Mariners remained 3½ back after the Twins also won.

Mariners manager Scott Servais felt his team, with 17 games left, responded well after a meeting before Tuesday's game.

"I thought we did get after it," Servais said. "It's too late if you wait till there's five or six games left so you've got to win them all. Our guys are focused."

Marco Gonzales (1-1), traded from St. Louis to Seattle on July 21, got his first victory in six starts for Seattle. The lefty struck out six while allowing three runs over five innings, his longest outing this season.

Miguel Gonzalez (7-11), pulled after Seager's homer, made his second start overall and first at home for the Rangers since being acquired Aug. 31 from the Chicago White Sox. He allowed seven runs and seven hits while recording only seven outs.

"Seems like most everything is one-sided for him right now, allowing hitters to eliminate one side of the plate," manager Jeff Banister said.

Willie Calhoun, the prized prospect the Rangers got when they traded Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, had an RBI single in his first major league at-bat. The Rangers purchased his contract from Triple-A Round Rock early in the day.

"That was fun. I definitely enjoyed it. I can't even soak it in yet," said Calhoun, who finished 1 for 4. "It's an unreal feeling and to be able to do that is really cool."

Doubling Up
Mitch Haniger's double in the sixth was his 20th of the season. That made him the seventh Mariners player with at least 20 doubles. ... Haniger's double hit about a foot from the top of the 14-foot wall in the left-field corner. He scored when Robinson Cano followed with a double off the very top of the 8-foot wall in right-center, a play that umpires looked at on replay to make sure it wasn't a home run.

Short Hops
Banister was ejected from the game in the fourth by home plate umpire Jeff Nelson after voicing his displeasure from the dugout about the umpire's strike zone after Ryan Rua was out on a called third strike. ... Six Mariners had multiple hits. Gamel and Cano each had three. ... All 10 of Texas' hits were singles.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre (left hamstring strain) was activated from the DL, even though he hasn't run since getting hurt Aug. 31. It was still unclear when the newest member of the 3,000-hit club might be available to play again this season, if at all. ... Keone Kela (right shoulder soreness), who last pitched Aug. 4, was reinstated from the DL.

Up Next
Rangers: Martin Perez (12-10) has won seven consecutive starts, one short of the Rangers club record set by Kenny Rogers in 2005.

Mariners: Mike Leake has won both of starts for Seattle since being acquired from St. Louis on Aug. 30.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DeShields Helps Pace Rangers in 5-3 Win Over Mariners]]>Mon, 11 Sep 2017 21:53:32 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-845834740.jpg

Delino DeShields homered after taking a speedier trip around the bases for an earlier run as the Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series matching teams still hoping to get one of the AL's two wild cards.

Cole Hamels (10-3) struck out seven in six innings to win for the first time in his last four starts.

DeShields reached on a one-out bunt single in the second, when he was initially called out before a replay challenge overturned the call. DeShields then raced home from first on Shin-Soo Choo's two-run double that made it 4-1, running through a stop sign from fill-in third-base coach Jason Wood and scoring on a nifty headfirst slide.

Two innings later, DeShields hit his fifth homer.

Alex Claudio worked a perfect ninth to get his eighth save in 12 chances for the Rangers (72-71), who got within two games of idle Minnesota for the American League's second wild-card spot. Seattle (71-73) is 3 1/2 games back.

Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger homered for Seattle. Seager led off the second with his 23rd homer and Haniger, who had three hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle, had a two-run shot in the third.

Mariners starter Ariel Miranda (8-7) allowed gave up six hits and walked three in only 1 2-3 innings.

Texas led for good when Nomar Mazara hit a two-run double in the first -- a ball that ricocheted off the upper half of the wall in right-center field.

COACHING THIRD

Wood, the Rangers' Triple-A manager, coached third base with Tony Beasley out to deal with a personal matter. But the Rangers said it wasn't a health issue for Beasley, who was limited last season while undergoing treatment for rectal cancer.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: OF Jarrod Dyson, whose 28 stolen bases were tied for third in the American League, is done for the season. He will have surgery to repair something similar to a groin injury. He hasn't played since Sept. 2, only his second game back after missing the previous 12 days with a right groin strain.

Rangers: Keone Kela, out more than a month with right shoulder soreness, threw another bullpen session and will be re-evaluated Tuesday. ... 2B Rougned Odor was back in the lineup a day after he twisted his left foot and ankle chasing a popup down the right-field line. Odor is the only Texas player to appear in all 143 games. He has started 141 of them.

UP NEXT

Mariners: Marco Gonzales (0-1, 6.20) will be the second consecutive Mariners lefty to start against Texas. His last game was in relief, throwing four scoreless against Oakland on Sept. 2.

Rangers: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez makes his second start for the Rangers since they acquired him Aug. 31 in a trade from the Chicago White Sox. He allowed four runs over three innings in his first start last Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader at Atlanta.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Judge, Sanchez 2 Homers Each in Yankees' 16-7 Win at Texas]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 22:00:29 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/172*120/GettyImages-845409970.jpg

Aaron Judge reacted with a sense of awe about the company of Yankees legends the young slugger joined with his 40-homer season.

"Pretty surreal. Never as a kid did I think that I would be in the same sentence with those guys," Judge said. "It's quite an honor. It's pretty humbling."

The 25-year-old Judge homered twice Sunday in New York's series-clinching 16-7 win at Texas, becoming only the second major league rookie with a 40-homer season. He also joined Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees to hit 40 homers at age 25 or younger.

Gary Sanchez also hit two homers for the AL wild card-leading Yankees, giving him 30 this season and 50 in 161 games since his 2015 debut.

"It's incredible what they've both done," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Mark McGwire hit a league-high 49 homers as a rookie for Oakland in 1987, and Judge -- who leads the AL with 41 -- remembers following Big Mac.

"Especially when he was in that home run hunt, with Sammy Sosa, it was fun to watch," Judge said. "It was pretty cool to see as a kid. To be in the same category with him, it's pretty special."

Judge had his fourth multihomer game this year, his first since June 11. He has four homers in seven games since breaking a homerless skid of 57 at-bats and 15 games that stretched back to Aug. 16.

"He's a big strong guy, he's capable of doing some special things," Brett Gardner said. "He's a big reason why we're right on the Red Sox."

Didi Gregorius tied a career high with four hits while driving in four runs for the Yankees (77-65), who have won three straight series for the first time since late July and moved 12 games over .500 for the first time since June 15. New York is 3 1/2 games ahead of Minnesota for the AL's top wild card and 3 1/2 games behind AL East-leading Boston.

After dropping two of three, the Rangers (71-71) were still 2 1/2 games behind the Twins with three weeks left.

"Any loss at this point is bad," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "The main focus for us now is to keep winning series."

Judge's second homer of the game ricocheted off a facade high above the Yankees bullpen in left-center field, and the ball then dropped among the relievers. That drive in the sixth would have gone 463 feet unimpeded, according to MLB's Statcast

His first homer two innings earlier capped a six-run outburst for a 9-1 lead, landing in the Rangers bullpen in right-center field.

Along with the homers, Judge's walk in the second was his MLB rookie-record 107th this season, and he had a sacrifice fly.

"That just shows he's more than a home run hitter," Girardi said

"With the team I've got around me, all I've got to do is get on base for them and they're going to drive me in," Judge said. "My goal all year is if I can get on with a knock or a walk, they'll do the rest."

PITCHERS OF RECORD

Chad Green (4-0) struck out four in 2 1/3 innings after taking over for starter Jordan Montgomery in the fourth. ... Texas starter A.J. Griffin (6-6) gave up five runs pitching into the fourth. Reliever Nick Martinez then allowed four consecutive hits before a double-play grounder and Judge's first homer.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Yankees: Manager Joe Girardi expects OF Clint Frazier, on the DL since Aug. 9 with a left oblique strain, to rejoin the Yankees this week from his injury rehab assignment at Double-A Trenton.

Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor left with a sprained right angle after getting tangled up with a sliding Nomar Mazara when both were chasing a popup down the right field line in the fifth. X-rays were negative and Odor will be re-evaluated Sunday. ... CF Carlos Gomez (high right ankle sprain) has been told not to put weight on his foot for a couple of days after getting hurt in Saturday's game.

UP NEXT

Yankees: Back to New York to open a series Monday night against Tampa Bay at Citi Field, home of the Mets. The Yankees will be the visiting team for the series moved from St. Petersburg, Florida, because of Hurricane Irma. The Yankees will play 17 of their last 20 games in New York.

Rangers: Cole Hamels (9-3), who has allowed 14 earned runs over 15 1/3 innings while going 0-2 his last three starts, starts Monday night in the opener of a home series against the Seattle Mariners.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chapman Gets Save, Yankees Allow 1 Hit to Top Rangers 3-1]]>Sat, 09 Sep 2017 20:34:57 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-844997418.jpg

Aroldis Chapman entered in the ninth inning of a save situation for the first time since he was removed as the New York Yankees' closer last month.

The hard-throwing left-hander made it look as easy as 1-2-3.

Chapman struck out two in a perfect ninth to finish a one-hitter in the Yankees' 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Tyler Austin hit a go-ahead single in the ninth inning for the wild card-leading Yankees.

"I feel good about him out there," manager Joe Girardi said. "This is a guy that's been too good for too long, for me, to lose it. It's good to get him back out there. He threw well."

Before the game, Girardi said he would prefer to settle on a closer over the committee approach he has employed since demoting Chapman after he gave up two runs in a non-save situation in a 9-6 loss at Boston on Aug. 18.

Chapman had his fifth scoreless outing in six appearances since, capping it with a swinging strikeout of pinch-hitter Mike Napoli on a 102 mph fastball for his team-leading 17th save in 21 chances.

"Really nice," said starter Luis Severino, who struck out 10 in seven innings in his first no-decision since July 15 at Boston. "I know he can throw a strike. I know he can get that role, that save."

The only hit off Severino was Brett Nicholas' run-scoring double with two outs in the fifth. Will Middlebrooks, the lone runner past second against Severino, scored from first.

David Robertson (7-2) pitched a perfect eighth.

Chase Headley drove in two runs without a hit -- a tying sacrifice fly in the eighth and a bases-loaded walk for a 3-1 lead in the ninth.

Texas starter Andrew Cashner had a shutout while pitching into the eighth inning for just the second time this season, but left after hitting Todd Frazier with the first pitch of the eighth.

Alex Claudio gave up a single to pinch-hitter Matt Holliday, putting Frazier at third with no outs and setting up Headley's sacrifice fly an out later.

"I felt like I could have kept going, but I thought Frazier was going to come out swinging," Cashner said. "I wasn't trying to throw a strike and it just sailed on me."

Claudio (4-2) allowed four singles among eight batters he faced. Frazier was hit by a pitch again in the ninth by Ricky Rodriguez, who allowed Austin's go-ahead hit and Headley's walk.

SOLID SEVE

Severino struck out 10 or more for the fifth time this season, the first since July 8 against Milwaukee. The 23-year-old right-hander is the first Yankees pitcher to allow one or no hits in at least seven innings since Michael Pineda against Baltimore on Sept. 22, 2014. "He was really good today," Girardi said. "It looked like he had great command of his fastball."

ANOTHER GOMEZ INJURY

Texas center fielder Carlos Gomez left after rolling his right ankle on a swing in the second inning. He didn't even make it halfway to first on the groundout and needed help getting off the field. He was on crutches with a walking boot after the game. Gomez missed a month in May and June with a hamstring strain and was on the 10-day disabled list last month to have a cyst removed behind his right shoulder.

SHORT HOPS

It was the fewest hits for the Rangers since opening day last season, when they beat Seattle 3-2 despite getting just one hit. ... Aaron Judge walked in the second inning to tie the major league rookie record of 106 by Cleveland's Les Fleming in 1942. ... Cashner's no-decision was the sixth time this season a Texas starter went at least seven innings allowing one or no runs without getting a win. ... The Yankees won for the eighth time this year when trailing after seven innings.

UP NEXT

Yankees: Rookie LHP Jordan Montgomery (7-7, 4.14 ERA) will make his 26th start on an extra day of rest. He hasn't won since July 25 against Cincinnati, a span of six starts.

Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (6-5, 5.09) pitches on seven days' rest. He is 3-0 in five starts against the Yankees.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Rally to Beat the Yankees 11-5]]>Fri, 08 Sep 2017 21:54:50 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-844498778.jpg

Martin Perez won his seventh straight start after the playoff-hopeful Texas Rangers rallied from an early four-run deficit and beat the AL wild card-leading New York Yankees 11-5 on Friday night.

Elvis Andrus had three hits, including the tiebreaking two-run single in the fifth that put the Rangers up 7-5.

Perez (12-10) became the first Rangers pitcher to win seven straight starts since Kenny Rogers set the club record in 2005 with eight in a row. The left-hander allowed five runs, only two earned, while giving up eight hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Nomar Mazara homered for Texas (71-69), which stayed within 2 1/2 games of Minnesota for the AL's second wild card. The Twins won at Kansas City to move within 1 1/2 games of New York (75-65).

Andrus, hitting .400 (28 of 70) over his last 16 games, had the go-ahead hit as the first batter after Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka (11-11) threw his last pitch with two on and no outs in the fifth. Andrus also had two doubles, giving him 40 for the season.

Tanaka had won his last three starts, and struck out seven Rangers. But the right-hander allowed seven runs and eight hits, and had a wild pitch that allowed Robinson Chirinos to score the tying run.

Chirinos was 2 for 2 with two walks, and has reached base in 23 consecutive games.

The Yankees led 4-0 after Gary Sanchez had a two-run single in the second. That capped a four-run outburst in in the inning when only one of the runs was earned after an error by second baseman Rougned Odor. Todd Frazier got an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

After Mazara's 19th homer in the Rangers second, Didi Gregorius put the Yankees up 5-1 with a solo homer in the third. That was the 21st homer this season for Gregorius, and his seventh in 79 career at-bats against Texas.

BACK TO NEW YORK

After the weekend in Texas, the Yankees will return to New York. Hurricane Irma forced their series at the Tampa Bay Rays to be moved from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. The Rangers last week played their road series against the Houston Astros in St. Pete in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Yankees: CC Sabathia said the lubricating injection in his right knee was routine and scheduled. The lefty left his start Tuesday at Baltimore after 5 1/3 innings with the lead. He plans to throw Saturday and is on track to start the series opener Monday against the Rays.

Rangers: Mazara was back in the lineup after leaving the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader at Atlanta with tightness in his left quad.

UP NEXT

From night to a noon start local time for the second game of the series, with Game 2 scheduled to start only about 13 1/2 hours after the end of the opener. Yankees RHP Luis Severino (12-6), who has allowed one earned run or fewer in eight of 10 starts since the All-Star break, going 7-2 in that span. RHP Andrew Cashner (9-9) goes for the Rangers. He is 6-2 in his last 10 starts.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Freeman's Double Helps Braves Beat Rangers 5-4 for Split]]>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 04:06:46 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-843507058.jpg

Julio Teheran and the Atlanta Braves finally found a way to beat the Texas Rangers.

Freddie Freeman hit a two-run double during Atlanta's five-run second inning against Cole Hamels, Teheran pitched around five walks and the Braves held off a rally to beat the Rangers 5-4 and split a doubleheader Wednesday night.

Nomar Mazara had a two-run homer off Teheran in the nightcap for Texas, which won the first game 12-8 behind four hits from Elvis Andrus .

Otherwise, Teheran (10-11) avoided mistakes. He earned his second straight home win, allowing three runs, five walks and five hits in five innings.

"Obviously I don't want to give in or make a mistake," Teheran said. "... I know five walks is a lot but I didn't want to throw the ball over the plate where they could hit it."

The Braves took one win in the three-game series.

The Rangers are two games behind the Twins in the race for the second AL wild card.

Hamels (9-3) gave up five runs, four earned, in six innings. After facing 10 batters in the second, he allowed only one hit over his next four innings.

"Putting up a five-spot is definitely not the right way to go about it," Hamels said. "It's a tough thing to see from my side and, I'm sure, from my teammates."

Arodys Vizcaino gave up two-out singles to Jared Hoying and Carlos Gomez in the ninth. Vizcaino ended the game on Joey Gallo's fly ball to center for his 10th save.

Andrus drove in three and hit his 20th homer in the first game.

The Rangers finished interleague play with a 14-5 record, their 11th straight season finishing .500 or better against National League opponents.

Luiz Gohara (0-1), a 21-year-old native of Brazil, allowed six runs in four innings in his major league debut for Atlanta.

Gohara lost a 4-2 lead in the fourth, when he was hurt by walks to Gallo and Mike Napoli. Brett Nicholas hit an RBI double and pinch-hitter Will Middlebrooks followed with a tying two-run triple. Middlebrooks scored on a wild pitch to give Texas a 5-4 lead.

Andrus stole second base in the first inning of the second game, giving him 24, to go with the 20 homers, more than double his previous career high of eight last season. Jose Altuve and Mike Trout are the only other players in the majors with at least 20 homers and 20 steals.

"It's great company, the two best players in the league right now," Andrus said. "I'm really proud of the season I'm having right now, but it's not about me."

Also in the opener, Napoli hit a two-run homer for Texas. Matt Kemp and Ender Inciarte hit homers off Rangers starter Miguel Gonzalez, who allowed four runs in three innings. Inciarte had three hits.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx (5-2) threw three scoreless innings in relief of Gonzalez.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Mazara left the second game with tightness in his left quadriceps.

Braves: C Tyler Flowers (wrist contusion) could come off the DL this weekend. ... OF-IF Danny Santana was placed on the 60-day DL with a strained left quad. He came off the 10-day DL on Tuesday before it was determined he aggravated the injury in his minor league rehab.

Empty Seats
The early afternoon game of the doubleheader was scheduled when Tuesday night's game was postponed by rain. There were 19,971 tickets distributed, but it appeared that only a few hundred fans were in the stands. Announced attendance for the second game was 20,364.

Highlight Worthy
Braves RF Nick Markakis ran toward the right-field line and made a diving catch of a sinking liner hit by Delino DeShields in the fifth inning of the second game.

20-20 Texas Shortstops
The only other Rangers shortstop to have at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in a season was Toby Harrah, in 1975 and 1977.

Up Next
Rangers: Following a day off Thursday, LHP Martin Perez (11-10, 4.87) will start when Texas opens a three-game home series against the Yankees on Friday night.

Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (2-8, 4.31) will start when the Braves begin a four-game series against Miami on Thursday night. Newcomb allowed three runs in six innings in a 5-0 loss to the Marlins on June 16.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Andrus, Rangers Spoil Gohara's Debut, Top Braves 12-8]]>Wed, 06 Sep 2017 15:26:08 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-843443066.jpg

Elvis Andrus drove in three runs with four hits, including a homer, and the Texas Rangers beat the Atlanta Braves 12-8 on Wednesday to spoil the major league debut of Luiz Gohara.

Gohara (0-1), a 21-year-old native of Brazil, allowed six runs in four innings in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. The lefty gave up four hits, walked four and struck out six.

Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer off Braves reliever Matt Wisler in the fifth.

The early afternoon game of the doubleheader was scheduled when Tuesday night's game was postponed by rain. There were 19,971 tickets distributed, but it appeared that only a few hundred fans were in the stands.

Andrus, who began his career in the Braves' organization, hit a homer over the 400-foot mark on the center field wall in the first. It was the 20th homer of the season, including four in the last three games, for Andrus, whose previous career high was eight in 2016.

Matt Kemp and Ender Inciarte hit homers off Rangers starter Miguel Gonzalez, who allowed four runs in three innings. Inciarte had three hits.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx (5-2) threw three scoreless innings in relief of Gonzalez.

Matt Adams hit a run-scoring double off Tyson Ross in the ninth and scored on a single by Rio Ruiz. Alex Claudio replaced Ross and got David Freitas on a game-ending groundout.

Andrus has 23 stolen bases. The only other Rangers shortstop to have at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in a season was Toby Harrah, in 1975 and 1977.

Gohara lost a 4-2 lead in the fourth, when he was hurt by walks to Joey Gallo and Napoli. Brett Nicholas hit an RBI double and pinch-hitter Will Middlebrooks followed with a tying, two-run triple. Middlebrooks scored on a wild pitch to give Texas a 5-4 lead.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Braves rookie catcher Freitas had two hits in his third start. C Tyler Flowers (wrist contusion) could come off the DL this weekend. ... OF-IF Danny Santana was placed on the 60-day DL with a strained left quad. He came off the 10-day DL on Tuesday before it was determined he aggravated the injury in his minor league rehab.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Following a day off Thursday, LHP Martin Perez (11-10, 4.87) will start when Texas opens a three-game home series against the Yankees on Friday night.

Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (2-8, 4.31) will start when the Braves begin a four-game series against Miami on Thursday night. Newcomb allowed three runs in six innings in a 5-0 loss to the Marlins on June 16.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers-Braves Rained Out, Doubleheader Set for Wednesday]]>Wed, 06 Sep 2017 03:52:51 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-843096414.jpg

The second game of an interleague series between the Atlanta Braves and the Texas Rangers was rained out Tuesday night.

A day-night doubleheader will be held Wednesday.

A line of severe storms moved across SunTrust Park about the time of the scheduled first pitch.

The game never began, and most fans headed for home long before it was finally called at 9 p.m. after a delay of nearly 2½ hours.

Officials knew all along it would be a lengthy delay under the best of circumstances, given the extensive line of storms, but held out hope the system would move out in time to provide a window to get the game in.

This is the playoff-contending Rangers' only appearance in Atlanta and both teams wanted to avoid a doubleheader on Wednesday — the final day of the series essentially the only option for making the game up.

The Braves called up 21-year-old Brazilian Luiz Gohara to make his major league debut.

Now, the heralded left-hander will have to wait a bit longer.

Miguel Gonzales (7-10) was scheduled to make his first start for the Rangers since being acquired from the White Sox in a trade last week. He made 22 starts for Chicago.

Texas began the night two games out of an AL wild-card spot.

Inclement weather has plagued the Braves' first season at their new suburban stadium. In addition to numerous delays — including one game that ended at nearly 2 a.m. following a stoppage of more than three hours — this was the second rainout at SunTrust Park.

With the Braves long out of playoff contention, they are using a six-man rotation the rest of the season to get a look at some young prospects. The hard-throwing Gohara started the year in the Class-A Florida State League but quickly moved up the ranks, also pitching at Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett before getting the call to the big leagues.

Another youngster, Lucas Sims, was shifted to the bullpen to make room for Gohara in the expanded rotation.

In Wednesday's scheduled game, Cole Hamels (9-2) was set to pitch for Texas against Julio Teheran (9-11) of the Braves.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Homer-Happy Rangers Take Easy Win Over Braves]]>Tue, 05 Sep 2017 05:04:28 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-8426758261.jpg

Nomar Mazara looked around the Rangers' clubhouse at all the power hitters on his team.

It's quite a display.

"We've got strong guys here that can get the ball out of the ballpark," he said. "It's crazy, but that's how it is. When you hit homers, it's always fun."

Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor and Mazara homered, Andrew Cashner pitched six strong innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2 on Monday night.

The homer-happy Rangers have won two straight and five of seven to stay relevant in the playoff race. They're two games out of the second wild-card spot.

Even with slugger Adrian Beltre nursing a hamstring injury and sidelined for the next four weeks, Texas still has plenty of power. The Rangers lead the majors with 215 homers, matching their total from last season.

"Some of the guys had big swings tonight," Cashner said. "Rougy put the dagger in there late. I think we're swinging the bats really well. Guys are feeling good. We've been playing really good baseball lately."

Andrus, who homered twice on Sunday, made it 1-0 in the first inning with his 19th long ball. Mazara's 17th homer and Odor's 28th, a two-run shot, made it 8-2 in the fifth. That gave Texas seven homers over the last two days.

Cashner (9-9) gave up six hits, two runs and two walks and struck out five. In his last 10 starts, Cashner is 6-2 with a 2.62 ERA.

"Getting those soft-contact outs is key for him," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It allowed him to grind through some innings with his curveball that allowed him to get some strikeouts in the middle innings. They made him work, but for six innings a strong outing for Cash, in my opinion."

R.A. Dickey (9-9) allowed eight hits, three walks and seven runs — six earned — in 4.1 innings. The 42-year-old knuckleballer struck out three.

"The movement was good, but when I felt like I had to elevate it go get strikes called, it flattened out on me and they hit some on the screws," Dickey said.

The Rangers led 3-0 in the second on Cashner's sacrifice fly and a passed ball that scored Odor from third. They went up 5-0 in the third on Joey Gallo's RBI triple and Odor's sacrifice fly.

Matt Adams cut the lead to 5-2 in the fourth with his 20th homer.

Swinging for History
Cashner's sacrifice fly was the first by a Rangers pitcher and the franchise's first since Camilo Pascual did it for the Washington Senators on Sept. 5, 1968 against the Chicago White Sox.

Staying Hot
Rangers C Robinson Chirinos went 0 for 2 but walked twice to reach safely for the 21st straight game, the team's longest such streak this season.

Trainer's Room
Braves 1B Freddie Freeman began the game hitting .298 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs since returning July 4 from a broken left wrist, but he's lost strength in his wrist recently. He went 2 for 4 but had hit just .194 over his previous 10 games. Snitker said he and Freeman discussed the situation a couple days ago and decided to stay with the slugger staying in the lineup.

"He assured me there's no pain, not hurting," Snitker said. "He can back off the extra work and all that and just get himself ready and get through this OK." Freeman has a doctor's visit scheduled this week.

Play it Safe
Banister said there are no plans to add INF Jurickson Profar or top prospects OF Willie Calhoun and 1B Ronald Guzman in the immediate future because the Rangers can't get them enough playing time with expanded rosters.

"You can get to a point where the population can be a little high," Banister said. Banister added that the players who have been with the team all season deserve a chance "to finish the job."

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.31 ERA) will make his 23rd start of the season and his first for Texas. Gonzalez, acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox last week, has gone 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA over his last nine starts.

Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (9-11, 4.75 ERA) will make his 28th start and second in his career against the Rangers. In his last four starts, Teheran is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA, but he's allowed 29 homers, second-most in the NL.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Elvis Leaves Building Twice, Rangers Beat Angels 7-6]]>Sun, 03 Sep 2017 20:04:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/171*120/GettyImages-842325872.jpg

The Texas Rangers are back to .500 with a month to go in the regular season, and still fighting to get one of the American League's two wild cards.

"Our guys continue to grind, that's who they are, that's their DNA," manager Jeff Banister said after a 7-6 victory Sunday over the Los Angeles Angels. "Doesn't always look pretty at times. However, they find a way to get things done."

Elvis Andrus hit two of the four homers by the Rangers, who held on in another long game against their AL West rival and fellow wild-card chaser. Los Angeles scored three times in the ninth before the nearly four-hour game ended on a grounder with the bases still loaded.

"We're not going to give up," Andrus said. "We're going to keep battling here through the tough times, that's what's happening right now."

The Rangers (68-68) went ahead to stay when Robinson Chirinos and Delino DeShields hit back-to-back homers in the fourth off Andrew Heaney (1-1), who gave up a solo homer to Andrus an inning earlier. No. 9 hitter Chirinos' two-run homer tied the game at 4 before DeShields went deep.

Andrus' two-run homer in the sixth, his 18th, proved to be the difference in the game.

Texas, without injured third baseman Adrian Beltre, moved within three games of Minnesota for the AL's second wild-card spot. The Angels (70-67) are 1 1/2 games back of that playoff spot.

Heaney, coming off 10 strikeouts in his last start, has allowed 11 homers in 19 1-3 innings over four games since getting called up last month.

"He didn't have as crisp of command ... certainly with his breaking ball," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He just didn't have a chance to bring that good mix that he had last time in."

Martin Perez (11-10) threw a career-high 117 pitches over six innings to win his sixth straight start.

Tony Barnette earned his second save in six chances after coming on with two on and no outs in the ninth. Barnette gave a two-run double to Andrelton Simmons after getting Albert Pujols on a popout with the bases loaded, and before a walk forced in another run .

"Going through that part of the order you've got guys that can do damage throughout," Barnette said. "At the end of the day we got to the end and that's all that matters right now."

LONG, LONG TIME

The game took 3 hours, 49 minutes to play, the shortest of the series that had a combined playing time of 12 hours, 31 minutes. The opener Friday took 4 hours, 33 minutes -- the longest nine-inning game in the history of both franchises. The 10-inning game Saturday took 4 hours, 9 minutes.

GONE THIS TIME

Rangers CF Carlos Gomez was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Estabrook after a disputed called third strike in the third. Gomez said something and then slammed his bat to the ground. Estabrook was at first base Saturday night when he called a strike on a checked swing by Gomez, who expressed his displeasure then without being tossed.

STANDOUT ANGELS

Pujols drove in a run with a single in the fifth, for his 90th RBI this season. It his 16th season with 90 RBIs, matching Hank Aaron for the most in MLB history. ... Mike Trout has walked in 11 consecutive games, a career high and two games shy of the Angels franchise record.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: Closer Bud Norris (sore right knee) is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday. The right-hander expects to be ready to pitch then.

Rangers: Beltre, who strained his left hamstring Thursday, was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Even though the rosters have been expanded, that move had to be made to allow the recall of RHP Nick Gardewine from Double-A Frisco since it had been less than 10 days since the pitcher was sent down from an early stint with the Rangers.

UP NEXT

Angels: Back to the West Coast, and a day game Monday at Oakland in a series opener.

Rangers: A holiday reunion with former manager Ron Washington, who is Atlanta's third base coach. The Rangers open a three-game interleague series at Atlanta on Monday night.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Calhoun's Single Breaks Tie in 10th, Angels Beat Rangers 7-4]]>Sat, 02 Sep 2017 22:25:53 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/164*120/GettyImages-842021158.jpg

Kole Calhoun hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the 10th inning, and the Los Angeles Angels rallied to beat the Texas Rangers 7-4 on Saturday night.

Los Angeles remained 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the AL's second wild card berth. Texas fell to four games behind the Twins.

Losing pitcher Jose Leclerc (2-3) walked the first three batters in the 10th. Two scored when Calhoun looped his single into left field, and the third came in on a sacrifice fly by C.J. Cron, who had three RBIs in the game.

The Rangers led 4-2 with two outs in the top of the ninth before Luis Valbuena doubled and Cron lined his 13th home run into the left field stands against rookie Ricky Rodriguez to tie the game at 4.

Yusmeiro Petit (4-0), the fifth Los Angeles pitcher, earned the win, and Blake Parker worked a hitless 10th inning for his fifth save in seven opportunities.

Carlos Gomez homered and scored twice for Texas. He led off the second inning with his 17th homer and led off the fourth with a double. Joey Gallo singled home Gomez for a 3-1 lead.

For the Angels' first two runs, in the fourth and sixth, Mike Trout doubled and scored on a two-out single by Albert Pujols. He has 21 RBIs in his last 19 games.

The first four Texas runs were scored by a batter leading off an inning.

Delino DeShields walked in the first and crossed home plate on a fielder's choice by Elvis Andrus. Robinson Chirinos walked and scored when Nomar Mazara hit a bases-loaded groundout in the seventh.

Each starting pitcher went 5 2/3 innings. The Rangers' A.J. Griffin allowed two runs, and Ricky Nolasco gave up three for Los Angeles.

Griffin retired the first 10 Angels before Trout doubled with one out in the fourth.

Nolasco reached 1,500 career strikeouts with his sixth of the game in the sixth inning, when Gallo swung and missed on a 79-mph splitter.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: RHP Garrett Richards, on the disabled list since April because of a strained biceps, threw a bullpen before Saturday's game. He said it went well. Richards could be activated to start a game as soon as Monday at Oakland.

UP NEXT

Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (1-0, 5.63) will make his fourth start of the season in the series' final game on Sunday. Heaney allowed one run in six innings for a win in his previous start Monday against Oakland.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (10-10, 4.89) will start the third game of the series. He leads Texas in wins, and has won his last five starts.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Outlast Angels 10-9, Move up in AL Wild-Card Race]]>Fri, 01 Sep 2017 23:34:53 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/174*120/GettyImages-841725322.jpg

Carlos Gomez scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a wild pitch and the Texas Rangers moved up in the AL wild-card race, holding off the Los Angeles Angels 10-9 Friday night in a game that lasted more than 4 1/2 hours.

The matchup took 4 hours, 33 minutes, setting franchise records for both teams as the longest nine-inning game in club history.

Texas stopped the Angels' three-game winning streak and closed within three games of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot. Los Angeles is 1 1/2 games behind the Twins.

The Angels loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth before Alex Claudio (4-1) retired Eric Young Jr. on a grounder. Young had entered in the eighth as a pinch-runner for Albert Pujols, who had four hits and drove in four runs.

Pujols now has 1,904 RBIs and moved past Willie Mays into ninth place on the career list.

Cam Bedrosian (4-4) threw the wild pitch that let Gomez score.

Brandon Phillips and Justin Upton made their Angels debuts a day after being acquired in trade. Upton doubled, singled and scored a run, and also made an error in left field. Phillips had a hit and scored.

It was 9-all when Gomez walked in the eighth, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. He scored when Bedrosian's pitch in the dirt to Mike Napoli skipped away from Maldonado.

Gomez also homered in the Rangers' first game without injured third baseman Adrian Beltre, who might miss the rest of the season with a strained left hamstring.

Gomez and Shin-Soo Choo homered in the sixth as Texas took a 9-4 lead.

Joey Gallo also connected for Texas, hitting his 37th homer and tying Yankees rookie Aaron Judge for the most in the AL.

Rangers starter Cole Hamels allowed five hits and four runs in five innings.

HURRICANE RELIEF

Ten percent of the revenue from ticket sales, concessions and merchandise during this series will be donated to relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The Rangers wore shirts during batting practice with the words "No matter where we ball, Texas stands tall," with the Rangers and Astros logos underneath. The shirts will be on sale to the public later this week with proceeds going to hurricane relief.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Angels: RHP Garrett Richards is close to returning from a biceps injury and could be activated this weekend.

Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (shoulder) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session and is scheduled to throw another bullpen next week.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco is making his fourth start and looking for his first win against the Rangers.

Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin is making his 14th start and working on extended five days of rest after a 6-5 loss to Oakland on Aug. 27.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Beltre to Miss Minimum of Four Weeks Due to Hamstring Strain]]>Fri, 01 Sep 2017 16:44:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers+Beltre+Hamstring+Injury.jpg

The Rangers are barely staying in the A.L. wild card race. If they are to make a move and climb up the standings, they will do it without Adrian Beltre.

The Rangers third baseman is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks due to a Grade 2 hamstring strain. The recovery time could carry into the final weekend of the regular season. Beltre appears optimistic that he will be back this season. However, chances of seeing the captain back on the field to finish out 2017 may be unlikely unless the Rangers somehow manage to sneak into the playoffs.

Beltre suffered the injury fielding a grounder during the seventh inning in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros in Florida. Beltre would leave the game with Drew Robinson taking over the hot spot.  Joey Gallo was already in the lineup, seeing time at both first base and left field. Gallo will likely take over at third just like he did when Beltre missed the first 51 games of the season with a strained calf.

Beltre was hitting .315 with 16 home runs and 66 RBI’s in 80 games this season prior to the injury. He collected his 3,000 career hit in July, making him the 31st player in major league history to reach the milestone.

This will be the first time Beltre plays in fewer than 100 games in a season since his rookie year with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1997.

The Rangers also activated reliever Jake Diekman from the 60-day disabled list. Diekman has not played this season after undergoing surgery for chronic ulcerative colitis.

The Los Angeles Angels make the trip to The Globe for a three-game series starting on Friday. Cole Hamels gets the start for the Rangers in the series-opener. The Rangers ace is 9-2 with a 3.78 ERA this season. The Angels are a game and a half out of the final A.L. wild card spot while the Rangers are four games out.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Astros Top Rangers 5-1 in Last Game Before Return to Houston]]>Thu, 31 Aug 2017 17:16:21 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-841297144.jpg

After a difficult three-game "home" series in front of sparse crowds 1,000 miles from their ballpark, the Houston Astros are heading back to their flood-ravaged city. And they're putting their inconvenience in perspective.

Jose Altuve homered, the Houston bullpen pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings and the Astros beat the Texas Rangers 5-1 on Thursday in the last game before they return to Houston.

Josh Reddick added an RBI single for the AL West-leading Astros, who avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of their instate rivals at Tropicana Field, where the series was relocated because of Hurricane Harvey.

"It's been a tough week," Astros pitcher Collin McHugh said. "Obviously, we're really fortunate in so many ways, to have been able to escape the devastation that's actually happened in Houston. We've been away for a while, and we're all ready to get back home."

Houston will have a previously unscheduled day off Friday and play a doubleheader Saturday against the Mets at Minute Maid Park. The downtown Houston stadium escaped major flood damage. Astros president Reid Ryan has said he hopes the weekend games "can serve as a welcome distraction" for the city.

For the Rangers, it was their first loss all year at the Tampa Bay Rays' home park. They swept the Rays in a three-game series in June.

Chris Devenski (7-3) worked 2 1/3 innings in relief of McHugh to get the win. Ken Giles pitched the final two innings for his 27th save in 30 opportunities.

Devenski plans to spend part of the day off helping out wherever he can.

"It's been tough on me because, in all reality, we should be there," Devenski said. "We should have been there from the start of this."

McHugh allowed one unearned run, but bench coach Alex Cora pulled him one out short of a potential victory. Cora was managing in place of A.J. Hinch, who was ejected by second-base umpire Joe West for arguing a catcher's interference call in the first.

McHugh allowed four hits, walked two, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch in 4 2/3 innings.

"It's a big win for us. I thought the bullpen was exceptional. I got to watch it on TV," Hinch said. "We haven't been playing our best in this series, and now we get on a plane and get to go home. It's the best news of the day."

Altuve's home run, his 21st, came off Nick Martinez (3-6) in the first. Reddick put the Astros ahead with an RBI single in the fourth.

Martinez allowed two runs in five innings and struck out six.

Alex Bregman had an RBI single in the eighth, and Derek Fisher, who entered the game as a pinch runner, followed with a two-out, two-run single in his only at-bat.

Nomar Mazara drove in the Rangers' only run with a fielder's choice in the first. Texas is four games back of Minnesota for the second AL wild card.

"Very challenging road trip for us. But to take two of three against these guys is a plus to get us back to a .500 road trip," manager Jeff Banister said. "Now we go home, play three games against Anaheim and see if we can't gain a little ground."

BELTRE HURT

Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre, who got his 3,000th career hit this season, pulled up with a strained left hamstring while fielding a grounder in the seventh and was immediately pulled from the game.

Beltre, who missed 51 games at the start of this season with calf issues, said after the game that he would have an MRI on Friday.

"It's too soon to tell. Get an MRI tomorrow and see where we're at," Beltre said. "Today, it doesn't really feel good."

UNUSUAL EJECTION

Hinch said he didn't understand why West felt the need to get involved in the discussion he was having with home plate umpire Chris Segal.

"I understand he's protecting a younger umpire, but there was really no business for Joe to be involved in the argument," Hinch said. "I didn't say anything that was necessary to get thrown out by the home plate umpire, and then Joe got involved and decided I was done for the day. It was just unnecessary."

LATE ACQUISITION

The Astros claimed outfielder Cameron Maybin off waivers from the Angels on Thursday.

"I've got history with Cam. He's a great human, a fun guy to be on our team," Hinch said. "He's got a ton of speed, can play all three outfield positions, so I'll work him in."

NO-FIELD ADVANTAGE

Joey Gallo hit what looked like a potential home run in the fourth for the Rangers, but the ball hit the B-ring on the catwalk at Tropicana Field and fell in the field of play. Gallo settled for a double and didn't score.

"A little unfortunate with a ball that we felt that was going to be out of the ballpark for Gallo," Banister said. "But we were unable to drive the runs when we had chances to."

GOOD SEATS AVAILABLE

The final game of the relocated three-game series drew 3,385 fans, the smallest crowd of the series. Attendance for Wednesday's game was 6,123.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: DH Carlos Beltran was hit on the foot by a pitch in the seventh and was removed from the game. ... C Evan Gattis was placed on the 10-day DL with right wrist soreness. ... RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (back) gave up two runs over five innings for Double-A Corpus Christi in his second rehab start.

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels will look for his 10th win of the season in the opener of a home series against the Angels.

Astros: After a day off, the Astros will send RHP Charlie Morton and RHP Brad Peacock to the mound on Saturday against the Mets in a doubleheader at Minute Maid Park.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cashner Shuts Down Astros; Rangers Win 8-1 in St. Pete]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2017 22:06:10 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-841038816.jpg

Andrew Cashner pitched eight strong innings, Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer and the Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros 8-1 Wednesday night in a game relocated to Florida because of Hurricane Harvey.

A crowd of 6,123 -- up from 3,485 the previous night for the opener of a three-game series at Tropicana Field -- watched Cashner (8-9) limit the AL West leaders to three hits, one after the second inning.

Napoli's homer off Dallas Keuchel (11-3) capped a six-run fourth inning for the Rangers, who've won two straight following a three-game skid.

Houston's third loss in four games was overshadowed by the announcement earlier Wednesday that the Astros will return to home after Thursday's finale to face the New York Mets this weekend.

After an unscheduled day off, the Astros will play a doubleheader Saturday and afternoon game Sunday against the Mets.

Manager A.J. Hinch broke the news to relieved players at an afternoon meeting. In addition to reuniting with family and friends, many of them plan to spend part of Friday assisting people affected by the storm.

Returning to Minute Maid Park figures to be emotional.

"I know it will be a warm welcome. ... You never know how much home means to you until you're not allowed to go home," Hinch said, adding it's difficult to anticipate exactly what the scene will be like Saturday.

"Our attention is still going to be centered around the city and all the devastation that's going on," the manager added. "If we can provide any sort of relief, or any sort of escape, or any part of a distraction away from what's going on, I think that's going to be part of it."

Keuchel retired 10 in a row to begin the game before Texas broke through for six runs within a span of six batters. Joey Gallo drew a bases-loaded walk, Carlos Gomez delivered a two-run single and Napoli capped the surge with his 28th homer of the season.

Cashner, meanwhile, shut the Astros down after giving up a single, double and Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly in the second inning. The right-hander allowed two baserunners after the that, one of them on an error.

Ricky Rodriguez finished the combined four-hitter, giving up an infield single to Jose Altuve in the ninth.

The loss dropped Keuchel to 2-3 over seven starts since returning from a stint on the 15-day disabled list due to neck discomfort. The Astros ace allowed six runs, five hits, three walks and struck out seven over six innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: LHP Jake Diekman, continuing a comeback from three abdominal operations, pitched one scoreless inning for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday. In six rehab outings with Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, allowed one earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Astros: SS Carlos Correa, on the 10-day disabled since July 18 due to a torn ligament in his left thumb, is expected to make two more minor league rehab starts before being activated as early as Sunday against the Mets.

UP NEXT

Right-hander Nick Martinez (3-5, 5.26 ERA) starts the series finale for the Rangers. The Astros counter with right-hander Collin McHugh (2-2, 3.63).

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Choo Paces Rangers' 12-2 Rout of Astros in Florida]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2017 04:09:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/189*120/GettyImages-840684462.jpg

It wasn't just another night at the ballpark for the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, who can't stop thinking about everyone back home affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The stands at Tropicana Field were mostly empty, the "home" team dressed in the visitors clubhouse, and the "road" team wore white uniforms they usually wear at home.

The three-game series that concludes Thursday was moved from Minute Maid Park because of flooding in the Houston area, with the Astros serving as the home team after the Rangers declined a proposal to play the games in Arlington, Texas.

"I thought both teams kind of handled the situation, getting on a plane and flying over here and really getting set up to play a baseball game," manager Jeff Banister said after the Rangers opened a series moved 1,000 miles to St. Petersburg, Florida, with a 12-2 victory in front of an announced crowd of 3,485.

Shin-Soo Choo homered and drove in four runs, backing the strong pitching of Martin Perez, ironically helping Texas move ahead of Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card standings while playing in the Rays' ballpark.

Adrian Beltre of the Rangers drove in three runs to pass Hall of Famer Ernie Banks for 28th on the career RBI list with 1,637 while Joey Gallo hit a two-run homer off Mike Fiers (8-9).

"We were really motivated to do well for Houston, but looking on the TV with Houston half under water is kind of hard," Rangers third baseman J.D. Davis, who also pitched an inning, said.

"We played hard. We just came up short. Good for the Rangers," Davis added. "They had three big innings. There's nothing much you can do. It's just baseball."

It's only the fourth time in major league history that games have been relocated to neutral sites because of weather.

The Astros were involved as well in 2008, when two scheduled home games against the Chicago Cubs were moved to Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike.

Three games between the Angels and Indians were played in Milwaukee instead of Cleveland because of snow in 2007, and two games between the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins were moved from Miami to U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago due to Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Choo had an RBI single off Fiers, who allowed eight runs in four innings. He added a three-run homer off reliever Francis Martes in the fifth.

Perez (10-10) pitched seven strong innings for the Rangers, yielding two runs and eight hits. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman drove in runs for the Astros with third-inning singles.

The small but lively crowd included Carolina Padilla, who made the 90-minute trip to the domed stadium with two 9-year-olds -- one of them her son, David, who wore an Altuve jersey.

"It's awesome. It's wonderful," she said. "When we found out this morning they were playing here, they were like, `Oh, we have to go!"'

Seating was limited to the lower level, with tickets going for $10 each. Some Astros fans wore orange T-shirts, one Rangers fan showed up wearing a Dak Prescott football jersey and a handful of people showed up in Tampa Bay Rays gear.

Small crowds are routine at the Trop, where the Rays rank last in the major leagues in attendance, averaging just 15,614 per game -- roughly half -- what the Astros (30,661) and Rangers (31,370) have drawn in their home stadiums this season.

"I'm really disappointed that some more people didn't show up. It's no big secret that the Rays could move, and Major League Baseball is watching this," Tampa resident Jeff Justin, who described himself as a Cubs fan who supports the Rays, said. "This is sad. It really is."

Banister said before the game that the prospect of the series attracting small crowds should not affect either team's commitment to playing for people affected by the storm.

"If at this moment they need people in the stands to have them charged up to play the game," Banister said, "they aren't playing for the right reasons."

Impending Decision
There's still been no official announcement on where the Astros will play this weekend's "home" series against the New York Mets, though it likely will be Tropicana Field. If the team, which begins a 10-game trip after facing the Mets, remains in St. Petersburg through Sunday it will wind up playing 19 consecutive games away from Minute Maid Park.

"Nineteen-day trips are never easy, if that's what it turns out to be, but it's also a time when you want to be there with all the chaos going on in Houston," Astros broadcaster Todd Kalas said. "It's a very emotional time for a lot of the guys involved. Many of them have family members who have either had to evacuate or are in the process of evacuating, so it's nonstop communication back home and certainly a lot of concern and fear."

Up Next
LHP Dallas Keuchel (11-2, 2.58 ERA) seeks his 12th victory for the Astros on Wednesday night. The Rangers will counter with RHP Andrew Cashner (7-9, 3.44).



Photo Credit: Jason Behnken / Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Backlash Over Rangers/Astros Series is Rubbish ]]>Tue, 29 Aug 2017 18:38:04 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers+Banister+Argument.jpg

The Houston went out of their way to make the Rangers look bad. Rangers GM Jon Daniels is being called a lot of nasty names because the teams will play a three games series in Florida instead of Arlington. 


The Astros chose to play the series in Florida. 

The Rangers offered Houston the opportunity to play three games in Arlington. The club was going to make the Astros the home team and the Rangers were going to give Astros all profits and donate expenses and reimbursement and raffle money to charity.

Repected outlet USA Today got it right with this column by Bob Nightengale but unfortunately the video inside the written column by Nightengale is an unfair to the Rangers because the host Taylor Maycan doesn't have the all the facts.

Joel Sheehan did a great write up on what happened. Jamey Newberg of The Newberg Report passed it on. I feel compelled to share it as well.

As you’ve probably heard by now, the Rangers/Astros series originally scheduled to be played at Minute Maid Park this week has been moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg due to the flooding in Houston. This isn’t all that rare an occurrence; every few years, a series ends up being relocated due to one incident or another.

Back in 2015, civil unrest in Baltimore caused the Orioles and Rays to play a series scheduled for Camden Yards at Tropicana Field. The Orioles were the “home” team -- batted last and everything -- but the games were played at The Trop and were not “exchanged” for later home dates. Back in 2008, the Astros played a late-season series with the Cubs at Miller Park, due to Hurricane Ike’s effects on Houston. The year before that, the Indians and Angels dodged a snowstorm in Cleveland by playing up in Milwaukee as well.

This particular bit of rescheduling seems obvious. While the ballpark in Houston is unscathed, the city itself is underwater. Traveling in and around it is challenging at best, and the city has no business assigning public-safety officers to a ballgame this week. Given the Orioles/Rays series as a recent example of a team sacrificing home games, and other examples of teams moving weather-challenged series to neutral sites with domes, playing these games in St. Pete shouldn’t have raised eyebrows.

Enter Reid Ryan. Ryan, the Astros president, posted a version of events that threw the Rangers under the bus. “We went to the Rangers and said hey let’s switch series. ... They rejected that and didn’t want to do that. The Rangers wanted us to play the next 3 days at their place, but they did not want to trade series with us.”

That’s all factually correct, but it leaves out a fairly important point: changing home dates on one day’s notice, and changing home dates on four weeks’ notice, are not equivalent burdens.

Let’s work the problem. Start with this: all of what follows is in the framework of baseball and the concerns of these teams. I am well aware that there is a bigger picture, but presumably Reid Ryan was as well when he threw his tantrum. Let’s concede that these three games were going to be played, and they were absolutely not going to be played in Houston this week. That left three options.

Swap Home Series

This is one of those solutions that seems fair on the surface, but falls apart when you look at it just a little more closely. The Astros are scheduled to go to Arlington for three games September 25-27, during the season’s final week. Ryan, and presumably other members of the Astros’ braintrust, wanted to switch the two series, play at Arlington this week and have the Rangers come to Houston next month. 

The biggest problem with that is it takes the burden of the rescheduling and lays it entirely at the feet of Rangers ticket holders. Forget the logistics; the Rangers were prepared to host three baseball games this week, just as the staff at The Trop will. Their fans, however, would have had their September tickets turned into August ones on a day’s notice. Some may have been able to attend in any case, but no doubt many not only would not have, they also would not have been able to move their tickets on the secondary market. (As a practical matter, it would have fallen to the Rangers to refund or exchange the tickets of fans unable to make the earlier game dates.) 

This move would have benefited those with tickets to this week’s contests -- now rescheduled with plenty of notice -- and the Astros themselves, who would not lose three home dates. In the discussion, there’s some elision between “Houston” and “the Astros.” The vast majority of Astros fans are unaffected and would be unaffected by wherever the game was to be played: they’ll be watching on television or following on the radio. 

This would not have been an equal swap. It would have merely shifted the burdens and the costs from the Astros to the Rangers, from Astros ticket holders to Rangers ticket holders.

Play At Arlington

Once a series swap wasn’t in play, this was the most obvious solution. Per multiple reports, the Rangers were willing to host the games in the manner the Rays hosted the Orioles -- treating the visitors as the home team -- while giving the Astros all the revenue. This would have certainly generated more money for the Astros than moving the series to Florida will, and by Thursday could well have become an event that Texans could rally around, raising money for hurricane victims as the state’s two teams squared off in a pennant race.

The Astros were unwilling to do this. Ryan cited “the integrity of the schedule,” which is a nice turn of phrase that apparently also includes “asking the Rangers to extend a long road trip by three games down the stretch” under its umbrella. It’s not as if these games are critical to the Astros, who have a 13-game lead in the AL West and entered the night with a six-game lead over the Red Sox for the #1 seed in the American League. They would even keep the single most important part of home-field advantage, batting last. Despite all of these concessions, the Astros -- who had to know they would be losing the three home games under any circumstance -- demurred.

Play At Tropicana Field

It’s hard to see choosing Tropicana Field over Globe Life Stadium as anything other than spiteful.  On short notice, more money would have been made in Arlington than will be made in St. Pete. I guess there’s always the possibility of curious looky-loos drawn to a spectacle, but this market doesn’t show up for its own successful team, I doubt it’s going to knock down the doors for two visitors passing through.

This was the worst of all possible options, maximizing inconvenience for everyone while minimizing revenue and passing up an opportunity to galvanize the state. It’s a shame the Astros felt the need to end up here. I understand being frustrated over not getting the series swap you wanted, but with that off the table, choose the next-best option. Don’t run off to Florida and cite “the integrity of the schedule.”

--

I recognize that emotions are high, but to me, the Rangers didn’t do anything wrong here. There was a hurricane in Houston in August that rendered the city unable to host baseball games. That the solution to that should have fallen on Rangers fans holding tickets to September games strikes me as random. The Rangers offered their stadium and the money they’d make opening it for three days; what they weren’t willing to do was stiff their own fans by changing the schedule on short notice. The Astros, or at least Reid Ryan, seem to think Rangers fans should have carried that weight. I can’t say I see the argument. 

This isn’t about the thousands of Houstonians suffering tonight, fearful, lost, shocked. This is about two businesses having a fight, each protecting their self-interest. The city of Houston isn’t being ravaged by Jon Daniels. Adrian Beltre isn’t traipsing through H-Town gleefully tearing open sandbags. This is a dispute between spectacularly rich business entities. Let’s not create gods and monsters of them.

There is no right and wrong here, and looking for it -- stirring up animus to win a public-relations war -- is the only immorality I see. 

I think Sheehan, who has no dog in the fight, laid it all out pretty well. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Series Between Rangers and Astros Moved to Florida ]]>Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:14:07 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-167235676.jpg

The Rangers were expected to conclude their current road trip in Houston against the Astros this week. Those plans were changed.

Due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area, the three-game series has now been moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. Both teams will play at Tropicana Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The games will be played at 6:10 p.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday and 12:10 p.m. on Thursday.

Tropicana Field was considered the best alternative due to the dome and the fact that the Rays are on the road this week. After the series with the Rangers, the Astros will stay in the Tampa area and play the New York Mets.

Another option would have been the Rangers and Astros switching home series, playing this week in Arlington and then going to Houston at the end of September. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told the Dallas Morning News that the Rangers offered to play the games as the visiting club but declined to swap home-and-home series. Tickets for that series at The Globe in September have already been sold and could create an issue with asking the ticket holders to change things up in three weeks.  

On the baseball side of things, it would also create a two-week road trip for the Rangers, who are still in the race for the final wild card spot in the American League. Houston already has the A.L. West division wrapped up but is now faced with an 18-game road trip due to the hurricane. After the series with the Rangers and Mets in Florida, the Astros hit the West Coast for a nine-game road trip. They are not expected to return to Houston until the middle of September.

The Rangers also announced it will donate the proceeds from its Texas 2 Split 50/50 Raffle to the American Red Cross from all three games of the upcoming weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels. The proceeds will be used for relief for the victims in the Houston and South Texas area devastated from Hurricane Harvey.

In addition, Major League Baseball and its players association have pledge $1 million to hurricane relief aid.

Also of note, the preseason game Thursday night between the Cowboys and Texans has been relocated to AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

In college football, the Rice football team joins other teams from the Houston area relocating to Dallas-Fort Worth. The Owls arrived in Dallas after their weekend game against Stanford in Sidney, Australia.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Harvey Flooding Puts Rangers, Astros Series in Limbo]]>Sun, 27 Aug 2017 15:15:07 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ap-mike-napoli-brian-mccann-rangers-astros.jpg

After wrapping up a three-game set in Oakland, the Texas Rangers were due to return home Sunday before traveling to Houston for three games against the Astros. Due to Hurricane/TS Harvey, when and where that series will be played is now in limbo.

The Rangers said Sunday that due to the devastating condition in the Houston area, the players will remain in North Texas awaiting updates on the status of this week's scheduled games at Minute Maid Park.

Both teams were scheduled days off Monday and were to play Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“Obviously the primary concern at this time is the welfare and safely of the residents of the Houston area and South Texas who are dealing with a catastrophic weather situation,” said Rangers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels. “The thoughts of our entire organization are with those individuals to be safe.

When asked if the teams could play the three game set in Arlington, the Rangers would only say there are a number of possible scenarios that could take place.

The Rangers and Astros were just the latest teams to change their travel plans because of the storm.

The NFL's Texans flew to Dallas after their preseason game Saturday in New Orleans instead of returning home and have said they'll stay there until conditions improve enough for them to come back to Houston. The Texans are scheduled to host the Cowboys at NRG Stadium on Thursday, but that game could be in jeopardy with massive flooding in the city and rain continuing to fall.

The University of Houston's football team went to Austin on Friday, practiced there on Saturday and will resume practice Sunday on the University of Texas campus. It could make sense for the team to remain in Austin for the week with the Cougars scheduled to open the season on Saturday at Texas-San Antonio, which is just about 80 miles from Austin.

A team spokesman said Sunday that the team hadn't made any plans for the rest of the week yet.

Rice opened its season this weekend in Australia against Stanford. The Owls are set to fly from Australia to Los Angeles on Monday morning and said they'll decide if they can travel to Houston when they arrive there.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[A's Beat Rangers Ending Hamels' Streak]]>Sun, 27 Aug 2017 08:03:28 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-836590188.jpg

Chad Pinder homered twice to help the Oakland Athletics end Cole Hamels' five-game win streak with an 8-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Jed Lowrie drove in three runs for the A's, who put back-to-back victories together for the first time since Aug. 5-6 at the Los Angeles Angels. The A's have not won more than two in a row since a three-game streak July 29-31.

Adrian Beltre drove in three runs for the Rangers, who lost their second straight after winning 11 of their previous 15 games. Texas has not lost more than two in a row since ending a four-game slide on Aug. 2.

Sean Manaea (9-8) won for the first time since July 16, ending a personal three-game slide. He gave up two runs and seven hits in five innings. Manea walked one and struck out three.

Hamels (9-1) left a game trailing for the first time all season. He was nicked for six runs and nine hits in 4.1 innings, matching his shortest outing of the year. He walked three and struck out two. Hamels has walked 10 over his past three games after issuing 10 in eight starts between July 1 and Aug. 11.

Beltre doubled in two runs in the first and added a run-scoring groundout in the seventh.

Pinder hit solo homers in the first and third and Matt Joyce singled home the go-ahead run in the fourth.

Hamels gave up three hits, a sacrifice fly and walked one through the first five hitters of the fifth, ending his day.

Lowrie's two-run double in the sixth off Tony Barnette padded the A's lead.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: OF Carlos Gomez was activated from the disabled list before Saturday's game. He had a cyst removed from behind his left shoulder and has been out since Aug. 16. ... INF Phil Goselin was optioned to Round Rock to make room for Garcia. ... The Rangers acquired RHP Paolo Espino from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations and was assigned to Round Rock. RHP Tanner Scheppers was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. ... LHP Jake Diekman made his fourth rehab appearance Thursday night and retired all four batters he faced. He's yet to allow a baserunner in 4.1 innings and has six strikeouts.

Athletics: Mark Canha made his seventh career start in center field, a necessity created when the A's traded Rajai Davis. A's manager Bob Melvin said he needed a right-hander against a left-handed pitcher. Melvin indicated Pinder, who started in right field, is another candidate for the position.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (6-4, 5.10), who started his career in the Oakland organization, makes the start in Sunday's series finale.

Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton (6-10, 5.63) makes his sixth start since coming off the disabled on July 30. He's 1-2 with a 6.91 ERA in the previous five starts.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Khris Davis Homers Twice to Power A's Past Rangers 3-1]]>Fri, 25 Aug 2017 23:13:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-839299514.jpg

Khris Davis hit a go-ahead homer leading off the seventh after his tying solo shot in the fourth, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Friday night.

Kendall Graveman (4-4) struck out six and didn't walk a batter in seven innings, improving to 3-0 at home in his fifth start back from a stint on the disabled list. He allowed one run and nine hits.

Davis notched his 15th career multihomer game and fourth this season with Nos. 35 and 36 of the year, then Matt Chapman added an RBI single insurance run in the seventh.

Adrian Beltre hit an RBI single in the first before Davis' one-out drive in the fourth tied it.

Blake Treinen -- Oakland's second reliever following a scoreless inning by Chris Hatcher -- finished the 2-hour, 26-minute game for his sixth save since coming to the A's in a July 16 trade with the Nationals.

Right-hander Nick Martinez (3-5), called up from Triple-A Round Rock to make the start, struck out seven with two walks in seven innings and allowed three runs and four hits.

This marked the AL West clubs' first meeting since the Rangers swept a three-game series at home from May 12-14 and the initial meeting of 10 remaining games between the teams. That includes two of the season's final three series and a four-game set to conclude the year.

ECK'S GATE

Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley now has "Dennis Eckersley Gate" named for him at the D gate on the Coliseum's third-base line, where he was honored before the game.

Former teammate Rickey Henderson was on hand at "Rickey Henderson Field" for the occasion.

"It's not like I'm sitting here digging myself," Eckersley said in the dugout afterward. "It's a really neat thing. Most people don't get that to happen to them."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: Manager Jeff Banister wasn't sure yet whether CF Carlos Gomez would be activated from the DL on Saturday when eligible. Gomez had a cyst removed behind his left shoulder and has been sidelined since Aug. 16.

Athletics: The A's placed RHP Paul Blackburn on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 23 with a bruised right hand after he was hit by a comebacker from Baltimore's Trey Mancini leading off the fifth inning Tuesday after working four scoreless innings. "Just not responding well enough for him to throw a bullpen and then make his start," manager Bob Melvin said. "The prudent thing to do is back date him a couple days whatever it was, put him on the DL and hopefully he recovers in time to make his start soon thereafter when he would come off." ... Oakland recalled RHP Michael Brady and OF Mark Canha from Triple-A Nashville. Canha was set to start in CF on Saturday. ... The hope is that Jake Smolinski, rehabbing after missing the entire season recovering from right shoulder surgery, still could play in the outfield come September. "It just depends on whether or not he can do it. Right now he's throwing OK, I don't think he feels great as far as his throwing," Melvin said. "I think he's out to 105 at times maybe not responding as quickly as he had wanted to. But we'll see, we're still not sure if he's going to be able to play the outfield yet in September. We're forecasting him to but I'm not sure what the timetable would be."

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (9-1, 3.42 ERA) tries to win his fifth straight start and sixth consecutive decision -- and five straight winning outings would be his most since six in a row from Sept. 19, 2015-April 9, 2016.

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (8-8, 4.58) is 0-3 with an 8.17 ERA over his past six starts but Melvin opted to let him pitch through the struggles.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Beat Angels 3-0, Move Within 1 Game of Wild Card]]>Fri, 25 Aug 2017 04:07:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-838663758.jpg

It was supposed to be over, all those early season hopes of a playoff spot, when the Texas Rangers sent ace Yu Darvish to the Dodgers and starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Rockies.

The Rangers were six games under .500 on Aug. 1, a team worth giving up on.

"That's not the way we look at it," said Texas rookie Drew Robinson. "We believe in the guys we have here."

Robinson hit a two-run homer as the Rangers continued an improbable push for a wild-card spot Thursday night, riding seven strong innings from Martin Perez to a 3-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Texas has won eight of 11, pulling within a game of the final AL wild card. Despite trading stars for prospects.

"We told ourselves we haven't played our best baseball yet, no matter who we had here," Robinson said. "It seems like it's finally starting to click and it's making the games a lot more fun."

Perez (9-10) won his fourth consecutive start. He had two runners aboard in each of the second and third innings, but escaped both situations and cruised from there. He allowed seven hits, struck out three and didn't walk a batter.

"They're an aggressive hitting team," Perez said. "I tried to throw pitches for groundballs. This is a game you have to fight and compete for."

The Angels opened the series as a hot team on the move. The opened the series having won nine of 11 and briefly held the second wild-card spot, but they lost three of four to the Rangers to fall a half-game behind.

"Nobody's looking back," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Nobody was going into this series thinking, `OK, we came off a good trip.' Those guys beat us.

"We need to swing the bats consistently. On the mound we did OK. We need to just get back at it tomorrow. Guys are playing hard, are playing well. This series they took from us."

Perez threw 73 strikes in his 99 pitches. Robinson's two-run homer in the third provided all the offense he would need, but Mike Napoli added a solo shot in the fourth. It was Napoli's 27th home run.

Rookie Save
One night after Tony Barnette eared his first career save for Texas, it was Ricardo Rodriguez's turn. The 24-year-old right-hander coolly retired the Angels in order in the ninth.

"I try to do my job in any situation they put me in - five, six, seven, any inning," he said. "I'm trying to do the same. I don't try to be nervous and show emotions."

Trout Mini-Slump
The Angels are built around superstar Mike Trout, and by his lofty standards, he is in a minor slump. Trout went hitless in three at-bats Thursday with a walk and is in a 3-for-23 skid.

"Mike is still having some good at-bats, but like anyone in this game, sometimes they're not going to fall in," Scioscia said. "He's taking his walks. They pitched him tough. Mike is fine."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Struggling RHP Tyson Ross (3-3, 7.04 ERA) has lost his spot in the rotation and been moved to the bullpen. Ross missed the first 2½ months of the season following surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and then almost three weeks with a blister. RHP Nick Martinez is expected to take his spot in the rotation.

Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar (oblique) is scheduled for another workout day in Anaheim on Friday before likely going on a rehab assignment. ... OF Ben Revere fouled a ball off his left knee Tuesday, bruising it enough that he has yet to return. Scioscia said the foul did not hit the knee cap but the muscle directly above it.

Up Next
Rangers: Plan to call up Martinez (3-4, 5.38) from Triple-A Round Rock to start series opener Friday in Oakland. Martinez was scratched from his Thursday start for Round Rock, where he is unscored upon in his last four starts. RHP A.J. Griffin was scheduled to start Friday, but has been pushed back to Sunday.

Angels: RHP Parker Bridwell (7-1) will try to return to form Friday when he opens a three-game series at home against the Astros. He allowed four runs on six hits in five innings Sunday in Baltimore, but the Angels are 11-1 in games he's started.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Announce Name of New Ballpark in Arlington]]>Thu, 24 Aug 2017 16:14:47 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rangers-new-park-render-2017-1.jpg

The Texas Rangers announced the name of the team's new Arlington ballpark at a news conference Thursday.

Team officials said the new $1 billion stadium will be named Globe Life Field through 2048.

The new park — featuring a retractable roof for climate control to keep fans and players cooler — is expected to be built on an existing parking lot near Globe Life Park and south of Randol Mill Road.

"The state-of-the-art ballpark will not only be the new home of the Texas Rangers but also a multipurpose sports and entertainment venue that will include capabilities for hosting high school, college and international sports," team officials said in a statement.

Nearly $500 million of the stadium's cost will be paid by the city through a bond package, which includes various taxes previously approved to defray the costs of AT&T Stadium.

The extended deal keeps the Rangers in Arlington through 2054; their current 30-year lease on Globe Life Park was set to expire in 2024.

Construction on the new stadium is expected to begin later this year and be ready for play at the start of the 2020 season.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Texas Rangers Baseball Club
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<![CDATA[Beltre Hits 2 HRs, Rangers Beat Angels 7-5 in 10 Innings]]>Thu, 24 Aug 2017 04:14:49 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-838085540.jpg

The Texas Rangers are back at .500 again. Next up, they'll try to break something of a troublesome rut.

Adrian Beltre hit two early homers and the Rangers pushed three runs across in the 10th inning to beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-5 Wednesday night.

The Rangers' seventh win in 10 games put them at 63-63. It's the fourth time in seven days they've been at the break-even point, but they haven't been over the .500 mark since June 27.

For a team still holding playoff ambitions — the victory left them two games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild-card spot — it's proving a distasteful challenge.

"Five hundred is just a marker for us that you get to for where you want to go," manager Jeff Banister said. "It is a stepping stone. It would be nice to put a little run together to get a little closer to where we want to go."

Luis Valbuena homered and drove in four runs for the Angels, who remained a half-game back of the Twins.

Rougned Odor hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 10th and Robinson Chirinos and Drew Robinson followed with RBI singles off Eduardo Paredes (0-1), runs that would prove the difference.

"Where we were going to go through [Mike] Trout and [Albert] Pujols again [in the 10th], we really needed an opportunity to tack on," Banister said. "That was huge."

After Jose Leclerc walked the first two batters in the Angels 10th, Tony Barnette relieved. He got Pujols to ground into a double play, gave up an RBI single to Kole Calhoun and then got the last out for his first major league save.

Alex Claudio (3-1) pitched two innings for the win.

The Rangers scored single runs in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. Their first three runs came via the solo homer — two by Beltre and one from Chirinos.

"I got lucky a couple of times," Beltre said.

Beltre has 16 home runs this season. He also contributed a smaller but significant play in the 10th after a rare throwing error by Andrelton Simmons on an infield hit left Elvis Andrus at second.

Beltre grounded out to second, allowing Andrus to advance to third. The Angels intentionally walked Nomar Maraza, but Parades could not get Mike Napoli and walked him to load the bases and set the stage for Odor's sacrifice fly.

"He got bases loaded and tried to get the strikeout on Rougned and he got the bat on the ball to get the sacrifice," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Then from there, he just had some pitches those guys hit hard. It was a tough inning for him."

Trout Laser
The Rangers had a chance to go ahead in the ninth when Shin-Soo Choo singled and Chirinos tried to score from second. Instead, Trout fielded the ball in center field and threw a bullet to the plate to nip him. The throw came in on a line and never touched the ground.

"That was about as good a ball as you can throw to home plate," Banister said. "You have to credit the center fielder more than anything else. It took a strike to throw him out."

Claudio Delivers
Claudio has emerged as the Rangers' closer, but remains extremely versatile. He retired all six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth to allow Texas to mount its rally.

"He's been our MVP," Beltre said. "He throws pitches where he wants to. He's economic. The guy is unbelievable."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: INF/OF Joey Gallo (concussion) has rejoined the team and begun working out. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday. ... OF Carlos Gomez (back cyst) is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday. The only concern appears to be the stitches breaking apart.

Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar (oblique) worked out for a second day and could next be headed for a rehab assignment. ... RHP Garrett Richards (biceps strain) is scheduled to pitch a second simulated game Friday at the team's Arizona facility.

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (8-10) is scheduled to start the four-game series finale against the Angels. Has gone 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA over his last seven starts.

Angels: RHP Troy Scribner (2-0) was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake and is scheduled to start in place of injured RHP JC Ramirez (elbow strain). He last made a spot start Aug. 8, holding Baltimore to one run on two hits in five innings.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pujols Passes Sosa on HR List, Angels Beat Rangers 10-1]]>Wed, 23 Aug 2017 03:59:57 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-837626182.jpg

For Albert Pujols, the home runs keep coming and the records keep falling.

The Angels slugger hit a three-run homer Tuesday night, the 610th of his career, snapping his tie for eighth on the career list with Sammy Sosa to become baseball's all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.

Los Angeles also got a three-run homer from Kaleb Cowart, pummeling the Texas Rangers 10-1 to keep the Angels a half-game back of the Minnesota Twins for the second AL wild card.

Pujols' record home run was his 19th of the season.

"It's pretty special," Pujols said. "Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they've gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling."

Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross (3-3) allowed three runs and seven hits in 3.2 innings. Los Angeles righty Ricky Nolasco allowed a run over 4.2 innings, and Keynan Middleton (5-1) followed with 1.1 scoreless innings for the victory.

The Angels have won 10 of their last 13 games and pounded out 16 hits Tuesday. Cowart's home run came in the fifth to give the Angels a 6-1 lead. It was his third home run of the season.

"We had a really good offensive game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Even starting off where we left some ducks on the pond, but we came back and really got some clutch hits."

The Rangers got nine hits but left 10 runners on base.

"We managed some baserunners, but kind of that nemesis of ours, the offense gets tough for us and we're incapable of coming up with the big hit," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.

Pujols hit his homer in the seventh against right-hander Nick Gardewine, who was making his major league debut. The three runs were unearned because of an error by shortstop Elvis Andrus.

Ross in Jeopardy
In his three starts since coming off the disabled list following rib surgery, Ross has posted a 5.93 ERA and could be pitching himself out of the Texas rotation. The Rangers fell three games back of Minnesota for the last AL wild card.

"Obviously, we're in a situation where we have to get some quality starts," Banister said. "That's where we're at. We'll sit down and put our heads together and evaluate where we're at."

Pujols Still Impresses
As impressive as his power numbers are, the Angels are almost equally impressed with his work ethic.

"He's accomplished so much, I think at some point he'll reflect on it," Scioscia said. "He passes great names every time he hits a home run.

"But right now I think Albert is just consumed with helping us win. He has great pride to go out there every day and play hard. He understands his numbers, even though he never chases them. He just plays. And that's what makes him special."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Placed INF/OF Joey Gallo on the seven-day concussion list. Gallo suffered the injury and a broken nose in a collision with RHP Matt Bush chasing a pop-up on Sunday. He is tied for second in the AL in home runs with 35. He was replaced on the roster by INF Phil Gosselin from Triple-A Round Rock.

Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar (right oblique strain) did a full workout and is scheduled to have another Wednesday before a possible rehab assignment. He last played on Aug. 6. . OF Ben Revere left the game after fouling a ball off his left day. It was bruised and the Angels called him day-to-day.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner (7-9, 3.31 ERA) looks to continue his turnaround in the third of four games against the Angels. He has gone 4-2 with a 2.38 ERA over his last seven starts. He has not face the Angels since 2015.

Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (0-0, 9.00) is scheduled to make his second start of the season and first at home since April 5, 2016, when he suffered the injury that led to Tommy John surgery. Allowed five runs in five innings in his first start back against Baltimore.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Beltre Homers, Hamels Pitches Rangers to 5-3 Win Over Angels]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 03:49:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-836632356.jpg

It's beyond crowded in the American League wild-card race, with eight teams bunched up like flowers in an overflowing vase.

The Los Angeles Angels were the most recent club to make some noise, winning nine of 11 to slip into the second spot.

But the Texas Rangers still believe they can make a run, and Monday night they took a step in that direction with a 5-3 victory over the Angels behind Adrian Beltre's three-run homer and seven strong innings from Cole Hamels.

"We have to beat every team," Hamels said. "If we want to stay in this wild-card race, we have a lot of different teams we have to beat. It doesn't matter what teams we're facing, we just have to win series."

Hamels (9-1) did his part, allowing two runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batter while striking out three. Alex Claudio got four outs to earn his seventh save, despite giving up an RBI single to Mike Trout in the ninth.

The loss dropped the Angels a half-game back of Minnesota for the second AL wild card. The Rangers closed within two games of the final playoff berth. Eight teams are within four games of each other.

"We're chasing these guys," Beltre said. "It's nice to get the first one out of the way and try to win the series."

The game was tied 1-all going into the third when the Rangers took the lead on Shin-Soo Choo's double off Tyler Skaggs (1-4) just beyond the glove of left fielder Cameron Maybin and off the wall, driving in the go-ahead run.

After Skaggs hit Elvis Andrus with a pitch, Beltre hit his 14th home run this season and the 459th of his career, tying Miguel Cabrera for 37th all-time.

"Just a poor performance today," Skaggs said. "This loss is on me. I really wanted to go out there and make a good start for my team, and right from the first batter, it wasn't meant to be."

Skaggs was making his fourth start since missing more than three months due to an oblique strain. He was charged with five runs — four earned — in 5.1 innings. The left-hander gave up four hits, walked one and hit two batters with pitches.

"He's not that far off," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But Tyler can get better. Right now he's still kind of getting into his season and trying to re-establish everything he needs to do. He'll be an important part of our stretch run."

Beltre Rolls
There is no team in baseball Beltre enjoys hitting against more than the Angels. All his team highs have come against them, including 43 home runs.

For this, he offers no theories: "I have no explanation. I've been lucky," Beltre said.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister had a slightly different perspective: "He lives out here and likes to play in front of his family. But he's a great player. There's no other reason than that."

Claudio Delivers
The Texas bullpen has been a constant challenge this season but Banister has become fully confident in Claudio. After Jose Leclerc loaded the bases on three walks with two outs in the eighth, Claudio came on and got Jefry Marte to bounce out.

"It's good to have a guy like Claudio who can go out and get more than three outs for you," Banister said. "He keeps the ball on the ground as well as anybody and has ice water in his veins."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: After RHP Matt Bush and 3B Joey Gallo collided hard going for a popup Sunday, both were hurting. Bush was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right knee and both players had concussion-like symptoms. Gallo did not start and could be placed on the seven-day concussion DL. Taking Bush's place on the roster was Triple-A outfielder Ryan Rua.

Angels: Placed right-hander JC Ramirez on the 10-day DL with an elbow strain. The 29-year-old Ramirez had been a career reliever until moving into the rotation this season. He has thrown 147.1 innings. ... Sidelined since going on the DL with a shoulder strain April 10, RHP Andrew Bailey returned to pitch in one game. He was returned to the DL with another shoulder strain. ... RHP Garrett Richards, on the DL since injuring his biceps in his first outing, reported no problems the day after pitching a simulated game and is next scheduled to throw a three-inning simulated game on Friday.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross (3-2, 7.02 ERA) will attempt to get his season turned around against the Angels. In two games since returning from the DL with a blister issue, he has allowed six runs in 10 innings.

Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-12, 5.16) tries to shake some poor history against the Rangers. He is 1-3 with an 8.68 ERA in four career starts vs. Texas.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gonzalez Pitches 6 Scoreless, White Sox Hold off Rangers 3-2]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 04:37:04 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-8359289801.jpg

Miguel Gonzalez and Juan Minaya pitched out of trouble just well enough on Sunday.

Gonzalez escaped early trouble to finish six scoreless innings and Minaya recorded the final out after giving up a two-run homer, leading the Chicago White Sox over the Texas Rangers 3-2.

Texas dropped 2½ games behind the Twins and the Angels for the AL's second wild-card spot. The Rangers finished a 10-game homestand 7-3, but split the four-game series against Chicago.

Gonzalez (7-10) pitched out of one-out, bases-loaded jams in both the second and third innings.

"I just didn't have that feel in the second and third inning," he said. "I was just pushing the ball instead of going through my catcher."

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said his batters couldn't take advantage.

"I felt like Gonzalez made some pitches," he said, and added, "There were no productive outs in today's game."

With the bases loaded, Texas batters went down on two popups and two short flyballs.

After allowing singles to the first two batters in the fourth, Gonzalez retired the last nine batters he faced.

"Just one of those days where you had to think through it and make adjustments while the game went on."

Gonzalez tied his season high with six strikeouts, and gave up four walks and four hits, all singles. He's 2-0 in his last three starts, allowing two runs in 20 innings.

"I thought he was running the ball, cutting the ball, working both sides of the plate, staying on the fringes," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He never really left anything to the middle that allowed them to do a whole lot."

Minaya recorded his second save, both in the last three games, despite giving up Rougned Odor's 27th homer with two outs in the ninth.

Minaya got pinch hitter Shin-Soo Choo to ground into a double play ahead of the homer. After it, Minaya retired Elvis Andrus on a game-ending flyball.

The Rangers left 10 runners on base after scoring 29 runs in the series' first three games. They were 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

Chicago capitalized on the Rangers' stranding runners by scoring three runs in the fourth inning against A.J. Griffin (6-4).

Omar Narvaez stretched his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI single and Tyler Saladino followed with a two-run double. Saladino had only six RBIs in his 53 previous games this season.

"I just wasn't able to get ahead," Griffin said. "They got a couple of base hits with guys on and scored a couple of runs."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: 3B Joey Gallo (bloody nose and swollen upper lip) and RHP Matt Bush (bruised right knee) both left the game in the eighth inning after colliding while chasing a popup. Bush's head slammed into Gallo's nose. Both were being evaluated under Major League Baseball's concussion protocol. Neither will travel with the team to Anaheim. An X-ray revealed Gallo had a broken bone in his nose. He will be re-examined Monday and could join the team in Anaheim later if he is cleared. ... LHP Jake Diekman, recovering from surgery for ulcerative colitis, pitched a perfect inning in his second rehab appearance for Double-A Frisco on Sunday night.

White Sox: INF Yoan Moncada didn't play for the second straight game because of shin splints. Renteria said he hoped Moncada could play in both games of Monday's doubleheader.

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (8-1, 3.48) will be seeking his fifth straight win on Monday night when Texas visits the Angels for a four-game series.

White Sox: Host Minnesota in a Monday doubleheader to begin a five-game series. LHP Carlos Rodon (1-4, 4.00 ERA) is the scheduled first-game starter, with RHP Carson Fulmer coming up from Triple-A Charlotte for his first major league start in the second game. Fulmer was 0-2 in 11 relief appearances for the White Sox last season, and is 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA for Charlotte.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Odor Hits 2 HRs as Rangers Rally for 17-7 Win Over White Sox]]>Sat, 19 Aug 2017 23:52:03 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/161*120/GettyImages-835661832.jpg

Rougned Odor and Mike Napoli drove in enough runs on their own to make up for the Texas Rangers' early deficit.

Odor homered twice, Napoli also went deep, and both had five RBIs, as the wild card-hopeful Rangers overwhelmed the Chicago White Sox 17-7 on Saturday night after trailing by five runs before even going to bat.

"We're playing really good baseball as a team, and that's how we need to keep playing," said Odor, who had gone 15 games since Aug. 1 without a homer or an RBI. "That's how we need to keep playing to win the games, and I feel really happy how we're playing right now, and I hope we keep playing like that."

The Rangers (61-61) have won eight of 10 and are only 1 1/2 games behind the American League's second wild-card spot.

Odor's first homer, a three-run shot in the third, made it 7-5 and ended the night for White Sox starter Derek Holland (6-13), the former Ranger starting as an opponent in Texas for the first time. That came soon after Napoli's two-run double.

Napoli added a three-run homer in the fourth before Odor hit a solo shot into the second deck of seats in right field to cap the Rangers' second consecutive six-run inning. Napoli and Odor each have 26 homers.

"This is how we envisioned being as a lineup from the beginning of the year," Napoli said. "It's a fun time and we're right there, and just going one day at a time and having fun with it."

Martin Perez (8-10), needed 40 pitches in the first as Chicago went ahead 5-0, but he made it through six innings to win his third straight start. The lefty needed only 56 more pitches and gave up only one more run after the first.

Holland spent his first eight MLB seasons in Texas, where he still lives, but the Rangers last winter declined their $11 million option and bought out the lefty for $1.5 million. He was 62-50 with a 4.35 ERA in 179 career games for Texas, but was plagued by injuries the past three seasons.

"I just couldn't get rhythm. I just didn't have the tempo I usually need," Holland said. "I was definitely excited to be back home and pitch in front of the old fans and be back in front of Texas again. To give a showing like I did, it didn't help the cause. ... I'm just upset with myself."

ALSO GOING DEEP

Shin-Soo Choo had four hits with a three-run homer for Texas. ... Jose Abreu hit his 24th homer for the White Sox, who have lost six of seven.

LOT OF RUNS

The Rangers had multiple six-run innings in the same game for the first time since Aug. 22, 2007, when they had three such innings in their 30-3 win at Baltimore. ... The 17 runs were a season high for Texas and the most allowed by the White Sox. ... The Rangers' 20 hits were also their most. Joey Gallo (0 for 2, three walks) was the only starter without a hit. Everybody else had at least two hits.

TRACKING BELTRE

Adrian Beltre had two hits, pushing his career total to 3,022 to break a tie with Rafael Palmeiro and move within one of Lou Brock for 26th on the all-time list. Beltre's RBI single pushed his career total to 1,624, breaking a tie with Chipper Jones for 30th on that list. He played in his 2,789th game, matching Tris Speaker for 24th.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: 2B Yoan Moncada was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of shin splints in his right leg. ... RHP Reynaldo Lopez (strained back), the loser in Thursday's series opener, was put on the 10-day DL.

Rangers: OF Carlos Gomez was put on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Wednesday, after the cyst that was on his back was surgically removed. He has missed the last six games.

UP NEXT

White Sox: Miguel Gonzalez (6-10) has made six starts since coming off the disabled list (AC joint inflammation). Take out seven runs in 1 2/3 innings against Boston, and the right-hander has a 1.89 ERA the other five games.

Rangers: A.J. Griffin (6-3) starts as the Rangers try to wrap up an 8-2 home stand and move a game over .500 for the first time since they were 39-38 on June 27.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Delmonico's Inside-Park HR Lifts White Sox Over Rangers 4-3]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:55:30 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-835337496.jpg

Nicky Delmonico lined an inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning, his second go-ahead homer of the game, and the Chicago White Sox stopped a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.

Delmonico's fifth homer eluded a leaping Nomar Mazara, bouncing off the wall as the Texas right fielder crumpled on the warning track clutching his left knee. Second baseman Rougned Odor sprinted to retrieve the long carom, but Delmonico beat the throw with a head-first slide.

A day after the end of the rookie's club-record streak of reaching base the first 13 games of his career, Delmonico drilled a two-run shot over the wall in right for a 3-2 lead in the sixth. Delmonico had his second two-homer game in three nights as the White Sox ended an eight-game road skid.

Mike Napoli's 25th homer put Texas ahead 2-1 in the fourth, and the Rangers pulled even on Delino DeShields' run-scoring grounder in the seventh.

Texas' four-game winning streak ended, although the defending AL West champs remained 1 1/2 games back in the race for the second wild card.

Gregory Infante (1-1) retired all five batters he faced for his first big league win, and Juan Minaya pitched around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his first save in his first chance in the majors.

Ricky Rodriguez (0-1) was greeted by Delmonico's inside-the-park homer in his third big league appearance.

Mazara, who stayed in the game after going down on Delmonico's homer, reached base three times and scored a run. Tim Anderson had three singles for the White Sox.

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: RHP Chris Beck was available in the bullpen a day after taking a glancing blow off his right shoulder on a comebacker and leaving the game after the next batter. He was the second of two injury replacements in the fifth inning. Starter Reynaldo Lopez is still being evaluated after leaving with soreness in his right side. ... RF Avisail Garcia was out of the lineup a second straight day with a sore left wrist. Manager Rick Renteria said it was precautionary.

Rangers: LHP Jake Diekman will have a second rehab outing Sunday after throwing a scoreless inning his first appearance of the season with Double-A Frisco on Friday. Diekman had three surgeries to remove and rebuild his colon to treat a digestive condition.

UP NEXT

White Sox: LHP Derek Holland (6-12, 5.68 ERA) is 35-23 with a 4.61 ERA in 92 career appearances at the home of the Rangers. He spent his first eight big league seasons with Texas.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (7-10, 5.08) has won two straight starts, allowing three runs in 14 innings. Perez is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mazara Homers, Drives in 5 as Rangers Top White Sox 9-8]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:53:11 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-834209932.jpg

Nomar Mazara keeps driving in runs, and it's helping the Texas Rangers climb in the AL wild-card race.

Mazara had five RBIs, including a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning, and the Rangers held on to beat the Chicago White Sox 9-8 on Thursday night.

The Rangers (60-60) reached .500 for the first time since July 15 with their fourth straight win and seventh in eight games. The defending AL West champs, out of the division race behind Houston, pulled 1½ games behind the idle Los Angeles Angels for the AL's second wild card.

"I trust what I got and the team's been rolling right now," said Mazara, who has 25 RBIs in his past 19 games and 82 for the season. "We're putting a lot of good at-bats together. When I go up to the plate I don't try to do too much, stay as calm as possible."

Mazara's 16th home run capped the Rangers' second four-run inning, which included two injury replacements on the mound for the White Sox in their fifth straight loss. Chicago, carrying the AL's worst record, dropped to 7-24 since the All-Star break.

The White Sox twice pulled within a run late after trailing 8-5, including in the ninth on Jose Abreu's 23rd homer, a solo shot. But Alex Claudio finished a two-inning save for the left-hander's sixth of the season.

Chris Beck replaced starter Reynaldo Lopez in the fifth and took a sharp comebacker from Adrian Beltre off the back of his right shoulder. The right-hander stayed in the game without getting checked and allowed Mazara's high drive to right-center.

After a trainer finally came out, Beck exited with a right shoulder bruise. Lopez (0-1) was removed because of soreness on his right side in his second start since coming up from the minors.

"There was no visible marks," manager Rick Renteria said of Beck. "According to him it just scraped him. He didn't feel like it got him. But we weren't going to take a chance. That area is not where you want to take a chance."

Austin Bibens-Dirkx (4-2) retired all five batters he faced after starter Tyson Ross walked a season-high six and allowed five runs in 4.1 innings. Chicago pitchers walked a season-high nine.

Rangers backup catcher Brett Nicholas had his second homer in two starts, a two-run shot in the third, and a bases-loaded walk in the seventh. Mazara had a two-run single later in the third. He finished one RBI shy of his career high.

Losing Control Again
Abreu's two-run single helped the White Sox build a 4-0 lead that they couldn't hold a night after giving up three runs in the bottom of the ninth in a 5-4 loss at the Los Angeles Dodgers. Chicago arrived in Texas about 5 a.m. local time.

Record-Breaking Streak Ends
Nicky Delmonico went 0-4, ending a streak of reaching base in the first 13 games of his career. He was the first White Sox player to do that, according to Elias.

Short Hops
The teams combined for 15 walks, matching the highest total in the majors this season. It's the third time, all since July 30. ... The rally from a 4-0 deficit was the largest comeback win for the Rangers this season. ... The White Sox have lost eight consecutive road games. ... Texas' Shin-Soo Choo has nine walks in his past seven games.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: LHP Jake Diekman struck out two on 13 pitches in a scoreless fifth inning and was the winning pitcher on a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco, his first appearance of the season. He underwent multiple surgeries to repair and rebuild his colon to treat a digestive condition.

White Sox: RF Avisail Garcia was scratched from the lineup with left wrist soreness. ... Lopez said he felt something in the right side of his rib cage when he woke up. The right-hander said the pain might have been a result of the overnight flight. He was to be re-evaluated Friday. ... Beck was listed as day-to-day.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner (7-9, 3.32) had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to Houston in his last start, allowing two runs in seven innings.

White Sox: RHP James Shields (2-4, 5.90) is winless (0-3) with a 7.54 ERA over his past seven starts. He is 7-3 with a 2.66 ERA in his career against the Rangers.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Andrus 4 RBIs as Rangers Beat Tigers 12-6 for 3-Game Sweep]]>Thu, 17 Aug 2017 05:50:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-833123858.jpg

Elvis Andrus and the Texas Rangers are doing what they have to do if they want to make a push in the crowded AL wild-card race.

Andrus had the go-ahead homer among his four RBIs, Cole Hamels won again despite a shaky outing and the Rangers completed a three-game sweep over the Detroit Tigers with a 12-6 victory Wednesday night.

"I think everybody's doing their job, we're having really good at-bats, nobody's taking anything for granted," Andrus said. "That's our DNA that we need to keep the rest of the season, and hopefully the beginning of something good."

Andrus snapped a 4-all tie when he led off the fifth with his 16th homer, a liner that just cleared the 8-foot wall in center off reliever Chad Bell (0-1), the second of eight Tigers pitchers. Andrus added a two-run single an inning later when the Rangers scored four more times.

Ian Kinsler led off the game with a homer for Detroit, then after taking his position at second base in the bottom of the first received an on-field handshake from Angel Hernandez, the longtime umpire who he said should get another job.

"Angel just shook my hand," Kinsler said, without elaborating, when asked about how the conversation between the two of them and who initiated the handshake.

Asked if was surprised about what happened, Kinsler responded, "No."

A day after Kinsler's harsh and extended criticism, Hernandez was working second base for the series finale. Kinsler was ejected from the opener Monday when questioning balls and strikes during the middle of an at-bat while Hernandez worked behind the plate, and the second baseman lashed out the following day.

After sweeping the Tigers, who have lost 10 of last 12 games, the Rangers stay home for four games against the Chicago White Sox, who have the AL's worst record. Texas is only two games out of the American League's second wild card, though there are three other teams between them and that spot.

Joey Gallo homered for the third straight game and AL-high 10th time in 14 games this month. His 35th homer was a towering solo blast estimated at 420 feet in the Texas eighth.

The Tigers twice in the first three innings had two-run leads against Hamels (8-1), who had allowed only one unearned run over 16 innings while winning his first two starts this month. The ace left-hander gave up four runs and eight hits with a season-high five walks in six innings.

"You could tell he was uncomfortable with something. I've never seen him like that," Kinsler said. "But he battled through. He did what he had to do to keep his team in the game and his offense picked him up."

Getting Even
Detroit led 2-0 before Adrian Beltre singled starting the second, and Nomar Mazara then homered. Kinsler led off the third with a walk before Mikie Mahtook's homer, but the Rangers got even again in the bottom half when Andrus walked and Beltre homered for his 3,019th career hit.

Angel Overturned
Miguel Cabrera was initially called safe at second base by Hernandez when trying for a double in the seventh. The Rangers challenged the call, and Cabrera was already back in the dugout before umpires finished reviewing the replay. SS Andrus took RF Mazara's strong throw and tagged Cabrera on the back just before he got to the bag.

Defensive Gems
Rangers CF Delino DeShields, whose earlier error allowed a run to score, had a highlight on his 25th birthday when he ran a long way for a diving and sliding catch of James McCann's popup to short center in the fourth. ... Detroit's bases-loaded threat in the fifth ended when 2B Rougned Odor made a running over-the-shoulder catch of Nicholas Castellanos' popup in the short right.

Short Hops
The win was the Rangers' 1,000th since Jon Daniels began their general manager after the 2005 season when he was MLB's youngest GM at age 28. ... Beltre's 13th homer this season was the 458th of his career, 38th all-time and only one behind Cabrera.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: LHP Jake Diekman is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco, and throw 15 pitches Thursday in his first game since three surgeries this year to remove and rebuild is colon. ... OF Carlos Gomez has a cyst in the middle of his back and missed his third straight game. The team had said the previous two days he wasn't feeling well.

Tigers: Starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez exited after only 2.1 innings because of left hamstring tightness after the Beltre home.

Up Next
Rangers: Tyson Ross (3-2, 7.11) starts in the opener of a four-game series Thursday night against the White Sox.

Tigers: A much-needed day off Thursday. They host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Hit 3 Homers Off Verlander in 10-4 Win Over Tigers]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 03:26:54 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-832168956.jpg

Joey Gallo hit another towering home run, this one capping an impressive at-bat for the young Texas Rangers slugger after he struck out on three pitches his first time up against Justin Verlander.

Gallo fought back from an 0-2 count in the fourth inning, laying off the high 0-2 fastball this time, and on the eighth pitch hit a drive that landed in the second deck of seats in right-center above the Texas bullpen and was estimated at 459 feet.

Mike Napoli followed with a home run of his own, and the Rangers went on to a 10-4 victory Tuesday night that ended Verlander's three-game winning streak.

"In my first at-bat, I figured he was going to do that and I just tried to beat him to it and he threw it a lot higher than I could get the bat to," Gallo said. "So, the second at-bat, it was a different approach and I was going to not swing at it and I was going to make him come in the zone and not try to chase it."

Gallo, a 23-year-old slugger in his first full major league season, has an AL-high nine homers in 13 games this month and 34 overall — the most by a Texas player since 2012 when Josh Hamilton had 43 and Adrian Beltre 36.

"He controlled the at-bat. That's the maturity that we've seen with Joey through the course of the second half and prior to the All-Star break," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.

The only other Rangers player with as many homers in a season by age 23 was Juan Gonzalez, who did it twice — 43 homers in 1992 when he was 22, and 46 more the following season.

"I threw a pitch to a guy who runs into stuff," Verlander said. "That's what he does. Not taking anything away from him. He's got ridiculous pop."

Robinson Chirinos also went deep off Verlander (8-8), who struck out eight without any walks while allowing five runs in six innings. Tigers starters have given up 19 homers and have a 7.94 ERA over the last 11 games.

A.J. Griffin (6-3) allowed one run and struck out four in five innings. The right-hander had gone 1-3 with a 10.88 ERA in his first five career starts against the Tigers.

"You just keep this team in the game and good things happen," Griffin said. "It was fun to go out there and have it all come together like that."

Tigers Offense
Detroit took its only lead when Jose Iglesias hit an RBI double to make it 1-0 in the second. Iglesias also had the second of the Tigers' consecutive RBI grounders in the seventh. ... Victor Martinez led off the ninth with his ninth homer.

Stealing a Run
Rougned Odor manufactured a run for Texas in the seventh. He drew a walk, went to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by catcher John Hicks, and then scored on what would have been a steal of home before a balk was called on Daniel Stumpf. The reliever never came set or stepped off the rubber before frantically throwing home.

"I saw him jockeying two pitches before that," Stumpf said. "I got lazy and came up too slow. Looked home and saw Hicks red-eyed and knew he was moving."

Unusual Play at First
When Odor hit a grounder through the right side of the infield in the third, he was thrown out at first base on a 5-1 putout. Detroit was drastically shifted against the pull-hitting Odor, and third baseman Nicholas Castellanos was positioned in short right field when he fielded the ball and threw to Verlander covering the bag.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: OF Carlos Gomez missed his second straight game because he wasn't feeling well.

Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera was back in the lineup after missing two games with back stiffness.

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (7-1, 3.31) has allowed only an unearned run over 16 innings while winning both his starts in August.

Tigers: Anibal Sanchez (3-3, 6.69 ERA) has lost his last two starts, giving up 13 runs and 18 hits in nine innings. The right-hander is 2-4 with a 7.84 ERA in seven career appearances against Texas.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cole Hamels' Mansion is Up for Sale in Missouri]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:42:46 -0600Realtor.com)]]>Realtor.com)]]>https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Hamels-with-Mansion.jpg

Cole Hamels is packing up and moving close to home.

According to Realtor.com, the Rangers ace is selling one of the most ridiculously awesome looking homes you’ll ever see.  The listing price – $9.75 million. The location – Branson, Missouri.

Hamels began building the 32-thousand square-foot mansion in 2012 as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. The residence sits on 104.7 acres of land with more than 1,700 feet of shoreline along Table Rock Lake.

There are 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and six half-baths. The house also has four living areas and includes a second kitchen, exercise room, wine cellar, elevator and three-car garage. It’s still a work in progress, as some of the interior remains unfinished.

After the Rangers acquired the lefty in a deadline trade in 2015, Hamels and his wife Heidi, who’s from the Ozarks, decided the Lone Star State was the place to live.

The 33-year old ace is 7-1 with a 3.31 ERA in 14 starts this season for the Rangers. The ace moniker now belongs solely to Hamels after Texas sent Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final minutes before this year’s trade deadline expired. He still has one year left on his 6-year, $144 million contract he signed with the Phillies, which also has a club and team option for 2019. 



Photo Credit: Hilton Realtors/Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Beat Tigers 6-2 With Gallo HR, Some Small Ball]]>Tue, 15 Aug 2017 04:17:32 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-831473410.jpg

Joey Gallo hit another impressive home run. The Texas Rangers played some small ball, too.

Rougned Odor had three hits and scored three times in a 6-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night, including the go-ahead run after he reached on a bunt single and came home when Delino DeShields executed a safety squeeze bunt that he did on his own.

"I only do that when I know there's guys on third base that can run, who expect me to do it, and Rougie, he's an instinctive guy," DeShields said. "I was confident if I just got it down, he'd get there. ... It wasn't the greatest of bunts, but it worked out."

DeShields actually hesitated coming out of the box, thinking the bunt would go foul, and still almost beat catcher James McCann's throw to first. Odor, who had gotten to third with a stolen base after McCann threw behind him trying to pick him off second, raced home to break a 2-all tie in the second and put Texas ahead to stay.

"I think Mac didn't think he was coming," bench coach Gene Lamont said afterward. "It wasn't a real good bunt, but we didn't execute well on that play. They put pressure on you because they have speed."

Gallo's 33rd homer overall and eighth in August, a shot to center in the third that made it 4-2, was estimated by MLB stats at coming off the bat at 112 mph and going 428 feet .

An inning later, Odor had a leadoff double, went to third on a sac bunt and scored on Drew Robinson's single. Odor singled again in the sixth, got to third on a stolen base and throwing error by McCann, and scored for the third time on a single by Robinson Chirinos.

Martin Perez (7-10) had a second straight solid start for Texas. The lefty made it through six innings without giving up any more runs after Justin Upton's 23rd homer , a two-run shot in the first.

Perez had lost four straight starts before going eight innings at the Mets last Wednesday, limiting New York to one run and three hits.

Tigers starter Michael Fulmer (10-10) walked the first two Texas batters he faced. Nomar Mazara then drove in a run with the first of his three singles, and Adrian Beltre had a game-tying sac fly.

"I was just out of synch. I think I got better as the game went on, but I felt every pitch was either a ball or right down the middle," Fulmer said. "They had some hard hits and some soft hits. They bunted, took extra bases."

Highlight Catch
Robinson had a spectacular catch to end the top of the first. The center fielder ran a long way before diving, then had his left arm fully extended with his glove only inches off the ground when he caught the ball hit by John Hicks.

Outta Here
Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler was ejected from the game during the middle of an at-bat in the fifth after having words with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez about balls and strikes. Manager Brad Ausmus also got tossed when he came out to discuss things.

First-Timer
Texas reliever Ricardo Rodriguez made his major league debut with two strikeouts in a perfect seventh after replacing Perez. Rodriguez, who turns 25 on Aug. 31, has been in the Rangers organization since the 2011 season, and had never pitched above Double-A.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Jake Diekman, who hasn't played yet this season after three operations to remove and rebuild his colon, threw 27 pitches during live BP. Manager Jeff Banister said the lefty reliever has been progressing nicely and called it a "very encouraging day."

Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera missed his second straight game because of back stiffness.

Up Next
Rangers: A.J. Griffin makes his third start since coming off the DL. He has allowed five earned runs over 11 innings in his last two games.

Tigers: Justin Verlander (8-7) will try to win his fourth straight start. The right-hander threw eight scoreless innings last Wednesday against Pittsburgh, and has allowed only two runs over 21 innings his last three starts.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Astros Take Series Finale, Beat Rangers 2-1 in Arlington]]>Mon, 14 Aug 2017 03:30:13 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers+Banister+Argument.jpg

Dallas Keuchel did what aces do: stop their team's longest losing streak of the season.

Keuchel took a shutout into the sixth inning, Jose Altuve homered and the AL-leading Houston Astros ended a five-game skid and avoided a sweep by their Texas rival, beating the Rangers 2-1 on Sunday.

Carlos Beltran had a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh. Adrian Beltre's 12th homer of the season and 3,015th career hit had pulled the Rangers even at 1 in the sixth.

Keuchel (10-2) struck out seven in 6.2 innings for his first win since June 2 against the Rangers, just before the lefty's nearly two-month stint on the disabled list. This was the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner's fourth start since his second trip to the DL for neck soreness.

Keuchel had lost two in row, that skid coming after a career-best 11-game winning streak going back to last season.

It was just the third win in 12 games in August for the AL West-leading Astros.

"It's amazing how many people start freaking out when you don't have a couple good starts," Keuchel said. "The world's ending or you're not as good any more. You're a scrub. Stay the course, and that's good. That's what you've got to do if you want to last in this game."

Joey Gallo lined into an inning-ending double play with runners at second and third in the Texas eighth against Ken Giles. First baseman Yuli Gurriel caught Gallo's smash and threw to second behind Drew Robinson, who was running for Beltre.

Giles struck two in the ninth for his 23rd save.

"It's challenging to sweep a series," said Texas manager Jeff Banister, who was ejected in a wild top of the fifth. "Happy with how we played, happy with the effort. There's a lot of tremendous takeaways in this series and in this game."

Altuve's 17th home run came in the fourth off Andrew Cashner (7-9), the Houston-area native who was scratched from his previous scheduled start at the New York Mets because of neck stiffness. The right-hander went seven innings as a three-game winning streak that matched a career best came to an end.

"Puzzling" Ejection
Banister's ejection came while both managers had separate heated arguments following a warning when Cashner hit Marwin Gonzalez with a 3-0 pitch. Five batters were hit by pitches Saturday.

Banister was tossed by first base umpire Tripp Gibson about the time Houston manager A.J. Hinch walked away from his tense exchange with crew chief Bill Welke.

"Quite puzzling," Banister said. "Trying to have a conversation with the plate umpire and base umpire decides that he'd get engaged. Still never got a real explanation of why. Wasn't arguing any part of the warning. Just trying to get an explanation."

Rest of the Story
When play resumed after Banister's ejection, Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus let Beltran's popup drop, getting the force on Gonzalez at second as Beltran sped up to reach first.

Beltran was doubled off when he didn't retouch second base while retreating to first after a diving catch in the left-field corner by Delino DeShields on Derek Fisher's liner.

The final numbers in the eventful half-inning: no runs, no hits, no errors, nobody left on base.

Short Hops
Gurriel set Houston's rookie record with his 31st double, most in the majors for a rookie this season. ... Beltre's homer was No. 457 of his career. He has an eight-game hitting streak. ... Alex Bregman's career-best 14-game hitting streak ended for Houston.

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (6-10, 5.18) pitches the opener of a three-game home series against Detroit. He ended a season-high four-game losing streak in a 5-1 win over the New York Mets in his previous start.

Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (0-1, 5.32) starts the first of two at Arizona to open a four-game home-and-home interleague series with the Diamondbacks. It's McHugh's third start after missing the first 3½ months with right shoulder tendinitis.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Potential Dilemma Facing the Retirement of Jersey Numbers]]>Sun, 13 Aug 2017 14:52:40 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Pudge+Jersey+Retire+Fans.jpg

The retirement of numbers is a special moment in the game of baseball. The jersey is hung up forever with that number never to be worn again.

That special moment took place in Arlington on a rainy Saturday night when the Rangers retired Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez’s No. 7 jersey. Pudge became one of only three players to have their number retired by the organization, joining Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and former manager Johnny Oates.

Make no mistake about it, Pudge was worthy of the honor and congrats are due and deserved.

But the retirement of the numbers brings about an interesting topic, one that could become a problem later on down the road for Major League Baseball.  What happens when you run out of numbers?

 It sounds crazy but there may be some meat left on this bone.

An example of this lies in New York. Once the No. 2 jersey of future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter is retired, the Yankees will be without the use of single digits. 1-10 will no longer be available to use, joining some multiple digit numbers already out of commission. Granted, the organization has been around for a while with many some of the greats to ever put on a baseball uniform wearing the famous pinstripes. 

Now, there are MLB teams that don’t have many retired numbers at all, so it’s not like this is an epidemic that is right around the corner. On the flip side, it could speed up if the organizations start retiring numbers in lightning fashion. Life can come at you fast.

This is where it can be said that the NFL has the right idea. Let’s bring the Cowboys into the equation. The former players and the jersey numbers are still respected by being inducted into the Ring of Honor. At the same time, the jersey number remains active. By doing that, a future superstar has the potential of joining an elite club, such as the 88 club. Drew Pearson and Michael Irvin made the 88 Cowboys jersey famous. Dez Bryant was next in line with the responsibility that came along with it. He didn’t shy away.

Granted, in the NFL, certain numbers go with certain positions. For example, quarterbacks usually don’t go above the No. 19, so the retiring number gimmick gets a little tricky.

Let’s use the Yankees as another example, albeit from a different perspective. Their young superstar, outfielder Aaron Judge, currently wears No. 99. Imagine if he wore a No. 7 or No. 9, joining a very elite club with the Yankees franchise. Granted, that would come with high expectations to live up to the likes of Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris and some players may not want that added pressure. A quarterback can always come along in Dallas and wear Troy Aikman’s No. 8 but may not want the expectations that ride along with it. That’s their choice.

If you dive into the business side of the topic, it can be a money-maker. The 88 jersey with Bryant on the back is a hot seller but the 88 Irvin jersey is also available for extra money to be made. The No. 7 jersey could have the same affect with the younger Judge fans while providing an opportunity on why Mantle made it famous.

Bryant welcomed the challenge when handed No. 88, considering it an honor and wanting to do everything possible to live up to those who wore it before him. Have to think there would be players in MLB that would feel the same way. Many youngsters pick the number of their favorite player in little league, at least that’s the way it used to be, hoping to someday achieve that type of success in the game.  Same thing happens on the college level. There was one instance where a college sophomore was handed No. 34. It was a big deal to “Baby Nolan,” being that was Ryan’s number. Memories are made that way.

Again, take nothing away from the honor of the retiring of numbers. This only happens to a select few. But as the years go by, the selective few many grow.

As the saying goes, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Beltre, Rangers Hand Astros 5th Straight Loss With 8-3 Win]]>Sun, 13 Aug 2017 08:20:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/188*120/GettyImages-830899918.jpg

Adrian Beltre tipped his cap to Ivan Rodriguez when the new Hall of Fame catcher acknowledged the 3,000-hit milestone for the Texas Rangers' 38-year-old third baseman.

Then Beltre added a few more to the ledger.

The four-time All-Star had three hits with three RBIs after the shout-out from Rodriguez, and the Rangers beat Houston 8-3 on Saturday night, handing the AL-leading Astros a season-high fifth straight loss.

Beltre's RBI double and two-run single came after Rodriguez stopped early in his speech to pay tribute to Beltre during a pre-game ceremony to retire Rodriguez's No. 7. Beltre's 3,000th hit came on the same day Rodriguez was inducted into the Hall of Fame two weeks ago.

"Just what an incredible night, really, the electricity in the air," manager Jeff Banister said. "We get to honor a Hall of Famer, beloved player in this community. He's incredible in our clubhouse, around the guys, great knowledge. He gives us such inspiration."

Backup catcher Brett Nicholas followed the Rodriguez ceremony with a three-run homer , his first of the season and third of his career, for a 3-0 lead in the second inning after a 21-minute rain delay in the first.

Mike Napoli had a solo shot off Mike Fiers (7-7), who has allowed six home runs in his past two starts against the Rangers. West Division-leading Houston dropped to 2-9 since Aug. 1 and saw its lead for the best record in the AL drop to five games over Boston.

"Times like this will always feel miserable, bleak, frustrating," manager A.J. Hinch said. "But every team goes through them. Now while you're going through them, they're hard to describe. It's the same thing over and over again."

Fiers, who has lost three straight decisions, allowed three walks and hit a batter among the first six hitters he faced, and two scored on Nicholas' high drive off the facade of the upper deck in right field.

"That's pretty much the key to failure and success for me I think is the walks and the home run again," said Fiers, who was among the worst in the league allowing homers the first two months before not giving up one in June. "One home run turns into three runs."

Texas starter Tyson Ross (3-2) hit two batters, as did Houston reliever Francisco Liriano -- Joey Gallo and Carlos Gomez back-to-back in the fifth before center fielder George Springer threw out Beltre trying to score on a fly ball by Rougned Odor.

Ross allowed five walks, four hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings in the right-hander's first start since July 23 after going on the disabled list with a blister on his right index finger.

J.D. Davis had his first career RBI for Houston on a double in the fourth, but Derek Fisher was thrown out at home trying to score on the hit as well. Alex Bregman extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single in the fourth.

BELTRE WATCH

Beltre, now at 3,013 hits, moved past Wade Boggs for 28th on the career list. The double was his 607th, breaking a tie with Paul Waner for 13th. It was Beltre's 1,100th extra-base hit, pushing him past Eddie Murray for 19th place.

THROWBACK

The Texas rivals both wore replica uniforms from 1999, the season Rodriguez was the AL MVP after hitting .332 with career highs of 35 homers and 113 RBIs.

SHORT HOPS

The Rangers sent utility man Ryan Rua to Triple-A Round Rock to make room for Ross. Texas claimed infielder Phil Gosselin on waivers from Pittsburgh and optioned him to Round Rock. Infielder Tyler Smith was assigned to Round Rock after clearing waivers. ... Fiers matched a season high by allowing six runs in four innings.

UP NEXT

Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (9-2, 2.87 ERA) has his first two losses in three starts since returning from his second stint on the DL with a neck injury. He pitched six shutout innings in a 7-1 win over the Rangers on June 2, his last start before spending nearly two months on the DL.

Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner (7-8, 3.36) was scratched from his previous scheduled start Tuesday at the New York Mets because of neck stiffness. The Houston-area native has won three straight starts to match his career best.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pudge's No. 7: Rangers Retire Hall of Fame Catcher's Jersey]]>Sat, 12 Aug 2017 22:33:23 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-830899928.jpg

A plaque in Cooperstown and now the No. 7 retired by the Texas Rangers for Pudge.

Two weeks after Ivan Rodriguez was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Rangers retired the jersey number the perennial All-Star catcher wore in Texas.

"That was a great moment for me," Rodriguez said after the pregame ceremony Saturday night. "In Cooperstown, but today here was a little different. ... Here in front of my home crowd and the ovation that they gave me from right field all the way to home plate was amazing."

Rangers players crowded along the rail in their dugout to watch the ceremony, much like they had on July 31 to watch teammate Adrian Beltre get his 3,000th career hit -- a double that came only moments after Rodriguez had completed his Hall of Fame induction speech in Cooperstown that day.

Rodriguez almost immediately acknowledged Beltre, telling the 38-year-old third baseman that if he had gotten that hit about 20 minutes earlier that it would have been mentioned at the Hall of Fame. But Pudge pointed at his plaque from Cooperstown that was on the field and told Beltre, "This is waiting for you soon. You'll be there soon."

The ceremony came before the Rangers played the Houston Astros. Both teams wore replica uniforms from 1999, the season Pudge was the AL MVP after hitting .332 with career highs of 35 homers and 113 RBIs.

Before Rodriguez entered the field from the team's bullpen in right-center field wearing a red Rangers polo, other players that wore No. 7 for the Rangers took part in the "march of 7s" from the left field corner. That group included Lenny Randle, Billy Sample and Eric Young, with the last in line being current outfielder Delino DeShields , who now wears No. 3 but wore No. 7 as a rookie two seasons ago.

Pudge joined MLB strikeout king Nolan Ryan, who was 44 when he pitched to the teenager catching his second career game, as the only Rangers players to have their numbers retired by the team. They are also the only players wearing the Texas "T" on their plaques in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"I did the best that I can to put a show for you guys," Rodriguez told the large crowd gathered for the ceremony that started more than an hour before the game.

The Rangers in 2005 retired the number of the late Johnny Oates, the manager who led them to their first three AL West titles over a four-year span in the late 1990s. MLB retired the No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson in 1997. All four numbers are displayed on a facade in left field.

"Having that number there next to Nolan, Johnny and Jackie forever, is great to see that now every time I come to the ballpark," Rodriguez said.

The only other MLB players who have had their No. 7 jerseys retired are fellow Hall of Fame members: Mickey Mantle by the New York Yankees in 1969, and Craig Biggio by the Astros in 2008.

Ryan wasn't in attendance, but was among several people whose congratulatory messages were shown on the video board. Among the others were Johnny Bench, the only other catcher elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, fellow 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Bagwell and former President George W. Bush, one of the team owners when Pudge made his big-league debut as a 19-year-old for the Rangers in 1991.

While Pudge played for six teams over his 21 seasons while being a 14-time All-Star and winning 13 Gold Gloves, he has always considered Texas as his baseball home . He played 1,507 of his 2,543 career games wearing No. 7 for the Rangers.

After leaving the Rangers in free agency after the 2002 season, he was part of a World Series championship with the Florida Marlins in 2003 and played in another World Series during his five seasons in Detroit (2004-08). He ended the 2008 season with the Yankees and started 2009 with the Astros, who traded him to Texas on Aug. 18 that year. He finished his career with the Washington Nationals in 2010-11.

"I grew up here," Rodriguez said. "I know that I played for five other organizations. ... I respect them the same, but when you're talking about the Rangers' organization, it's a little different."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NBC 5 Producer Hits National Anthem Out of The Park]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 22:21:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/203*120/Emily+Allen+at+Rangers+Game.JPG

NBC 5 Producer Emily Allen took center stage at the Texas Rangers game Friday night as she sang she National Anthem before the game started.

Photo Credit: Staff Photographer]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Beat Astros 6-4 After Hamels' 7 Scoreless Innings]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 21:47:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/uspresswire-rangers-cole-hamels.jpg

Cole Hamels pitched seven scoreless innings, Elvis Andrus scored each time after his three hits and the Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros 6-4 Friday night, the fourth straight loss for the team with the AL's best record.

Hamels (7-1) limited the Astros to three singles only six days after the lefty's complete game against Minnesota. Two of those were infield hits, including Jose Altuve's comebacker that ricocheted off his left knee and into foul territory in the fourth.

Houston (71-44) has lost 10 of 13, but still has a six-game lead over Boston for the American League's top mark. Two-time defending AL West champion Texas is still 15 1/2 games back and is fourth in the division.

Alex Claudio got Altuve, who leads the majors in hitting, to look at strike three with runners on first and second for the final out.

The Rangers went ahead to stay with four runs in the third off Charlie Morton (9-5), whose fielding error on a sacrifice bunt loaded the bases with no outs. Andrus and Nomar Mazara followed with consecutive RBI singles, and Carlos Gomez drove in two with a single up the middle after Adrian Beltre and slugger Joey Gallo both struck out.

Andrus led off the fifth with a single and scored on a double by Beltre, his second hit of the game and 3,010th of his career. Andrus doubled and scored on Mazara's single in the seventh to make it 6-0.

Hamels struck out five and walked two, improving to 29-7 in his 58 starts with the Rangers since being traded from Philadelphia two years ago. He is 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in seven home starts this season, when he missed nearly two months with a right oblique strain.

Reliever Jose Leclerc walked the No. 9 hitter leading off the eighth before George Springer's 28th homer. After a double-play grounder and a walk, Claudio took over and gave up consecutive RBI doubles to Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Beltran before right fielder Mazara's shoestring catch of Brian McCann's liner to end the inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: Manager A.J. Hinch said RHP Lance McCullers Jr., out since July 31 because of a back issue, is throwing long toss and has no physical issues playing catch. He isn't throwing off a mound yet. ... C Evan Gattis isn't in Arlington even though he is eligible to be activated Saturday from the 7-day concussion list. Gattis hasn't resumed baseball activities.

Rangers: Reliever Keone Kela will be re-assessed by doctors before the team decides his next step. He has been on the disabled list a week with a recurrence of right shoulder soreness after also being on the DL last month.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Mike Fiers, makes his team-high 23rd start, but is 0-2 with a 7.16 ERA in his last three starts. He struck out nine against Texas on May 2, but allowed four homers in six innings and got a no-decision.

Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross (2-2, 7.52) is expected to be activated from the DL to make his first start since July 23. He made two rehab starts at Double-A Frisco after a blister on his right index finger.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers to Honor Hall of Famer 'Pudge' Rodriguez]]>Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:31:53 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pudge-rangers-retire.jpg

The Texas Rangers are set to honor Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez with several events during a 10-game homestand beginning Friday.

The newly-inducted Hall of Famer will sign copies of his new book, “They Call Me Pudge: My Life Playing the Game I Love,” in the Kid’s Zone before Friday's game, which kicks off a three-game series against the Houston Astros. Fans can also take pictures with his Hall of Fame plaque.

On Saturday, the Rangers will retire Rodriguez' number during a pre-game ceremony. The team will then play the game wearing 1999 throwback uniforms. The first 15,000 fans will receive a Rodriguez bobblehead.

The first 10,000 fans to Thursday night's game against the Detroit Tigers will receive a collector pin commemorating Rodriguez’s No. 7.

Rodriguez was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame hist first time on the ballot last month. He was a the first homegrown Rangers player to reach the Hall.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Get Reliever Marinez on Waiver Claim From Pirates]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:45:19 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/RANGERS+052017.jpg

The Texas Rangers have received right-handed reliever Jhan Marinez on a waiver claim from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Texas will have to make a corresponding roster move before its game Friday against AL West-leading Houston to add Marinez to the active roster. The Rangers were off Thursday.

Marinez, who turns 29 on Saturday, has gone 0-3 with a 3.91 ERA over 39 relief appearances this season with Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.

After making an opening day roster for the first time, starting the season with the Brewers, he made 15 appearances before being designated for assignment on May 15. Four days later, the Pirates got him on a waiver claim, and he pitched 24 games for them before being designated for assignment again last Saturday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Perez Leads Rangers Over Mets 5-1 for 2-Game Split]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 14:47:42 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-670376462.jpg

Martin Perez allowed three hits over eight innings, Joey Gallo hit his 32nd home run and the Texas Rangers beat the New York Mets 5-1 on Wednesday for a two-game split.

Texas took a 3-0 lead in the first against Rafael Montero (1-8) when the pitcher balked with Shin-Soo Choo taking a sizable and distracting lead off of third, and Gallo hit a two-run drive into the upper deck in right, his 11th home run since the All-Star break.

Elvis Andrus reached when he grounded into a forceout in the second, then advanced on three straights pitches when he stole second and third, and he slid home headfirst ahead of shortstop Amed Rosario's throw on Nomar Mazara's grounder.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gallo's HR Not Enough as Rangers Fall to Mets, 5-4]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 03:36:35 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-827864190.jpg

Chris Flexen had a night of firsts in his Citi Field debut.

The 23-year-old right-hander got his first big league win and hit, and the New York Mets took an early four-run lead against emergency starter A.J. Griffin in a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night that stopped a four-game losing streak.

"It's exciting," Flexen said. "The first win's always the toughest, especially with the first two outings being a little rough."

Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud homered for the Mets, who led 4-0 after two innings. Cespedes went deep at Citi Field for just the third time this season, his first since June 17. D'Arnaud hit his first at home this year after nine on the road.

Promoted from Double-A to the major leagues because of injuries in the Mets rotation, Flexen (1-1) allowed three runs and four hits in 5.2 innings with three walks and four strikeouts. He lost at San Diego in his big league debut on July 27 and did not get a decision at Colorado last week.

Flexen said he got "in a little groove there and was able to execute pitches a little better."

He hit a double that bounced to the left-field wall in the fifth for his first hit after an 0-for-3 start at the plate. He had a .267 average with one extra-base hit in six minor league seasons.

Mets manager Terry Colliins said Flexen's slider was working much better than in his previous starts.

"He's one of those guys that's the future here, and so once in a while, you've got to have some patience and you've got to bite the bullet and give them a little chance to get a sense of what it takes to pitch in the big leagues," Collins said. "It was a good win for Chris. He's got a good arm and he's got good stuff."

A.J. Ramos gave up Robinson Chirinos' two-out homer in the ninth, then retired Drew Robinson on a groundout for his 21st save this year, his first since the Mets acquired him from the Miami Marlins.

Joey Gallo and Adrian Beltre also homered for Texas, with Gallo hitting a 457-foot drive.

Texas pitcher Andrew Cashner, the scheduled starter, woke up in his hotel room with a stiff neck and was replaced by Griffin, who had been slated to start Wednesday.

Griffin (5-3) allowed four runs and four hits in five innings. He beat Minnesota last week in his return from a left intercostal strain that had sidelined him since May 26.

Conforto sent his second pitch, a 66 mph curveball, off the facing of the upper deck in right field. Conforto has a career-best 23 homers, including six leading off.

"They're a good hitting team, an aggressive team. I didn't have my best stuff in the first two innings and they capitalized," Griffin said. "I was just battling to keep the game close."

Flexen took a shutout in the fifth, when Gallo hit his 31st homer. Beltre homered in the sixth, and Gallo greeted reliever Erik Goeddel with an RBI double that cut the Rangers' gap to 4-3.

Asdrubal Cabrera boosted New York's lead back to two runs with an RBI double in the seventh against Jason Grilli.

Dark Knight
Matt Harvey threw batting practice for the first time since going on the disabled list for a stress injury to his right shoulder on June 15. Harvey threw 25 pitches to Brandon Nimmo.

"I was a little rusty at first but towards the end I was able to get the ball down and finish the pitches the way I wanted to," Harvey said. "I was excited because it's finally fun to throw a baseball again."

Harvey hopes to make a minor league injury rehabilitation start in the next week or so.

"I felt great," he said. "I am on track to get back, hopefully, pretty soon."

Pain in the Neck
Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Cashner called at midday to say he had a stiff neck.

"I woke up this morning, and felt not very good," Cashner said. "They got me in to see a chiropractor this morning and it just hasn't loosened up at all."

Visibly uncomfortable, Cashner said he probably "just slept wrong at the hotel."

Shifted
New York's Neil Walker made his first big league start at first base, a position he played for the first time Sunday after a double switch. A third baseman when he first came up in 2009, Walker had played second base exclusively since 2011.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: RHP Keone Kela was placed on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Saturday, with right shoulder soreness. He was on the DL with the same injury from June 30 to July 20. Texas filled his roster spot by selecting the contract of RHP Ricky Rodriguez from Double-A Frisco.

Mets: RF Jay Bruce went 0 for 3 with a walk after missing two games with a stiff neck. ... INF T.J. Rivera has resumed some baseball activity after going on the DL on July 27 for a partial tear in his right elbow.

Up Next
RHP Rafael Montero (1-7) starts for the Mets in Wednesday's finale of the two-game series and LHP Martin Perez (5-10) for the Rangers.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Umpire Joe West Suspended 3 Games for Comments About Beltre]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 21:45:44 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Umpire+Joe+West.jpg

Joe West, the major leagues' senior umpire, has been suspended for three days without pay for comments he made about Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre.

In a USA Today report published June 20 timed to coincide with the umpire's 5,000th regular-season game, West said "it's got to be Adrian Beltre" when asked who was the biggest complainer in the major leagues.

"Every pitch you call that's a strike, he says, `Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!' I had a game with him recently and the pitch was right down the middle. He tells me, `That ball is outside,"' West was quoted as saying.

"I told him, `You may be a great ballplayer, but you're the worst umpire in the league. You stink,"' West also was quoted as saying.

West was to have worked the Los Angeles Dodgers-Arizona Diamondbacks series in Phoenix, but the World Umpires Association said Tuesday that West was serving the first game of the suspension. It said Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred told the union in an Aug. 3 letter the discipline created an "appearance of lack of impartiality."

"Joking interactions between umpires and players are a routine part of the game," the union said in a statement. "We disagree strongly with the decision to punish Joe West simply for sharing a humorous exchange with a player."

MLB did not comment.

"I don't think that it was necessary to suspend him," Beltre said after the Rangers' 5-4 loss to the New York Mets. "Obviously, I know that he was kidding and after it happened a couple of weeks ago he came back home and I asked him exactly what happened and he told me he was just kidding with the reporter."

The 64-year-old West made his big league debut in September 1976 and trails only Bill Klemm (5,375) and Bruce Froemming (5,163) among regular-season games worked. West's 123 postseason games are 10 behind Gerry Davis' record.

"I play around with him. He plays around with me. And that was it," Beltre said. "I didn't think it was a big deal. I'm sad that it happened."

Rangers manager Jeff Banister did not fault West.

"There's no part of me that ever would think that any person -- especially Joe West -- would be partial to anything," Banister said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Trade Reliever Ernesto Frieri for $1]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 18:46:48 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-167235676.jpg

The Ernesto Frieri experiment in Texas is officially over. Good news is they were able to make some money off it.

The total sum in return - $1.

The Rangers traded the reliever to the Seattle Mariners for “cash considerations” on Tuesday, which turns out to reportedly be a crisp one dollar bill. Frieri was toting the rubber down in Triple-A Round Rock and will now join the Mariners Triple-A team in Tacoma. It’s a move that could help out the Mariners depleted bullpen as they try to make a run at the A.L. wild card spot. It’s also a move that will cost the Mariners very little.

Texas was thinking the same thing when they signed the former Angels closer in June. The 32-year old jumped on the radar pitching for Colombia during the World Baseball Classic. He latched on with the New York Yankees on a minors pact before moving on to Texas.

It didn’t quite work out. Frieri was 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in six relief appearances that during his time with Texas. He allowed four runs on six hits with six walks in a total of seven innings of work. The Rangers designated him for assignment last month.

He didn’t pitch that bad in Round Rock, going 0-1 but had a 1.42 ERA in just over six innings pitched.

Frieri is 11-14 with a 3.59 ERA and 73 saves in 304 career relief appearances. However, being sold to a division rival for a dollar probably doesn’t help the confidence level.

On the bright side, the Rangers just picked up an extra dollar to possibly convince Yu Darvish to return to Arlington.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Place Reliever Kela on D.L. with Shoulder Soreness]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 14:55:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/193*120/GettyImages-522522602.jpg

Reliever Keone Kela was starting to check all the boxes coming out of the Rangers bullpen. High velocity fastball to go with a swing-and-miss breaking ball. The point could be made that Kela was auditioning to fill that closer spot that has lacked consistency all season.

The audition has been shut down temporarily after the Rangers place the 24-year old righty on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness. It’s his second stint on the D.L. this season for the same reason. He is eligible to return to the active roster on August 15.

Kela was 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 34 appearances this season. Opposing batters are hitting .128 against him, which is the lowest among qualifying major league relievers.

With the new unexpected opening in the bullpen, the Rangers call up 24-year old righty Ricky Rodriguez from Double-A Frisco. Rodriguez has a combined 5-1 record with 17 saves and a 1.34 ERA in over 35 relief appearances with both Frisco and High-A Down East. He’s averaged 11.7 strikeouts and 1.9 walks per nine innings this season.

It’s another hit against a bullpen that has dealt with issues all season long. The Rangers will continue to lean on Alex Claudio and Jose Leclerc in save situations. The 40-man roster currently sits now at 38.

Lefty Jake Diekman will have to wait to begin his rehab assignment. Rangers manager Jeff Banister wants to see Diekman throw at least one more live batting session before going further down the rehab road. He’s recovering from three abdominal surgeries to address ulcerative colitis. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Pudge Week' in Dallas to Honor Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 12:15:40 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ivan+rodriguez+hall+of+fame.jpg

One day wasn’t enough to honor Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez. How about an entire week.

That’s what’s happening in Dallas as Mayor Mike Rawlings has proclaim the week of August 7 as “Pudge Week” in honor of Rodriguez. A ceremony is expected to take place Wednesday at the end of the Dallas City Council’s morning session.

The City of Arlington declared Tuesday as Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez Day, His No. 7 Rangers jersey will be retired on Saturday at Globe Life Park in Arlington prior to the Rangers game against the division-leading Houston Astros. He becomes the third Rangers player to have his uniform retired by the organization, pitcher Nolan Ryan and manager Johnny Oates are the other two.

Rodriguez was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame last month and is considered one of the best catchers to ever step onto a baseball field. He was a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the first home-grown Rangers player to reach The Hall.

The on-field jersey retirement ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:45 on Saturday. Rodriguez’ actual Hall of Fame plaque will be on display on the first base concourse this weekend. Fans will be able to view take photos from 5:30 p.m. until the end of the game Friday and from 8 p.m. to the end of the game Saturday.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[City of Arlington to Have Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez Day]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 05:27:41 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pudge-rangers-retire.jpg

The fun ride continues for Pudge.

The City of Arlington as declared Tuesday, August 8 as Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez Day in honor of the Hall of Fame catcher. That’s right, Pudge finally got his own day, and deservingly so.

He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame last month, becoming the 18th catcher to join the club. Rodriguez is also the sixth player who wore the Rangers uniform to be inducted into The Hall.

His 14 All-Star Game selections and 13 Gold Glove Awards are tops for any catcher in history. The Rangers signed Rodriguez at the age of 16 in 1988. He would go on to win the 1999 American League MVP by hitting .332 with 35 home runs, 113 RBI, 116 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 seasons with Texas.

The Rangers will retire his No. 7 jersey Saturday before the game against the division-leading Houston Astros, for whom Rodriguez played during the 2009 season. The on-field ceremony to reveal the retired number will begin at 6:45 p.m. He becomes the third Rangers player to have his uniform retired by the club, joining fellow Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and former manager Johnny Oates.

Rodriguez’ actual Hall of Fame plaque will be on display on the first base concourse this weekend. Fans will be able to view take photos from 5:30 p.m. until the end of the game Friday and from 8 p.m. to the end of the game Saturday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Don Baylor, Former MLB MVP and Manager, Dies at 68]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 04:09:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/214*120/168967896.jpg

Wherever he went, Don Baylor left his mark on baseball. He was an MVP and Manager of the Year, respected as a powerful slugger, punishing runner and commanding presence in any clubhouse.

And during nearly a half-century as a pro, baseball left its mark on him. Lots of them, in fact. When Baylor retired, he'd been plunked more than anyone in major league history.

Baylor was hit by fastballs, sliders and a bunch of pitches 267 times in his career. Baylor set the modern-day record in 1987 while playing for Boston, on the day he turned 38. After the game, the Red Sox gave him the souvenir ball.

"I can think of other ways to get a birthday present," Baylor said.

Baylor, the bruiser who also held the bruise record for almost three decades, died Monday of cancer. He was 68.

His family said in a statement that Baylor died in his hometown of Austin, Texas, after a 14-year battle with multiple myeloma.

"One of the nicest men I've known unless you were a middle infielder on a DP," former Baltimore teammate and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer tweeted.

Baylor won the 1979 AL MVP with the California Angels, playing all 162 games and leading the majors with career bests of 139 RBIs and 120 runs. His 36 home runs were also his most.

Baylor later became the first manager of the Colorado Rockies, guiding them to his only playoff appearance as a skipper in the franchise's third season in 1995 and being honored for that accomplishment.

Just three others have won MVP and Manager of the Year awards — Frank Robinson, Joe Torre and Kirk Gibson.

It was the great Robinson who helped give Baylor a nickname that stuck forever.

Baylor was a 20-year-old rookie in 1970 on a team that eventually won the World Series when he was asked about trying to break into the Orioles' loaded outfield. Brash beyond his years, Baylor said he wasn't too worried, that once he got into one of his grooves, things would be OK.

Robinson saw that quote in a newspaper and, playfully in his role as judge of the club's Kangaroo Court, made sure to read it aloud in the Baltimore locker room.

With that, "Groove" was born.

Years later, as judge of the Kangaroo Court for the New York Yankees, Baylor once fined coach Don Zimmer. So why pick on such a beloved figure?

"Just for being Don Zimmer," Baylor said.

As judge of the Kangaroo Court in Boston, Baylor levied a $5 fine on Red Sox ace Roger Clemens — right after he had struck out a record 20 batters against Seattle. The offense? Giving up a hit to former University of Texas teammate Spike Owen on an 0-2 pitch.

Baylor had a chance to go to Texas, too. He was a second-round pick by Baltimore in 1967 and chose baseball over a chance to be the first black football player at Texas. Two years later, the Longhorns became the last all-white team to win a national championship.

No doubt, Baylor was rugged enough for either sport.

"He was a tough man, and he didn't have to tell you he was tough," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said of his first big league skipper.

Kansas City manager Ned Yost knew that firsthand, having played behind the plate.

"Don was kind of a fearsome guy, especially if you were a catcher or a second baseman," Yost said. "If he was at second base, you're hoping this guy hits a double instead of a single because you'd know you were going to get crushed at home plate. He's a big guy."

Burly in later years, Baylor was also known for speed as a younger player, including a career-high 52 steals with Oakland in 1976. He finished with 285 steals.

But on June 15, 1974, Baylor had the distinction of being the first player caught stealing twice in the same inning. He came in as a pinch-runner against the White Sox, was charged with a caught stealing at second when he was safe on an error, and after stealing third, was thrown out trying to steal home.

In his final three seasons, Baylor went to three straight World Series from 1986-88, winning the title and hitting one of his four postseason homers in Minnesota's seven-game victory against St. Louis in 1987.

Baylor's tying two-run shot in the fifth inning of Game 6 with the Twins trailing 3-2 in the Series fueled an 11-5 victory. He was on losing teams with Boston in '86 and Oakland in '88.

"Don used power and speed to earn American League MVP honors with the Angels in 1979 and contributed to three straight pennant winners in a great 19-year major league career," Commissioner Rob Manfred said.

"Throughout stints with 14 different major league teams as a player, coach or manager, Don's reputation as a gentleman always preceded him," he said.

Washington manager Dusty Baker became emotional talking about Baylor. They competed on the diamond starting as Double-A players and were close friends off the field.

"His first wife picked out my first wife's engagement ring," Baker said. "First time I had ever gone to Baltimore was when we drove up to see Donnie."

"I was a better basketball player but he was a stronger baseball player," Baker said. "I was just listening to Tupac today about death around the corner. Indeed, you just don't know how close death is to all of us."

Baylor spent six years with Colorado and two-plus seasons as manager of the Chicago Cubs, from 2000-02. His career record was 627-689. He was most recently the hitting coach for the Angels.

In 2014, while catching the first pitch from Vladimir Guerrero before the Angels' season opener in Anaheim, Baylor backhanded the ball and wound up breaking his leg in an accident that's still painful to watch on YouTube. True to his nature, with help, Baylor walked off the field.

"When a man of his integrity just walks through a clubhouse, it's almost larger than life, because you know what he stands for," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You know the bar he set not only for himself, but for a team, and I think it's tangible."

Baylor went to junior college before joining the Orioles organization, made his big league debut in 1970 and spent six years with Baltimore. After a year in the first of two stints with Oakland, Baylor played six seasons for the Angels.

Mostly a designated hitter but also an outfielder and first baseman, Baylor had at least 20 homers in three straight seasons for the Yankees before hitting 31 for the Red Sox in 1986. He was a career .260 hitter with 338 homers and 1,276 RBIs. Baylor's HBP record was later broken by Craig Biggio.

A couple weeks ago, Claire Smith paid tribute to Baylor when she was honored with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Baylor was among her closest friends, and she honored him in her acceptance speech.

"Thank you, Groove, my gentle giant," she said.


AP Sports Writers David Ginsburg, Dave Campbell and Greg Beacham and AP freelance writer Alan Eskew contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Twins Rally From 5-0 Deficit to Beat Rangers, 6-5]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 03:30:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-827062808.jpg

Most starting pitchers loathe rain delays, concerned that the long break can cool them down to the point where their managers pull the plug on the outing altogether.

The timing of the shower on Sunday could not have been better for Jose Berrios and the Minnesota Twins.

Berrios rebounded from a five-run first inning to get through five and Brian Dozier, Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario homered to help the Twins beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 on Sunday.

"It wasn't a common day," Berrios (10-5) said through an interpreter after giving up five runs on six hits and striking out six. "I just had to pick it up. I knew I didn't put pitches where I wanted to. Two bad pitches. After that it was fine."

Trevor Hildenberger threw two innings of scoreless relief and Robbie Grossman drove in the go-ahead run for the Twins, who were missing slugger Miguel Sano for the second straight game because of a sore left hand.

Adrian Beltre hit his 455th career homer and Joey Gallo also went deep for the Rangers, who were shut out after a five-run first inning. Nick Martinez gave up five runs on five hits with five strikeouts and two walks in a game that was delayed 32 minutes by rain in the second inning.

Matt Belisle picked up his first save since 2012 in the Twins' first save situation since All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler was traded to Washington before the deadline.

Beltre, who became the 31st player in baseball history to reach 3,000 career hits last week, hit a three-run homer to open the scoring in the first. He had a scare when he was leaning over the dugout fence in the third inning and was hit in the back of the head by a foul ball off of the bat of teammate Mike Napoli.

Beltre, who was the DH on Sunday and has a long history of disliking being touched on the head, passed tests in the concussion protocol, took a few swings in the batting cage and did not miss an at-bat.

"I'm a hard-headed guy. I'm pretty sure you guys know by now," Beltre said. "I didn't know what to expect. It hit me pretty good, but I was fine."

Elvis Andrus had three hits, including two doubles, for Texas.

Close Call
The Twins jumped ahead 6-5 in the fifth inning when Grossman hit a pitch from Austin Bibers-Dirkx (3-2) off of the wall in right field. Shin-Soo Choo bare-handed the carom and threw Grossman out at second base, but Eduardo Escobar scored a split-second before the tag was applied.

A replay review confirmed the ruling.

Size Matters
Gallo's two-run shot landed on the plaza behind the right field stands, a huge blast that drew raised eyebrows when Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse estimated the distance at 438 feet. The Twins communications staff has long taken pride in estimating the length of home runs at Target Field, even after the computerized statcast system has taken over.

When Kepler hit a home run in the second inning that clearly did not travel as far as Gallo's, Morse cheekily announced to the press box that it went 439 feet. He quickly said that he was kidding and delivered an estimate of 410 feet.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross had a strong rehab start for Double-A Frisco on Saturday night, but manager Jeff Bannister said it may be a little bit before he returns to the Rangers rotation. Ross has been on the disabled list with a blister since July 24, but with two off days this week, the earliest he will return to the rotation is likely Aug. 14.

Twins: Dozier was replaced at 2B by Ehire Adrianza in the sixth inning because of an illness. ... Manager Paul Molitor said a stint on the 10-day disabled list for Sano was "unlikely." "He's dealing with a lot of soreness and still has some swelling," Molitor said.

Up Next
Rangers: Texas is off on Monday and will start a series in New York against the Yankees on Tuesday. RHP Andrew Cashner (7-8, 3.36) will start for the Rangers against RHP Chris Flexon (0-1, 12.00).

Twins: Minnesota starts a four-game, home-and-home series — two at Target Field, then two in Milwaukee — with the Brewers on Monday. RHP Ervin Santana (12-7, 3.28) starts for the Twins against LHP Brent Suter (2-2, 3.04).

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hamels Throws Complete Game No. 16 as Rangers Beat Twins 4-1]]>Sat, 05 Aug 2017 20:55:48 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/uspresswire-rangers-cole-hamels.jpg

..6320
 AP-BBA--Rangers-Twins, 1st Ld-Writethru,539
Hamels throws complete game No. 16 as Rangers beat Twins 4-1
AP Photo MNAK106, MNAK103, MNAK104
Eds: Rangers 4, Twins 1. Updates. With AP Photos.
By ANDRES YBARRA
Associated Press
   MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Cole Hamels threw the 16th complete game of his career -- his first in nearly two years -- and turned in his most efficient start of the season to lead the Texas Rangers past the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Saturday night.
   With Hamels dominating on the mound, Nomar Mazara's first-inning, two-run homer off Kyle Gibson (6-9) was all the offense Texas needed to beat the Twins.
   In his first complete game since Oct. 4, 2015, Hamels (6-1) scattered four hits and allowed only four batters to reach base. The Twins' only run against him was unearned.
   Hamels entered the game with a 6.35 career ERA against Minnesota, the highest of any opponent with at least six starts, but breezed through the lineup using 96 pitches to pick up his third career win against the Twins.
   With Elvis Andrus on base, the Rangers grabbed the lead for good only three batters in when Mazara sent the first pitch he saw from Gibson an estimated 407 feet into the bullpen. Mike Napoli came around to score after a leadoff walk in the second, and Robinson Chirinos added an RBI single in the ninth.
   Making his first major league start since being sent to the minors in late July, Gibson was otherwise solid for the Twins, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out four over 5 1/3 innings.
   Minnesota's run came in the fifth after Byron Buxton singled, stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw from Chirinos at the plate. He scored on Ehire Adiranza's groundout.
   Brian Dozier reached base twice against Hamels on a single and walk. Eduardo Escobar singled in the fourth but was thrown out trying to reach second. Jorge Polanco had a leadoff double in the ninth.
   TRAINER'S ROOM
   Rangers: LHP Jake Diekman threw about 30 pitches in his second simulated game of the week on Saturday, taking another step in a slow recovery from colon surgery. Pitching coach Doug Brocail said he originally wanted Diekman to throw about 20-25 pitches, and wanted to tire him out to see how he'd respond on Sunday.
   Twins: 1B Miguel Sano remains day to day after taking a pitch off his left hand Friday night. Although X-rays were negative, the Twins slugger said it wasn't feeling any better from the previous night. "When I woke up this morning, I couldn't even make a fist," Sano said through a translator. . Manager Paul Molitor said LHP Hector Santiago (back) will make another rehab start at Triple-A Rochester next week, saying his velocity isn't consistent enough yet. "The last thing we want is to come up here and go backwards in some fashion," Molitor said. . Molitor said closer Glen Perkins (shoulder) will likely throw a bullpen session in the coming days before beginning a rehab assignment at Double-A Chattanooga.
   UP NEXT
   Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (3-4) makes his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Rock Round on Monday. He's 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota.
   Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (9-5) faces Texas for the first time in his career. He lost his last start on Aug. 1 at San Diego despite only allowing one run and two hits in seven innings.
   AP-WF-08-06-17 0249GMT

Hamels threw the 16th complete game of his career -- his first in nearly two years -- and turned in his most efficient start of the season to lead the Texas Rangers past the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Saturday night.

With Hamels dominating on the mound, Nomar Mazara's first-inning, two-run homer off Kyle Gibson (6-9) was all the offense Texas needed to beat the Twins.

In his first complete game since Oct. 4, 2015, Hamels (6-1) scattered four hits and allowed only four batters to reach base. The Twins' only run against him was unearned.

Hamels entered the game with a 6.35 career ERA against Minnesota, the highest of any opponent with at least six starts, but breezed through the lineup using 96 pitches to pick up his third career win against the Twins.

With Elvis Andrus on base, the Rangers grabbed the lead for good only three batters in when Mazara sent the first pitch he saw from Gibson an estimated 407 feet into the bullpen. Mike Napoli came around to score after a leadoff walk in the second, and Robinson Chirinos added an RBI single in the ninth.

Making his first major league start since being sent to the minors in late July, Gibson was otherwise solid for the Twins, allowing seven hits and two walks while striking out four over 5 1/3 innings.

Minnesota's run came in the fifth after Byron Buxton singled, stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw from Chirinos at the plate. He scored on Ehire Adiranza's groundout.

Brian Dozier reached base twice against Hamels on a single and walk. Eduardo Escobar singled in the fourth but was thrown out trying to reach second. Jorge Polanco had a leadoff double in the ninth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: LHP Jake Diekman threw about 30 pitches in his second simulated game of the week on Saturday, taking another step in a slow recovery from colon surgery. Pitching coach Doug Brocail said he originally wanted Diekman to throw about 20-25 pitches, and wanted to tire him out to see how he'd respond on Sunday.

Twins: 1B Miguel Sano remains day to day after taking a pitch off his left hand Friday night. Although X-rays were negative, the Twins slugger said it wasn't feeling any better from the previous night. "When I woke up this morning, I couldn't even make a fist," Sano said through a translator. . Manager Paul Molitor said LHP Hector Santiago (back) will make another rehab start at Triple-A Rochester next week, saying his velocity isn't consistent enough yet. "The last thing we want is to come up here and go backwards in some fashion," Molitor said. . Molitor said closer Glen Perkins (shoulder) will likely throw a bullpen session in the coming days before beginning a rehab assignment at Double-A Chattanooga.

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (3-4) makes his second start since being recalled from Triple-A Rock Round on Monday. He's 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota.

Twins: RHP Jose Berrios (9-5) faces Texas for the first time in his career. He lost his last start on Aug. 1 at San Diego despite only allowing one run and two hits in seven innings.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[Colon Goes Distance, Minnesota Beats Texas 8-4]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 21:30:01 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-826499804.jpg

Bartolo Colon threw his first complete game in two years to earn his first win with Minnesota, Brian Dozier homered twice and the Twins beat the Texas Rangers 8-4 on Friday night.

Robbie Grossman homered and had three RBIs for the Twins, who won for just the third time in 11 games.

In his fourth start for Minnesota, the 44-year-old Colon (3-9) scattered nine hits and allowed four earned runs for his 37th career complete game and first since Sept. 5, 2015 with the New York Mets. He struck out five and walked one for his first win in nine starts since May 15 with Atlanta.

Only three times did Colon have to face five hitters in an inning, including the first when Adrian Beltre had a two-run single.

Elvis Andrus had three doubles and Carlos Gomez homered for the Rangers.

Texas starter Martin Perez (5-10) allowed seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, dropping to 0-4 with a 9.41 ERA in his last four starts.

Since coming off the disabled list July 3, Perez has a 7.27 ERA and one win in six starts.

He allowed five earned runs before Texas recorded four outs, but settled in to retire nine straight batters before Joe Mauer was hit by a pitch in the fifth.

Needing 40 pitches to get through the opening inning, Perez allowed five hits, including home runs by Dozier and Grossman, and walked two. A double play with the bases loaded ended the inning.

Dozier, who homered on the first pitch of the second inning for a 5-2 lead, finished with three hits after going 5 for 37 in his previous eight games.

A two-run single by Eddie Rosario made it 7-3 in the fifth, ending Perez's night.

DOZIER'S DINGERS

This was the seventh career multi-homer game for Dozier and second of the season. He also did it May 2 against Oakland. His leadoff home run in the first inning was his fifth this year and 24th of his career.

TRAINERS ROOM

Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross, on the 10-day disabled list since July 24 with a blister on his right index finger, is scheduled to make his second rehab start Saturday with Double-A Frisco.

Twins: 3B Miguel Sano left the game in the sixth inning with a left hand contusion after being hit by a pitch. X-rays were negative and the team's home run leader with 25 is day to day. . LHP Hector Santiago was in the clubhouse after throwing 92 pitches in his third rehab start for Triple-A Rochester on Thursday. He's been on the disabled list since July 3 with an upper back strain. Manager Paul Molitor said Santiago's next step is uncertain.

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (5-1. 4.01) has allowed 14 earned runs in 17.1 innings over his last three starts, but allowed just three in six innings Monday against Seattle. He also struck out a season-high seven.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (6-8, 6.08) returns from Triple-A Rochester to start Saturday. Sent down July 25, he allowed one hit in five shutout innings in his lone start with the Red Wings July 27. The Twins are expected to make a roster move after Friday's game for Gibson's return.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mural Complete of Nolan Ryan's Iconic Fight Against Ventura]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 15:59:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/211*120/Nolan+mural.jpg

One hot summer night in Arlington almost 24 years ago, between two of the top teams in the American League West at the time - the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers - Nolan Ryan hit his first batter of the 1993 season, according to CBS Sports.

What followed that pitch, was a brawl for the ages - 46-year-old Nolan Ryan and 26-year-old Robin Ventura came to fisticuffs in front of the mound before both benches were cleared.

Muralist Isaac Davies has now commemorated this iconic moment from Ryan's career, near the 2700 block of Elm Street, in Deep Ellum.

Ventura was ejected; Nolan Ryan picked off the player who replaced Ventura, Craig Grebeck; and the Rangers got the win, 5-2. The mural shows Ventura in full headlock with an unidentified arm trying to pull him out of Ryan's grip.

That arm is actually a Hall of Fame Ranger, Catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez.

Ventura probably wishes Pudge would have held him back sooner.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Gallo Goes Deep Again, Rangers Top Twins 4-1 to Start Series]]>Fri, 04 Aug 2017 05:22:46 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-826192666.jpg

Joey Gallo has made plenty of progress at the plate this season for the Texas Rangers.

Those home runs just keep going and going, too.

Gallo's latest massive homer was a three-run shot in the fourth inning Thursday night that spurred the Rangers to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins, making A.J. Griffin a winner in his first start in more than two months.

Gallo has 29 home runs this year, with four long balls in the last three games.

"He's getting better every day that he goes out there," manager Jeff Banister said, praising Gallo's evolution beyond a pure pull hitter.

After swinging and missing twice at sliders from Twins starter Adalberto Mejia, Gallo let one go in the dirt. Then he drove the next pitch, another slider, into the front of the second deck above right-center field with two outs to break the tie.

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton just turned around and stared straight up as the ball soared over his head. The estimates by Major League Baseball's Statcast tracking system were a distance of 430 feet and an exit velocity of 108 mph off the bat.

"I got pretty lucky. If that pitch was maybe a couple more inches off the plate, I'm probably not doing this interview," Gallo said. "That's baseball."

Though still prone to extended slumps and voluminous strikeouts, the 23-year-old Gallo has capably settled in after two seasons of going back-and-forth to the minor leagues. This was his first major league game at Target Field, where he wowed at the All-Star Futures game with a long home run and a batting practice bop that broke a window on a truck parked on the plaza beyond right field for a promotion.

Byron Buxton's RBI double was one of only three hits all night by the Twins, who returned from a 2-6 road trip to California. They had the lead with six outs to go in four of those losses, with three coming in the opponent's final at-bat.

Back in Action
Griffin (5-2) gave up one run and two hits over six innings, a resounding return from a muscle strain in his chest. He last started on May 26 and last won on May 9.

"I had those first-day-of-school jitters a little bit last night and stuff," Griffin said. "Excited, and a little nervous."

So Close
Mejia (4-5) let the first three Rangers batters reach base, with Nomar Mazara driving in a run with a single, but the rookie lefty rebounded to not only strike out the side but fan the first two hitters of the second inning, too. Mejia was then one strike away from escaping the fateful fourth as well, until Gallo made him pay for a slider that caught too much of the plate.

"It's the repetitiveness of the pitch, and the guy having a chance to see the spin and knowing where it has to start to be hittable," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.

Gee, Another One?
Dillon Gee relieved Mejia to start the fifth, becoming the franchise-record 30th pitcher used by Minnesota this season. Gee, who was let go by the Rangers on June 16, has been on the Twins' roster for seven days. He finally got in.

"Hey, man, I'm the long guy. If you're not using me it's probably a pretty good thing," Gee said.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Griffin came off the 60-day DL after being sidelined with a strained left intercostal muscle. RHP Clayton Blackburn, who was on the roster for three days but did not pitch, was sent to Triple-A Round Rock to make room.

Twins: LHP Glen Perkins (shoulder) pitched a scoreless inning for Class A Fort Myers in a rehab outing and will likely be moved up to Double-A Chattanooga next week. His fastball has maxed out at 90 mph. Perkins has not appeared for the Twins since April 10, 2016.

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (5-9, 5.13 ERA) pitches Friday night, after a season-most eight runs allowed over 4⅓ innings against Baltimore in his last turn. He has lost three straight starts.

Twins: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-9, 7.70) takes the mound for the fourth time since joining the team following his release by Atlanta. The 44-year-old has given up 10 earned runs in 15⅓ innings, without a victory. Molitor also announced that RHP Kyle Gibson will return from Triple-A to start on Saturday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Yu Darvish Buys Newspaper Ad Thanking Rangers Fans]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 09:37:37 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/yu-darvish-ad-thumb.jpg

Despite not always being appreciated during his time in Texas, Yu Darvish made sure to thank the Rangers faithful before leaving town.

Darvish, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers before Monday's non-waiver trade deadline, took out a full-page ad in Thursday's issue of The Dallas Morning News to thank Rangers fans for his time in Texas.

"Thank you very much for the past 5.5 years since 2012," the ad states. "Coming from Japan, I could not have adjusted to the new environment if it weren't for all the courteous fans, teammates, team staff and all affiliates who supported me."

The polarizing starting pitcher wasn't going to leave without addressing the haters, though.

"There were a small number of voices that said, 'Darvish only cares about strikeouts,'" he stated in the ad. "Although I may have had strikeouts in my mind, fans, team, teammates and team staff were always my top priority.

During his time in Texas, Darvish pitched 782.2 innings with an ERA of 3.42, racking up 960 strikeouts. He finished in the top 10 of the American League Cy Young Award voting twice (2012 and 2013).

Darvish ranks among the top of most team pitching records, including ERA (fourth), strikeouts per 9 innings (first), fewest hits per 9 innings (second) and winning percentage (fifth).

Click here to see the full ad in The Dallas Morning News.



Photo Credit: The Dallas Morning News
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<![CDATA[Another Long Gallo HR, Texas Skid Ends With 5-1 Win Over M's]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 03:40:51 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-825752752.jpg

Joey Gallo keeps hitting impressively long home runs for the Texas Rangers. Balls are landing in spots at their home ballpark where few, if any, have ever gone in the past.

"I've never seen nobody hit the ball that far here. Never," said Seattle right fielder Leonys Martin, who made his big league debut for Texas in 2011 and got traded away after the 2015 season. "It's crazy."

Gallo's homer in the fifth inning of the Rangers' 5-1 victory on Wednesday night measured at about 460 feet. The ball went above the hill in center field on a platform with tables for fans to sit and watch the game. One of his two homers Tuesday night landed on the roof of the club in that same vicinity.

"I don't feel like I'm in a groove or anything," Gallo insisted. "I just feel like I'm getting a pitch to hit and not missing it. ... That's it, just things going my way, that's all."

Delino DeShields and Elvis Andrus also homered for the Rangers, who ended a four-game losing streak to wrap up a 3-6 homestand during which Adrian Beltre joined the 3,000-hit club and ace pitcher Yu Darvish was traded away.

Andrew Cashner (7-8) worked six innings for his third straight victory, matching a career best. He struck out four and walked none, but hit two batters.

Mariners lefty Ariel Miranda (7-5) struck out five without a walk in 5⅔ innings. But he allowed all three homers as Seattle's four-game winning streak ended.

"Miranda's stuff was actually OK," manager Scott Servais said. "He made a couple mistakes, but they weren't base hits or doubles, they just went over the fence."

Gallo has homered six times in his last nine games. His 28 homers account for nearly half of his 60 hits this season — he has 18 singles, 12 doubles and two triples.

"To hit it to center, that's something I wasn't doing early in the year, so it's a good sign for me, personally," Gallo said.

"The swings have been really good, very aggressive," manager Jeff Banister said. "He's staying on the ball."

The only thing that seemed to bother Gallo was the bug that flew into his eye while in the field the inning after his homer. The 6-foot-5 Gallo went to a knee as a trainer worked to clean his eye, while his fellow infielders stood around the third baseman with smiles on their faces.

The Mariners led 1-0 in the first after Jean Segura was hit by a pitch, stole second base and scored on Robinson Cano's single.

DeShields tied the game with his second career leadoff homer , both this season. The Rangers went ahead in the fourth when Beltre, who later had a single for his 3,002nd career hit, had a sacrifice fly that turned into a double play.

Shin-Soo Choo scored on Beltre's flyball, but Andrus was thrown out on an impressive peg by right fielder Leonys Martin when trying to advance from second to third base.

Andrus went deep in the sixth, a two-run shot that made it 5-1 only a couple of batters before a 40-minute rain delay. Miranda, who has allowed 27 homers this season, didn't return when the game resumed.

Elvis Leaving the Building
Andrus has a career-best 15 homers, and is the first Rangers shortstop with a 15-homer season since Michael Young has 24 in 2005.

"This year, I've been really lucky," said Andrus, the ninth-season player with 50 career homers. "The wind is going toward the bleachers every time I hit it."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: LHP Jake Diekman (colon) threw BP in the cage before the game. Manager Jeff Banister said there "is still a ways to go" and that there hasn't been determined where Diekman will go for his next step.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (oblique strain) is scheduled to come off the 60-day disabled list to make his first start for the Rangers to make his first start since May 26. They open a four-game series Thursday at Minnesota.

Mariners: Yovani Gallardo, who has been a reliever and starter this season, is scheduled to start the opener of a four-game series at Kansas City on Thursday night. Seattle is playing the fourth of 21 road games in a 28-game stretch.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Another Long Gallo HR, Texas Skid Ends With 5-1 Win Over M's]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 21:56:36 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Beltre+Mazara+HiFive.jpg

Joey Gallo hit another impressively long home run, Andrew Cashner won his third straight start and the Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-1 on Wednesday night to snap a four-game losing streak.

Delino DeShields and Elvis Andrus also homered for the Rangers, who wrapped up a 3-6 homestand during which Adrian Beltre joined the 3,000-hit club and ace pitcher Yu Darvish was traded away.

Mariners lefty Ariel Miranda (7-5) struck out five without a walk in 5 2/3 innings. But he allowed all three homers as Seattle's four-game winning streak ended.

Gallo's homer in the fifth made it 3-1 and was measured at about 460 feet. The ball landed above the hill in center field on a platform with tables for fans to sit and watch the game. One of his two homers Tuesday night landed on the roof of the club in that same vicinity.

Cashner (7-8) gave up one run over six innings to match a career best with his third straight win. He struck out four and walked none, but hit two batters.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cano Helps Push Mariners Past Rangers 8-7]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 04:00:07 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-825362428.jpg

The Seattle Mariners' lengthy road stretch is off to a nice start.

Robinson Cano doubled twice and drove in three runs as the Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 8-7 on Tuesday night. Seattle is now 2-0 on a nine-game trip that begins a stretch of 21 of 28 on the road.

Cano's two-run double in the sixth was the 499th of his career, moving him into a time with Rusty Staub for 63rd in MLB history.

Jarrod Dyson had his 200th career steal in the win and threw out Delino DeShields at third to end the eighth inning in a one-run game.

"He made a great throw, and the pick and tag that [Kyle] Seager put on DeShields was just awesome," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "A big point in the game and you have to make a big play. We did tonight."

DeShields tried to advance from first on a single by Nomar Mazara, but was beaten by a precise throw from Dyson.

"We can't get thrown out in that situation," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Not with our best hitter coming up."

Nelson Cruz homered and Leonys Martin had two hits and two RBIs for Seattle.

Joey Gallo had two homers and four RBIs, and Rougned Odor also went deep for the Rangers, who lost their fourth straight.

Casey Lawrence (1-3) picked up his first MLB win after after entering the game in the fourth inning. Edwin Diaz earned his 21st save after working a 1-2-3 ninth.

Nick Martinez (3-4) gave up seven runs and eight hits in 5⅓ innings. He was recalled from Triple-A to fill the void after Yu Darvish was traded to the Dodgers.

"I kind of lost my timing a little bit," Martinez said. "It would come back and I would lose it again."

Cruz led off the second inning with his 22nd home run to give Seattle an early lead. Martin doubled the lead to 2-0 on an RBI single later in the inning.

Seattle scored three times in the third inning as Cano, Danny Valencia, and Martin all drove in runs to make it 5-0.

Dyson set the stage for Cano's RBI double when he stole his 200th career base. Dyson now has a successful steal rate of 85.1 percent, second in MLB history behind Carlos Beltran (86.4 percent) for players with a minimum of 225 attempts.

"I'm going for 300 now," Dyson said. "It's a good milestone for me, especially being a backup guy basically my whole career. Getting a chance to play every day is special to me."

Odor and Gallo countered in the bottom of the fourth inning. Odor hit a two-run homer, his seventh in his last nine games, and Gallo hit a solo shot 456 feet over the batter's eye in center field.

That ended the night for Erasmo Ramirez, who made his first start since returning to Seattle in a July 28 trade. He allowed five hits and struck out five in 3⅓ innings.

Two innings later Gallo hit a three-run homer to trim Seattle's lead to 8-6, responding to an RBI single by Dyson and two-run double by Cano in the top of the inning. Mike Napoli had an RBI single that pulled the Rangers to 8-7 in the seventh.

Trainers Room
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross allowed seven hits and four in 4⅔ innings in a rehab start for Double-A Frisco on Monday. Cashner has been on the DL since July 24 with a right index finger blister.

Mariners: Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said OF Mitch Haniger could return to the lineup by mid-August. Haniger was hit in the face with a fastball on Sunday against the Mets and is dealing with a mild concussion and a nasal fracture.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner (6-8) will make his 18th start and has won back-to-back starts for the second time this season.

Mariners: LHP Ariel Miranda (7-5) will make his team-leading 22nd start and has recorded four straight no decisions.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[After Yu: Rangers Lose 6-4 to Mariners After Dealing Ace]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 03:57:49 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-825017410.jpg

The Texas Rangers seemed a bit wiped out after a few emotional days, both good and bad.

Hours after ace pitcher Yu Darvish was traded, and a day after Adrian Beltre's 3,000th career hit, the Rangers blew a big early lead in a sloppy 6-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

"Obviously the magnitude yesterday, the high emotion with the 3,000 hits and then today with the trades," manager Jeff Banister said. "I don't like to use those as any type of excuse, but they are human beings, and there are different emotions. ... However, we still feel like these guys continue to battle."

After jumping ahead 4-0 the first two innings against Felix Hernandez, the Rangers couldn't overcome four errors , two balks and 13 strikeouts against the four Seattle pitchers.

Robinson Cano had the tiebreaking two-run single in the ninth, lining a ball over the head of right fielder Shin-Soo Choo. Cano was thrown out trying to stretch the head into a double, a play that came right after pitching coach Doug Brocail was ejected for arguing a balk called against Alex Claudio (2-1) that put runners at second and third.

"About as rocky start as we've seen Felix have, he didn't really have a lot," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "The story of the game is really the bullpen."

David Phelps (1-1) got all five of his outs on strikeouts before Edwin Diaz pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save.

Rougned Odor and Carlos Gomez homered for the Rangers, who had five hits in the first two innings — then only one the rest of the way.

A day after becoming the first Dominican player and 31st overall in the majors with 3,000 hits, Beltre added to his total in the first with a solid single up the middle against Hernandez, his good friend. They were teammates during Beltre's five seasons in Seattle (2005-09) and are still close.

Odor had just hit his 23rd homer overall and 10th of July, a two-run homer measured at 437 feet, when Hernandez walked toward the plate and hugged Beltre before going back to the mound.

"My first thing that came to my mind was just go to home plate and congratulate him," said Hernandez, who had alerted home plate umpire Doug Eddings of his plan. "What he did last night was unbelievable."

Darvish was dealt to the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers within minutes of the non-waiver trade deadline earlier Monday for three minor league players. Texas also traded reliever Jeremy Jeffress back to Milwaukee for a Double-A pitcher, and had sent catcher Johnathan Lucroy to Colorado after Sunday's game for a player to be named.

After three trades the previous week, the Mariners made no addition deals before the deadline.

Hamels struck out seven and walked one over six innings. Hernandez struck out five, walked three and hit two batters in 5⅓ innings.

Seattle tied the game at 4-all with an unearned run in the sixth. Guillermo Heredia reached on a two-out error by Beltre and scored on a triple by Leonys Martin .

It was the third straight game that Beltre had a throwing error. He had gone 62 consecutive games without an error before that, a franchise record and career best for the five-time Gold Glove winner.

Short Hops
Beltre's 3,001 hits put him 30th all-time, breaking a tie with Roberto Clemente at 3,000. ... Odor homered in three consecutive plate appearances, having gone deep in his last two at-bats Sunday. The last Rangers player with at least 10 homers in a month was Beltre, who hit 11 in September 2012.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross made a rehab start for Double-A Frisco, a week after going on the 10-day DL with a blister on his right index finger.

Mariners: Martin, a .145 hitter, was recalled from Triple-A after RF Mitch Haniger got hit in the face by a fastball on Saturday. Haniger is expected to be out about two weeks.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez is likely to start in what was Darvish's scheduled spot Tuesday. Martinez was recalled after being activated Monday from the disabled list (right forearm soreness) at Triple-A Round Rock.

Mariners: RHP Erasmo Ramirez will start three days after being reacquired by the Mariners in a trade with Tampa Bay. Since his last start June 21, Ramirez has pitched only 10 innings in six relief appearances. Manager Scott Servais said he will be limited to 60-80 pitches and that a reliever will be ready to go.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Leave Door Open to Resigning Darvish Despite Trade]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 22:08:06 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-823278358.jpg

Just because the clock said 3 p.m. didn’t mean the business day was finished. Not when you’re talking about the MLB trade deadline.

The best example of that was on Monday afternoon in Arlington.

At 2:50 p.m., Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish sent out a tweet that said “10min!!” At the time, it looked like the righty was staying in a Rangers uniform for at least six more weeks after word got out that the team was looking into trade options.

Then 3 p.m. hit and there was complete silence. Turns out that wasn’t exactly the case behind the scenes. A few minutes after the deadline had passed and the paperwork was sorted out at the MLB offices, Darvish and the rest of the baseball world soon found out he was heading west to Los Angeles.

“I’m got a phone call from my agent telling me it’s almost done right before 3 o’clock so I was mentally prepared for it,” Darvish said through his interpreter.

The Rangers sent their ace to the Dodgers in exchange for three minor leaguers, second baseman/outfielder Willie Calhoun, right-handed pitcher A.J. Alexy and infielder Brendon Davis. Calhoun was the Dodgers’ No. 4 overall prospect, Alexy was ranked at No. 17 and Davis at No. 27. Calhoun will report to Triple-A Round Rock while Alexy and Davis will be sent to Class-A Hickory.

The 30-year old was named an All-Star this season but did not pitch in the Mid-Summer Classic earlier this month. He was 6-9 with 4.01 ERA with 148 strikeouts in 22 starts this season while wearing the Rangers uniform. Outside of his last start against the Miami Marlins when he gave up 10 runs in a blowout loss, Darvish was solid on the bump. A big problem was that the offense didn’t have his back in most of the starts as he got very little run support.

Darvish arrived on the scene from Japan in style prior to the 2012 season when the Rangers won the bidding war and were able to sign him to a six-year, $60 million deal. Darvish became a fan favorite in Arlington and one of the best pitchers in the game with an arsenal that would leave you shaking your head. His stuff was, and still is, that nasty. He was the ace that Texas was looking for since the days of Nolan Ryan.

While wearing a Rangers uniform, Darvish was 52-39 with a 3.42 ERA. He also leaves Texas with 960 strikeouts and an 18.4 WAR in 122 starts. The organization felt like the days of Darvish in Texas was worth the money that was shelled out six years ago.

“He was outstanding when he was on the field for us,” said general manager Jon Daniels. “Pitched at a level that very, very few pitchers do. When he came over, this wasn’t just a new team. It wasn’t just a new free agent coming over from the coast. This was a new country, a new organization, a new culture, a new ball, a new mound, a new travel schedule, a new language, new teammates, you name it. He made every effort to assimilate.”

So now the days of the two aces is over for the Rangers, at least for the season. Lefty Cole Hamels owns that role all by himself. Darvish was scheduled to start on Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners at The Globe but that isn’t happening now. Nick Martinez will likely get the start after being recalled from Round Rock.

Meanwhile, the rich got richer in L.A. with the addition of Darvish and the thoughts start to wonder on if this makes them the World Series favorites. The Darvish move allows the Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors, to not worry about rushing back their ace, Highland Park’s own Clayton Kershaw. The big lefty is recovering from back stiffness but has recently resumed throwing. Once he’s healthy, the Dodgers starting rotation will consist of Kershaw, Darvish, Alex Wood and Rich Hill.  That’s a legit staff.

Back in Texas, the Rangers spent the last couple of days adding talent to the system. Earlier in the day, they sent reliever Jeremy Jeffress back to Milwaukee for minor league pitcher Taylor Scott. On Sunday evening, the Rangers traded catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Colorado for the ever-popular player to be named later. Both were acquired a year ago as the Rangers were on their way to locking up a second straight division title.

The division is out of reach for the Rangers but the wild card is still in play, barely. Texas goes into Monday night 5.5 games back with time running out. Now on the optimism side of things, the Rangers did make a second half run in 2015 to win the division without Darvish, who missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. There are still plenty of players left from that 2015 squad and the feeling in the clubhouse is there’s still plenty to play for.

“We still have games to play and we are still in the fight,” said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. “Until they tell us we are not in a fight anymore, we are still in the fight. I relish the fact that some of this is going to go down as well as ‘the Rangers now are not part of the equation.’ Go ahead. You can’t measure what’s inside a man’s chest and what they are willing to play for and what they are willing to fight for.”

Back to Darvish, he is a free agent at the end of the season. With that being said, is there a chance that a reunion could take place in Arlington in 2018?

When asked, Darvish replied jokingly “I don’t think I’m ever coming back.” He was laughing at the time but you have to wonder how much truth there is to it. He was more serious about it when asked about it a second time around.

“It’s hard to comment on any of that right now, just going to have to wait and see,” Darvish said. “For example, if the Rangers offer me very low money, I’m not going to sign but I think I’m going to talk to all the teams available who’s looking at me and see what happens.”

Daniels isn’t completely ruling the reunion out after the season.

“We’ll see,” added Daniels. “We’ve got a long-term plan but things change. We very well could. Certainly he checks a lot of boxes in things we are looking for but right now he’s going to the Dodgers and we wish him well there.”

So, the era of Yu came to an end on Monday afternoon and now moves to Hollywood. However, Darvish appreciated his time in the Lone Star State.

“It’s been great. My teammates, my fans, I have nothing but appreciation for everybody here.” 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brewers Reacquire Former Closer Jeremy Jeffress From Rangers]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 14:37:01 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-643827404.jpg

The Brewers have reacquired right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, a year after sending their former closer and first-round draft pick to the Texas Rangers.

In a deal announced at the non-waiver trade deadline Monday, the Rangers sent Jeffress back to Milwaukee for Double-A pitcher Tayler Scott.

Jeffress was the 16th overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft by the Brewers. He had been sent with two-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Texas exactly 52 weeks earlier in another deadline deal. Lucroy was traded by Texas to Colorado on Sunday night.

In 39 games this season, Jeffress is 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA, and allowed a home run in each of his last four appearances. He had 27 saves last year with Milwaukee before getting traded, and is 9-3 overall with a 2.38 ERA in 158 games for the Brewers.

Scott is 4-6 with a 2.34 ERA in 42 appearances for Double-A Biloxi this season.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fort Worth Zoo Names Baby Giraffe Beltre for Rangers Slugger]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 22:33:32 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/beltre1.JPG

A weeks-old giraffe at the Fort Worth Zoo has been named Beltre in honor of Texas Rangers slugger Adrian Beltre and his 3,000th career hit.

Zoo officials announced the name and tweeted congratulations to Beltre for his "major milestone" on Sunday, in a 10-6 loss to Baltimore.

Zoo spokeswoman Avery Elander on Monday said the reticulated male giraffe was born June 8 and weighed 185 pounds.

Elander says the calf was big at birth, up on his feet pretty quickly and moving. She says zookeepers also noticed the giraffe's strength, so a decision was made to name him in honor of the Rangers star and announce it when the player reached the 3,000-hit mark.

The giraffe could weigh up to 3,000 pounds when fully grown.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Fort Worth Zoo
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<![CDATA[Texas Rangers Trade Yu Darvish to Los Angeles Dodgers]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 04:02:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-811456160.jpg

Minutes after the Monday's non-waiver trade deadline, baseball insiders received word that the Texas Rangers traded Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers for three minor leaguers.

The Dodgers sent 22-year-old infielder/outfielder Willie Calhoun, 19-year-old right-handed pitcher pitcher A.J. Alexy and 20-year-old infielder Brendon Davis to Texas for the Rangers' ace. All three are highly-rated minor-league prospects; not the Dodgers' top-ranked prospects, though many had doubts those top prospects were ever on the table.

Calhoun is batting nearly .300 with 23 homers for the Dodgers' AAA affiliate in Oklahoma City. Alexy had a 3.67 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 19 starts for the Dodgers' A team while Davis is batting .245 on the same team.

The Rangers were "confident" they'd be able to move their ace by the end of the day, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. It appears they submitted the trade in the final minutes before the 3 p.m. deadline.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were originally on the list of teams with reported interest in acquiring Darvish. MLB Network's Jon Morosi tweeted that they have had scouts watching his last few starts.

The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant tweeted that the Rangers were scouting Dodgers outfield prospect Alex Verdugo last week, though the Dodgers proved unwilling to move him. Verdugo is Baseball America's 35th best prospect.

The Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs were among the other teams with rumored interest in Darvish.

The Cubs and Indians — who faced off in the 2016 World Series — were among the 10 teams on Darvish's limited no-trade clause in his contract per Bowden.

The Dodgers made the most sense as a destination for Darvish. Despite owning baseball's best record, the team is approaching 30 years without a World Series title and wanted to add another top starting pitcher to pair with their Highland Park grad, Clayton Kershaw — currently on the disabled list — heading into the postseason.

The 30-year-old Darvish is due to become a free agent after the season. The Rangers were only planning to consider trading him if they felt they would be unable to re-sign him in the offseason, according to ESPN's Buster Olney.

In his 22 starts with the Texas Rangers this season, Darvish had a 4.01 ERA and 148 strikeouts against 115 hits and 45 walks in 137 innings. He is 6-9 overall, but 0-5 with a 5.81 ERA over his last eight starts, giving up 10 runs in his last outing.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MLB Trade Deadline: Rangers Trade Lucroy to Rockies]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 03:35:00 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-589033278.jpg

The Rangers are starting to make moves as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is leaving Arlington for the Rocky Mountains after Texas and Colorado agreed to a deal Sunday night, sending the two-time All-Star to the Rockies for a player to be named later.

Lucroy is in the middle of a career worst offensive season, hitting .242 with four home runs, 27 RBI and a .635 OPS in 77 games this year. The Rangers felt comfortable enough with Robinson Chirinos and Brett Nicholas at the catching position to make the move. Texas also has Jose Trevino waiting in the wings in Double-A Frisco.

Lucroy has thrown out 13 of 44 would-be base stealers this year. He has caught a major league-most 159 runners trying to steal since 2011.

The Rockies were on the lookout for a veteran catcher to go along with a young pitching staff down the stretch. Colorado currently has a solid lead in the N.L. Wild Card race.

"Getting Jonathan gives us a guy with some veteran presence behind the plate just like Ryan Hanigan as our young starters go into uncharted territory in the next two months," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "His track record is pretty good. The guy's an All-Star. He's had success in the major leagues both offensively and defensively, so we should feel good about this one. To get this type of player, it's going to pick everybody up."

The Rangers acquired Lucroy in a trade deadline deal with the Milwaukee Brewers one year ago Sunday. He hit .276 with 11 homers, 31 RBI and an OPS of .885 in his 47 games at the end of last season with the Rangers, who won the AL West title.

The 31-year old will be a free agent at the end of the season and is earning $5.25 million this year with $1.5 million remaining.

This could be the first of many potential moves for the Rangers as the club is rumored to be preparing to trade pitcher Yu Darvish. Starter Andrew Cashner, relievers Keone Kela and Jeremy Jeffress as well as pending free agent hitters Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli are said to be available.

The MLB's non-waiver trade deadline is 3 p.m. Monday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dreams Become Reality for 'Pudge' Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 03:29:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-824518338.jpg

The moment finally arrived.

Former Rangers catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez joined the greatest to ever play the game of baseball on Sunday afternoon as he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines were also part of the Class of 2017. All three were BBWAA selections to enter The Hall.

Pudge is considered one of the best catchers to ever step onto a baseball field. His 14 All-Star Game selections and 13 Gold Glove Awards are tops for any catcher in history. The Rangers signed Pudge at the age of 16 in 1988. He would go on to win the 1999 American League MVP by hitting .332 with 35 home runs, 113 RBI, 116 runs scored and 25 stolen bases.

He left the Rangers via free agency in 2002 and signed a one-year deal with the Florida Marlins. Pudge was named the National League Championship Series MVP, helping the Marlins win the World Series that season. Pudge would later retire as a member of the Rangers in 2012.

Now, he enters the Hall of Fame displaying the Rangers hat.

“This is such an incredible honor for me,” Rodriguez said. “A little kid from Puerto Rico with a big dream. Never let them take your dream away from you.”

Pudge took some time during his speech to tell a funny story about another Hall of Famer and Rangers legend, pitcher Nolan Ryan. The first time he caught Ryan was in 1991 and remembers it like it was yesterday.

“Nolan came in and I saw Nolan and I was very impressed to see him,” Rodriguez said. “The one thing he told me was ‘kid you don’t have to do too much’ and I said ‘OK.’ He told me ‘kid, all you got to do is put fingers down. I’ve got fastball, curveball, changup and the only thing you’ve got to do is put fingers down and I’ll throw the baseball to you.’ He ended up winning the game.”

Right down I-45, Bagwell would become an Astros legend after being acquired from the Boston Red Sox in 1990 in what is considered one of the more lopsided trades in baseball history. All it cost the Astros was right-handed pitcher Larry Anderson.

It was a move that launched Bagwell’s career as he would win the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 1991. Bagwell would later win the N.L. MVP in the shortened 1994 season that saw him make a run at the record books. Bagwell hit .368 with 39 homers and 116 RBI in just 110 games in a season that was cut short by a strike. He would play his entire 15-year career in Houston.

“What you've seen here today is a little boy's dreams come true," Bagwell said. "I am humbled."

Former baseball commissioner Bud Selig and decorated executive John Schuerholz were also elected by the veterans committee.

From humble beginnings to baseball immortality, two players that represented the Lone Star State during their careers took their rightful place in the Hall of Fame.

“Respect the game, love this game. Sometimes dreams come true,” added Rodriguez. “Look at me. I am here on this stage, this special place, and my dream has become a reality. God bless baseball."


Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Beltre Doubles for 3,000th Hit, 31st Player in The Club]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:12:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/usa-adrian-beltre-3000-hits.jpg

It finally happened on a hot and humid afternoon in July. Adrian Beltre made history.

The Rangers third baseman need just one hit on Sunday to join the exclusive 3,000-hit club. In the bottom of the fourth inning, magic was made.

Beltre laced an RBI double to left, becoming the 31st player to collect 3,000 career hits, which usually is a lock for the Hall of Fame. He is also the first Dominican-born player in major league history to collect 3,000 career hits.

“What happened today after the hit, it’s been the best moment in my life that I didn’t know how to feel,” said Beltre after the game. “Just the fact that today is Father’s Day in the Dominican, having done it on a day like this in the Dominican is quite an accomplishment for me.”

By the way, the Rangers lost to the Baltimore Orioles 10-6 but the game itself was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. At least it was on this day in history.

After the hit, teammates joined Beltre on the field to congratulate him, with some of the Orioles players joining in. Beltre’s three kids ran past him and out to right-center field, unveiled the “Adrian Beltre 3000 Career Hits” sign, then sprinted back towards second base to embrace their father.

“I had no idea what was going on,” added Beltre. “I saw them running past me, I thought they were coming to hug me but just passed me. They went to right field and I saw them pull that 3,000 sign. It was a nice moment. I saw the joy in their faces. My kids and my wife have been so supportive over the years, this moment was for them.”

Beltre also became just the third player to reach 3,000 hits playing primarily at the third base position, joining Hall of Famers George Brett and Wade Boggs in that category.

Of course, when Beltre stepped up to the podium during the postgame press conference, he brought his trademark humor with him.

“I’m here so I won’t be fined,” said Beltre, breaking out his best Marshawn Lynch impersonation. After a few moments of silence, Beltre started laughing and added “sorry, I had to do that.” He’s got jokes people.

Beltre is in his 20th season in the majors. He began his career with the Dodgers and played seven seasons in Los Angeles. Beltre then departed to Seattle and spent the next five years with the Mariners. After a one-year stint with the Boston Red Sox, he signed with the Rangers in 2011. This was a moment that Beltre admitted never crossed his mind when he started out with the Dodgers.

“Not even close,” said Beltre. “I wanted to be in the big leagues to compete. Never in my life did I ever think about collecting 3,000 hits. Playing 20 years, hitting 400 plus homers, I never expected that.”

Now at age 38, Beltre still is going strong and signed through next season. Anything after that is still up in the air.

“I’m going to go on a year after year basis,” said Beltre. “My main reason to stay is that I want to win a World Series. Obviously, if I don’t win it in the next three years and I don’t feel like my body is holding to play at the level I want to play and produce, I might just go home.”

Sunday was a big day for the Texas organization. The historic moment happened moments after former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Pudge had joked that he hoped Beltre would wait until Sunday to hit No. 3,000 so he could announce it at the podium during the induction ceremony.

That wish almost came true.

For those in attendance, it was a moment they will never forget, even in the Texas heat.

“He means so much to this organization, to this team,” said manager Jeff Banister. “There are things I learn every single day from him that are irreplaceable. We thank him for allowing us to tag along on this journey with him and be part of it. To be able to share that with him was emotional for a number of guys, if not all of us. In this game, those times are special. When it’s an individual achievement like this, they are incredible to watch, to be a part of. I know I’ll never forget it.”

Also important to note, the Fort Worth Zoo named a baby giraffe Beltre after the newest member of the 3,000-hit club.

It’s just one of the perks that comes with the territory.

Beltre is now one of two active players in the 3,000-hit club with Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki being the other. Beltre is also tied for 30th place on the hits list with Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com
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<![CDATA[Beltre at 2,999 Hits After Rangers' 4-0 Loss to Orioles]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 21:55:33 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/196*120/GettyImages-824360218.jpg

Adrian Beltre singled to get within one hit of 3,000 for his career in the Texas Rangers' 4-0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.

Beltre was 1 for 4, grounding a ball through the left side of the infield for a hit leading off the fourth. He had two chances after that to become the 31st major leaguer with 3,000 hits, but grounded out to short in the sixth and was retired on a double play in the ninth when third baseman Manny Machado made a slick snag on a short-hopper before a sidearm sling to second base.

Kevin Gausman (8-7) went 8 2-3 innings to win his fifth consecutive decision over seven starts. He struck out eight and threw 118 pitches.

Zach Britton converted his 56th straight save chance, and seventh this season. He relieved with two on and got Carlos Gomez to ground out, completed the Orioles' sixth shutout this season.

The Rangers, who had scored 28 runs the previous three games, were held scoreless for the fourth time.

Trey Mancini and Caleb Joseph both hit solo homers in the second off Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3-1).

The closest Texas came to scoring was when young slugger Joey Gallo led off the third with a towering shot to straightway center field. Adam Jones got back to the 8-foot wall, leaped and caught the ball that looked like it would be Gallo's 26th homer.

Beltre got loud cheers from the crowd of 44,658, including about 8,000 who bought tickets after he got two hits in Friday night's series opener. The only other active player in the 3,000-hit club is Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who is tied for 22nd all-time with Hall of Fame player Craig Biggio at 3,060.

After Orioles shortstop Ruben Tejada made an impressive backhanded stab deep in the hole and then threw him out to end the first, Beltre led off the fourth with his hit. It was another grounder to the left side -- that one getting beyond the reach of Tejada and into the outfield.

Beltre, a five-time Gold Glove winner, had his career-best and franchise-record errorless streak of 62 games at third base end with a throwing error in the seventh.

The error came when Beltre fielded a grounder by Machado and short-hopped the throw to first base. When Machado came back up in the ninth, he hit a foul pop on which Beltre ran a long way to make a highlight catch with his glove extended over his head.

Bibens-Dirkx, the 32-year-old rookie right-hander, started in place of righty Tyson Ross, who went on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand after his start last Saturday.

Bibens-Dirkx allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, with one strikeout and three walks.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: RHP Jeremy Hellickson's vehicle got rear-ended when he was on the way to the airport to join the Orioles after being traded from Philadelphia late Friday night. Manager Buck Showalter said the pitcher was OK, but his girlfriend had to go to the emergency room. Hellickson will now go to Baltimore, instead of joining the team for the finale in Texas on Sunday. .... Showalter said RHP Chris Tillman had "some all-body cramping" Friday night that probably affected him commanding his pitches.

UP NEXT

Orioles: LHP Wade Miley (4-9) starts as Baltimore tries to close the season series 6-1 against Texas.

Rangers: While Beltre goes for his 3,000th hit, lefty Martin Perez is scheduled to make his 20th start of the season. The Rangers have scored one run total for Perez (5-8, 4.67) in his last two starts.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Beltre 1 Hit From 3,000 After 4th-Inning Single for Rangers]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 12:58:39 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/new-new-billboard.jpg

Adrian Beltre had a single for his 2,999th career hit leading off the fourth inning of the Texas Rangers' game Saturday night against Baltimore.

That grounder through the left side of the infield in his second at-bat of the game put him within one hit of becoming the 31st player in the major league to reach 3,000 career hits. The 38-year-old third baseman would be the first player born in the Dominican Republic to do that.

Beltre, in his 20th big league season, had nine hits in the first four games of the homestand before Saturday night. This is his seventh season in Texas after previously playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners and Boston Red Sox.

A five-time Gold Glove third baseman, Beltre got loud cheers from a crowd anticipating history when he had a couple of assists in the first inning before his first at-bat when he grounded out. He got a loud ovation each time he was introduced when coming to bat in his 2,770th major league game.

The only other active player in the 3,000-hit club is Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who was 23rd on the all-time list with 3,060 hits going into Saturday night.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Tim Ciesco / NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Adrian Beltre Nears 3,000 Hits]]>Sat, 29 Jul 2017 12:50:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-609994354.jpg

Adrian Beltre had two RBI singles to increase his hit total to 2,998, Elvis Andrus homered and the Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-2 on Friday night.

Nomar Mazara had three doubles, driving in two runs in the first to put the Rangers ahead to stay. He also doubled in the third and fifth innings, scoring both times on singles by Beltre.

Andrew Cashner (6-8) allowed only a solo homer by Jonathan Schoop in his seven innings. The Rangers right-hander struck out four and walked two.

Beltre, the 38-year-old third baseman in his 20th major league season, is on the brink of becoming only the 31st player in the 3,000-hit club. Ichiro Suzuki is the only current active player with more than 3,000 hits after reaching that milestone last season.

After grounding out in the first, Beltre shattered his bat on a bloop single to center in the third, grounded a ball up the middle for a hit in the fifth, and had an infield popout in the seventh. He is 9 for 14 through four games of a nine-game home stand.

Beltre, who won his fifth Gold Glove last season, has also played 62 consecutive games at third base without an error -- a career best and the club record.

Chris Tillman (1-6) allowed eight runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings. He struck out six, but trailed 2-0 before recording his first out. He has allowed 17 runs in the first inning of his 14 starts.

Shin-Soo Choo drew a leadoff walk on Korean Heritage Night at the ballpark before Andrus singled and Mazara doubled. Choo walked again to start the third, before Andrus extended his career high with his 14th homer.

Tillman was gone after Mike Napoli's double in the fifth, which scored Mazara and moved Beltre to third. A two-run single by Carlos Gomez off reliever Richard Bleier made it 8-0.

Schoop's 23rd homer of the season, and eighth of July, came in the sixth. Chris Davis had an RBI single in the eighth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: OF Anthony Santander (elbow/shoulder), a Rule 5 draft pick, had two doubles in his first rehabilitation game for Double-A Bowie on Thursday night. Bowie's scheduled game Friday night was rained out.

Rangers: C Robinson Chirinos was back in the lineup for the first time since spraining his left ankle in a home-plate collision last Sunday at Tampa Bay. ... RHP Jake Diekman (colon) plans to throw another bullpen session Saturday, two days after throwing 35 pitches. He hopes to make his season debut by mid-August.

UP NEXT

Baltimore RHP Kevin Gausman is 4-0 in his last six starts, and the only run he allowed over 24 1/3 innings in the wins was scored by the Rangers on July 19.

RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (3-0, 4.53 ERA), the 32-year-old Rangers rookie, makes his first start since June 30. He pitches in the spot of RHP Tyson Ross, who went on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on the index finger of his pitching hand after his start Sunday in Tampa Bay.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Hall of Fame Finally Opens its Doors to Astros' Bagwell ]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 18:00:09 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Astros+Jeff+Bagwell.jpg

It was considered one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history.

In 1990, the Boston Red Sox were looking for bullpen help and found it in the likes of Houston Astros right-hander Larry Anderson. A deal was then made. In return, the Astros acquired a minor league third baseman named Jeff Bagwell.

Fast forward to today and Bagwell is part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017. He will be inducted along with former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez and Montreal Expos outfielder Tim Raines. Retired Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves executive John Shuerholz and former commissioner Bud Selig will join them after being elected by a veterans committee.

After arriving on the scene in Houston, Bagwell made the transition to first base and played his entire 15-year career with the Astros. The slugger took the baseball world by storm, winning the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 1991 and then the N.L. MVP in 1994. Bagwell was part of the Astros’ lineup that formed the famed “Killer B’s” along with fellow Hall of Famer Craig Biggio Sean Berry and Derek Bell. Lance Berkman was added later to the mix.

While Biggio is considered the face of the Astros franchise, Bagwell was just as important.  He’s the only player in MLB history to achieve six consecutive seasons with 30 home runs, 100 RBI, 100 runs scored and 100 walks. Bagwell is also just the fifth player to achieve 300 home runs, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 runs scored in his first 10 seasons.

But wait, there’s more.

Bagwell is a four-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger Award winner to go along with that MVP and Rookie of the Year awards. He was also a Gold Glove winner in 1994 and is the only first baseman to achieve the 30-30 club more than once.

He is considered one of the best of all-time at his position. Keep in mind, Bagwell spent the early part of his career hitting in the Astrodome, which wasn’t exactly home-run friendly. If the strike hadn’t shorted the 1994 season, he might have put up some monster numbers that year.

Not a bad resume. In fact, you can now officially say it’s a Hall of Fame resume.

We can talk numbers all day but Bagwell is also well-known for his unorthodox batting stance. It basically defied logic as a hitter. Bagwell would crouch low at the plate but instead of striding forward towards the ball, he would bring his front foot in and lean back before swinging. 

Hey, it was productive so if it’s not broke, why fix it? The stance was unconventional but it worked, which is why no hitting coach was going to mess with it. Bagwell would tinker with things here and there himself but nothing major.

A stellar career came to an end quicker than expected. Shortly after the beginning of the 2005 season, Bagwell started dealing with a chronic arthritic condition that actually began six years earlier. The issue caused Bagwell to miss three-quarters of the season. His last official major league plate appearance was in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series against the Chicago White Sox, which was a groundout.  The Astros would lose the World Series in a sweep at the hands of the White Sox. A comeback attempt fell short the following season and Bagwell would later announce his retirement.

Bagwell was eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2011. There was speculation of performing-enhancing drugs since he played during the time that was considered “the steroid era.” However, no concrete evidence was ever found that would implicate Bagwell. He finally made it into the Hall in his seventh year of eligibility.

The No. 5 jersey was officially retired by the Astros in 2007. During that ceremony, Hall of Fame outfielder Carl Yastrzemski delivered a special message to Bagwell, saying “I begged the Red Sox not to trade you when you were in the minors with us. Boston’s loss was Houston’s gain. See you in Cooperstown.”

Yes, indeed.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Adrian Beltre: Through the Years]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 15:16:50 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-452286106.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers' Adrian Beltre on Brink of 3,000th Career Hit]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 22:28:04 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/2011-ws-game-5-14.jpg

Adrian Beltre just wanted to work hard, be consistent and earn respect in the game. As a young player, he never even thought about historical numbers like 3,000 hits.

"Never in my mind did I think that I was going to be in the position where I'm at right now," Beltre said. "If I tell you that, that I was, I'm lying. For me, I just wanted to be a good player. ... When you play for a long time, you accumulate stuff."

Now 38 and in his 20th major league season, the Texas Rangers third baseman goes into a weekend series at home against Baltimore just four hits shy of 3,000 in his career. Only 30 other players have done that, with Ichiro Suzuki the only current active player in that club.

Next will be the five-time Gold Glove winner who got his first hit as a 19-year-old rookie with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 24, 1998, four years after they had signed the kid from the Dominican Republic. This is Beltre's seventh season in Texas, where he finally made it to a World Series, and he is signed through next season.

"Everything you see out there, to maintain that level of intensity, you can tell how much he loves being around his team and the game," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's got to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, doesn't he? I mean, what else do you have to do?"

On the same weekend that former Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez is in Cooperstown for his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Beltre could get his 3,000th hit.

Beltre has some quirky habits -- he checks his own swing to umpires, hates being touched on the head and there are the shuffling feet and swiveling legs in the batter's box on inside pitches or those in the dirt .

But behind that imposing stare he sometimes shows is a guy who just really loves playing the game. He is a .286 career hitter who has hit for the cycle three times, and been a league leader in hits, doubles and home runs.

"This guy plays with a relaxed intensity that you want your guys to play with. He's very focused, but he's very confident and he's comfortable in the fact that he's going to prevail in every situation," Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And he has an unmistakable joy when on the field."

Still the same as when Scioscia was still in the Dodgers organization and first saw Beltre as a 15-year-old in the Dominican Republic, and then coming up in the minor leagues.

"You just marvel, I think, at the consistency of his game over a long period of time and you know it takes a lot to be that good that long," said Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly, an AL MVP and six-time All-Star during his 14 seasons playing for the New York Yankees.

Hall of Famer players George Brett and Wade Boggs are the only primary third basemen in the 3,000-hit club. Beltre just overtook Dave Winfield for 21st all-time with 1,095 extra-base hits. Beltre also passed Cal Ripken Jr. for 15th with his 604 doubles, and he ranks 38th with his 454 homers .

Since missing the first 51 games this season because of calf issues, Beltre is hitting a team-best .307 with nine homers and 34 RBIs in his 48 games.

Beltre was 7 for 10 in three games this week against the Marlins before a bizarre scene in the eighth inning Wednesday night, when he got ejected from the game while waiting on deck to bat again.

Second-base umpire and crew chief Gerry Davis motioned for Beltre to get closer to the on-deck circle. Beltre, already with a homer and two doubles in what became a 22-10 loss, was tossed when he instead dragged the large plastic mat marking the circle closer to him .

"There was no need for him to call me out there. There was no need to throw me out," a still-baffled Beltre said afterward. "I don't think I showed him up. I just did what he told me to do. ... He took away an at-bat from me. I don't think that was necessary."

The Rangers have six more home games before hitting the road again next week. After Baltimore, there are three games against Seattle, one of Beltre's former teams. Felix Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young winner and one of Beltre's close friends, is scheduled to start the series opener Monday night.

His teammates are counting every hit, even if Beltre tries not to keep track. Manager Jeff Banister said nobody leaves the dugout when he is about to go to the plate, all of them crowding on the rail to be as close as possible.

"What he's been doing for his career and the way he's done it is just remarkable," said shortstop Elvis Andrus, nearly a decade younger than Beltre but the longest-tenured Rangers player in his ninth season. "I can't wait. I think I'm way more excited than he is."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Marlins Record 22-10 Win Over Rangers; Beltre Closer to 3K]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 22:24:59 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-823278358.jpg

Marlins leadoff hitter Dee Gordon homered on the first pitch thrown by Yu Darvish, and things got no better for the Texas Rangers as Miami set a franchise record for runs in a 22-10 victory Wednesday night.

Christian Yelich hit a solo homer in the first for the Marlins, and Marcell Ozuna's three-run triple in the fourth made it 9-2 to chase Darvish (6-9). J.T. Realmuto and Giancarlo Stanton later went deep, Stanton's 468-foot drive in the eighth being his majors-leading 33rd homer.

Adrian Beltre homered and had two doubles, giving the Rangers third baseman 2,996 career hits before he was ejected from the game while waiting on deck to bat again in the eighth.

When second-base umpire and crew chief Gerry Davis motioned for Beltre to get closer to the on-deck circle, Beltre instead dragged the large plastic piece marking the circle closer to him. Manager Jeff Banister also got tossed after coming out to argue the decision.

Yelich finished 4 for 5 with a homer and three doubles, a night after homering with two doubles. The Marlins had 22 hits, and their last four runs came in the ninth when backup catcher Brett Nicholas pitched for Texas.

The miserable outing by Darvish came in his last start before Monday's non-waiver trade deadline amid speculation that the All-Star right-hander from Japan could be dealt to another team. Darvish, who can be a free agent after the season, struck out five but allowed a career-high 10 runs and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings.

Miami sent 13 batters to the plate and scored nine times in the top of the fourth that took more than a half-hour to play. Realmuto greeted reliever Jeremy Jeffress with a two-run homer that scored Ozuna, the last of 10 batters Darvish faced in his last inning.

Darvish is 0-5 with a 5.81 ERA over his last eight starts. That is the longest losing streak in his career.

Beltre went deep to start the Texas fourth against Jose Urena (9-4), who allowed five runs with five strikeouts and four walks while pitching into the sixth.

With his 1,095 extra-base hits, Beltre overtook Dave Winfield for 21st all-time. His 604 doubles pushed him past Cal Ripken Jr. for 15th on that list, and his 454 homers rank 38th.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins: Right-handed reliever Kyle Barraclough was put on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder impingement. He threw a scoreless inning in Texas on Monday.

Rangers: C Robinson Chirinos, out since spraining his left ankle in a collision at the plate Sunday, said he felt good after he did some catching drills and ran some before the game. Chirinos could be back in the lineup Friday.

UP NEXT

Marlins: LHP Chris O'Grady (1-1, 5.40 ERA) is scheduled to make his fourth career start, and his second in a row against the Reds. He got a no decision in Cincinnati on Saturday, when he struck out six and walked six over 4 2-3 innings.

Rangers: Before a weekend series at home against Baltimore, the Rangers have a day off Thursday.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Crush Marlins 10-4 Behind Gallo's 2 Home Runs ]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 22:26:11 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers+Joey+Gallo.jpg

You can’t say the Rangers aren’t making things interesting.

After being shut out Monday night, the bats came alive on Tuesday against the Miami Marlins at The Globe. Home runs make things fun and the Rangers had plenty of fun, sending a total of four baseballs into the outfield seats, two of those courtesy of Joey Gallo. When the smoke cleared, the Rangers walked away with the 10-4 win.

Texas fell behind in the first inning after Rangers lefty Cole Hamels gave up an RBI double to Christian Yelich. However, the answer was found in the second inning when Mike Napoli left no doubt and started up the Party at Napoli’s with a solo homer to left, snapping the Rangers’ 21-inning scoreless streak at The Globe in the process.

Gallo did his thing in the third when he took the first pitch of the inning and sent it to the upper deck in left to give the Rangers the lead. They tacked on a couple of more runs in that frame on a sac fly from Adrian Beltre and infield single by Jonathan Lucroy.

Then in the fourth, Gallo sent a missile that stayed inside the right field foul pole for his second homer of the night and 25th of the season, which leads the team.

“I just try to stick to my approach, my plan,” said Gallo. “Just been working really pretty hard with the coaches, everybody has and I think it’s starting to show now.”

Hamels took a 6-1 lead into the fifth before Yelich struck again, this time for a three-run homer to cut the lead to 6-4. The Rangers second ace kept the rest of the Marlins lineup in check by keep most of his pitches low. The only time he went high was to Yelich, who made the most of it. Hamels allowed four runs on six hits in six innings to move his record to 5-1 this season. He struck out five in the effort.

The Rangers opened it up after that, scoring four runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by solo homer by Rougned Odor.

“The hitters, they came through and really put up some good runs,” Hamels said after the game. “That’s always kind of nice. That really elievates some of the pressure and you can kind of step back and try to get to your gameplan and try to execute.”

Texas has now won four of their last five to move the record to 49-51. They currently sit three and a half games behind the second wild card spot. When Hamels arrived in 2015, he said he believed the Rangers were a playoff team. Texas would later go on a run to win the division. Even though the division is out of sights this time around, does Hamels still have that same playoff feeling?

“Of course, this is baseball,” replied Hamels. “You see things different every year and the unexpected always happens. If you always look at it, the wild card is kind of the team that usually goes further because they are the ones that have to battle the whole year. They didn’t have things handed to them.”

Wednesday is Darvish Day and it could be the final one in Arlington. Teams are interested in the other Rangers ace in Yu Darvish and the organization could make that move since he’s a free agent at the end of the season. In fact, during the postgame show, former Rangers pitcher and current analyst Darren Oliver had the solid take, saying he felt this would be the final start at The Globe for Darvish, who’s 6-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts this season. The next few days could get very interesting as the trade deadline approaches.

 The series finale is Wednesday at The Globe. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.

* Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre went 0-for-3 with a sac fly in the win. He remains seven hits shy of the 3,000 career hit milestone.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Excitement Surrounds Beltre's Chase for 3,000-Hit Milestone]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:27:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Beltre+Mazara+HiFive.jpg

2,993.

That’s the number of career hits Adrian Beltre currently has. If my math is correct, he’s seven hits shy of joining the 3,000 hit club. That’s virtually a lock to get into the Hall of Fame. History may happen sooner than later.

“It’s incredible to watch,” said manager Jeff Banister. “I think it gives us some energy, just the ability to be a part of it. For him, I can only imagine the thoughts that are going through his mind.”

The Rangers third baseman and probably heart and soul of the team had four hits in Monday’s loss at home to the Miami Marlins. It was his 36th career four-hit game. He just gets better with age with the big moment just around the corner.

“It’s amazing,” said shortstop Elvis Andrus. “I can’t wait. I think I’m way more excited than he is. I think he is doing a really good job under control. “

Beltre won’t talk much about the lead-up to the milestone. He’s never really been one to talk about himself or his play. It’s all about the team for Beltre, which is why he would like to get this moment over with so the focus will be on the current happenings in the wild card race.

 “He is a consummate team guy and he’s looking to win baseball games,” said Banister. “That’s number one on his list.”

However, his teammates have no problem talking about the road to 3,000.

“I feel more pressure than him,” said centerfielder Carlos Gomez with a huge smile. “I can’t wait until he gets to 3,000. I don’t know how we are going to react.”

 “As a team, we are counting all the hits,” added Andrus. “He will never do that. That’s just the way he is. Believe me, everyone is excited, everybody is ready to see that and to experience that.”

The Rangers have eight games remaining on the current homestand, so the faithful in Arlington may get to see that magic moment on the home turf. At the rate that Beltre is going, that could be this weekend with the Baltimore Orioles in town.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[That Hall of Fame Moment is Getting Closer for Pudge]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 18:00:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers+Jersey+patch.jpg

The moment is getting closer.

In six days, Ivan Rodriguez will take his spot among the greatest to ever play the game of baseball when he’s inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Pudge becomes the sixth player who wore a Rangers uniform to enter the hallow halls of baseball immortality in Cooperstown. Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Goose Gossage and Bert Blyleven were all part of the Rangers organization at one time. Pudge also becomes the 18th catcher to be inducted into The Hall.

This Sunday is a chance for the Rangers family to stick their chest out and be proud.

“It’s a great moment for Pudge and his family,” said Rangers manager Jeff Banister. “I can remember Pudge as a 16-year old down in Port Charlotte throwing a ball all over the place as a catcher, picking everybody off and hitting line drives.”

The 14-time All-Star and 1999 American League MVP played 21 seasons in the majors, 13 of those with the Rangers. He went on to add 13 Gold Gloves and a World Series championship with the Marlins in 2003 to his impressive resume.

The Rangers will wear a jersey patch and special game socks during their weekend series in Arlington with the Baltimore Orioles to honor Pudge’s Hall of Fame induction. The RODRIGUEZ 7 patch will be on the right jersey sleeves. In addition, the special red Stance Socks will include PUDGE and 7 on the sides.

Pudge will also become the fourth native from Puerto Rico to enter The Hall, which means a lot to his fellow countrymen.

“This one is gonna be special – not only for the organization but for the Latin Americans,” said centerfielder Carlos Gomez. “He’s a role model for all of us and we are really proud.”

Pudge remains active with the organization as a special assistant to the general manager, team ambassador, instructor and pre-and-post game host for Rangers games. The knowledge that is brought from a Hall of Famer also carries great weight in the Rangers clubhouse.

“It’s important to us,” said pitcher Martin Perez. “He’s played a long time at this level. He got the chance to talk to us when we we’re not playing good – he would just come through here and sit with us and tell us what we need to do. He’s always telling us to try to turn the page and come back every day with good preparation and be ready for the game.”

Pudge is already a member of the Rangers Hall of Fame and will become the third Ranger to have his number retired by the club when No. 7 is added to the left field façade at The Globe on August 12. The on-field ceremony is slated to start around 6:45 p.m. before the game against the Astros.

As Sunday gets closer, the Pudge admits the nerves may start to kick in a little. Or maybe not, according to Banister.

“Pudge is never nervous.” 

]]>
<![CDATA[Beltre Records Four More Hits in Rangers' 4-0 Loss to Miami]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 21:35:16 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-821850464.jpg

Giancarlo Stanton hit more two home runs and moved into a tie for the major league lead, sending Adam Conley and the Miami Marlins over the Texas Rangers 4-0 on Monday night.

Stanton has 32 homers, including six in his last seven games, and matched Yankees rookie Aaron Judge for most in the majors. Stanton hit a two-run drive in the first inning and a solo shot in the eighth.

Texas star Adrian Beltre went 4 for 4, giving him 2,993 career hits. He is in line to become the 31st big leaguer to reach 3,000.

Conley (3-3) pitched seven impressive innings during his second start since getting recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on July 18. He allowed seven hits and struck out five as he pitched past the sixth inning for the first time this season.

Martin Perez (5-8) went seven innings.

Dee Gordon opened the game with a double and Stanton put Miami ahead.

The Marlins made it 3-0 in the sixth when Christian Yelich scored from first on a double by Marcell Ozuna.

Stanton hit his 11th homer in July, connecting in the eighth off reliever Jeremy Jeffress. Stanton also threw out a runner from right field.

MOMENT OF SILENCE

The Rangers had a moment of silence before the game for longtime fan Sister Frances Evans, who died Friday, 10 days before her 91st birthday. Sister Frances had attended games in Arlington since 1972. She and Sister Maggie Hession were well-known at Rangers games as the "Ranger Nuns."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins: DH Justin Bour left the game and is day-to-day with a right oblique strain after grounding into a double play in the first inning. ... RHP Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A, while LHP Hunter Cervenka was recalled. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said it was a move that will allow him to bring an extra lefty out of the bullpen.

Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross was put on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his right index finger. C Brett Nicholas was recalled from Triple-A after C Robinson Chirinos sprained an ankle Sunday. Chirinos is still on the active roster and could play in case of an emergency situation.

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Dan Straily will make his 21st start looking for his eighth win. He has allowed eight hits or more in back-to-back losses.

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels will make his 11th start and is looking to bounce back after giving up nine hits in his first loss of the season against Baltimore on July 20.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Starting Righty Ross to 10-Day DL; C Nicholas Recalled]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:17:14 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tyson-ross-rangers.jpg

Rangers starter Tyson Ross has been put on the 10-day disabled list because of a blister on his right index finger.

Texas made the move Monday before the series opener against Miami to start a nine-game homestand. It was a day after Ross allowed five runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings at Tampa Bay.

Ross (2-2, 7.52 ERA) has allowed 14 runs over seven innings his last two starts. Ross has started seven games for the Rangers since his mid-June debut after missing the start of the season while recovering from offseason surgery to correct Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Triple-A All-Star catcher Brett Nicholas was recalled from Round Rock.

Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos left Sunday's game with a sprained left ankle after a collision at the plate. X-rays were negative. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Complete the Sweep of the Rays]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 16:39:52 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers+Rougie+Napoli.jpg

If the Rangers wanted to keep any hope alive when it comes to talking playoffs, a sweep in Tampa would be much appreciated.

Mission accomplished.

Texas walked into St. Petersburg and put their feet up on the furniture at Tropicana Field, taking all three games from the Rays after Sunday’s 6-5 win, in the process continuing to hang around in the wild card race. Keep in mind; the Rays were sitting in one of the two A.L. wild card spots before the start of the weekend. This was a must-win series if there ever was one approaching the end of July.

The brooms were being brought out of the closet early after the Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the second on a sac fly from Mike Napoli. Rougned Odor followed that up with a solo crush to right to increase the lead by a run.

However, it didn’t last long as the Rays got to starter Tyson Ross, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second and three more in the fourth.  Ross struggled with control this time around, walking four in just over four innings of work. All five runs were allowed.

Then the Power Rangers took charge. Joey Gallo went Joey Gallo-mode, taking a pitch middle-in and sending a missile into the right field seats to cut the lead to two. Then in the eighth, Odor doubled the fun with his second homer of the day, a two-run shot to tie the game up at five. The line kept moving when the next batter up, Carlos Gomez, got a hanger over the middle of the plate and launched it to the leftfield bleachers for what would be the game-deciding home run.

Jose LeClerc took the mound in the ninth and was able to seal the deal but did manage to make it interesting. LeClerc walked two but struck out Steven Souza Jr. for the final out to complete the sweep. Important to note here that all three wins for the Rangers were of the comeback variety.

Texas is now two games under .500 at 48-50 but only 2.5 games back in the wild card race. The Rangers return to the friendly confines of The Globe this week to take on another team from the Sunshine State, the Miami Marlins. Lefty Martin Perez gets the ball on Monday night and then it’s Cole Hamels turn Tuesday evening.

First pitch for both games is slated for 7:05 p.m.

 Trade Deadline News:

*With the Rangers gauging trade interest in Yu Darvish, the Yankees may be entering the picture. New York reportedly scouted Darvish’s start on Friday. Apparently the Yankees weren’t the only ones in the building as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs were also on hand to take a good look at the Rangers ace.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rangers Turn 3 Rays Miscues into 4-3 Win]]>Sat, 22 Jul 2017 23:28:57 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/177*120/RANGERS14.jpg

The breaks are starting to go the Texas Rangers' way.

Texas turned three Tampa Bay miscues into a three-run sixth inning and the Rangers beat the Rays 4-3 on Saturday night.

The Rangers took a 4-3 lead during the decisive sixth when two runs scored after center fielder Mallex Smith misplayed Adrian Beltre's two-out deep fly ball, and Beltre scored on two wild pitches by Chris Archer with Mike Napoli at the plate.

"It's one of those situations that just kind of goes our way," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "We haven't had a lot of those. We were able to take advantage of it."

Smith said it was a ball that should have been caught.

"I just shanked it," Smith said. "Just a bad play. That's about it. I was right there up under it. I just missed it."

Elvis Andrus, who entered the series hitless in 16 at-bats, homered in his second consecutive three-hit game for the Rangers, who have won two straight following a five-game skid.

Andrew Cashner (5-8) gave up three runs and four hits over six innings. Alex Claudio, the third Rangers reliever, got four outs for his fourth save.

Claudio went two scoreless innings in Texas' 4-3, 10-inning win over the Rays on Friday night to get his second win.

"He's been our workhorse right there in the bullpen," Andrus said.

Archer (7-6) allowed four runs, four hits and struck out 11 to set a team record with his 24th career game with double-digit strikeouts. David Price had 23 double-digit strikeout games with the Rays.

Steven Souza Jr. had an RBI single and Evan Longoria hit a two-run single as the Rays went up 3-0 in the third.

Archer retired his first 10 batters before Andrus homered in the fourth. Andrus had a homer and two RBIs Friday night.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (left intercostal strain) will make his third rehab start Monday with Double-A Frisco.

Rays: Reliever Jonny Venters, trying to comeback after multiple elbow surgeries, has eight scoreless innings between Class-A Charlotte and the Gulf Coast League Rays.

DEADLINE LOOMING

Texas general manager Jon Daniels says the priority remains to win this year but that the team will also "be pragmatic and really consider our options" heading into the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of the month. The Rangers have three starting pitchers, including Yu Darvish, who could be free agents after the season.

GETTING CLOSE

Beltre moved within 13 hits of becoming the 31st player to have 3,000 with an infield single in the fourth.

LIKES THE PARK

Andrus is hitting .331 (79 for 239) with six homers and 35 RBIs at Tropicana Field.

DONE DEAL

The Rays acquired reliever Sergio Romo from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations. The three-time World Series champion with San Francisco had been designated for assignment Thursday. "I'm excited," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's a guy who's got big-game experience and pitched in a lot of high leverage situations."

UP NEXT

Rangers RHP Tyson Ross (2-2, 7.22 ERA) will make his seventh start since returning after surgery to relieve Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in Sunday's series finale.

Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (6-4) looks to go 5-0 against the Rangers Sunday. He will also try to stop a stretch of allowing a homer in 14 straight games. Since Baseball Reference data is first available in 1913, only seven pitchers have had a streak that long.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Andrus Snaps 10th-Inning Tie, Rangers Beat Rays 4-3]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 20:58:53 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-698893808.jpg

Elvis Andrus homered early, and then snapped a 10th-inning tie with a two-out infield single that gave the struggling Texas Rangers a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night.

Andrus, who homered in the first inning, hit a sharp grounder off Brad Boxberger (2-1) that forced Evan Longoria to make a diving stop. Pinch runner Delino Shields scored when the third baseman to was unable to complete the throw to first base.

Alex Claudio (2-0) pitched two innings in relief of Yu Darvish to help Texas stop a five-game losing streak. The left-hander gave up a leadoff single to Steven Souza Jr. in the 10th, but avoided further damage by getting Adeiny Hechavarria to bunt into a double play and Mallex Smith to fly out.

Rays starter Alex Cobb took a three-hitter and a 3-1 lead into the ninth, but couldn't finish off the Rangers, who erased their deficit with Joey Gallo's double and Shin-Soo Choo's 14th homer within a three-pitch span.

Other than allowing a trio of solo homers, Darvish was outstanding for the Rangers.

The All-Star right-hander yielded five hits, walked one and struck out 12 over eight innings, yet was in line to drop a career-high fifth consecutive decision before the Rangers rallied against Cobb in the ninth.

The Rays built their lead on homers by Brad Miller, Corey Dickerson and Smith, whose eighth-inning shot made it 3-1.

Things shifted quickly when manager Kevin Cash decided against turning the game over to closer Alex Colome, who leads the AL with 26 saves, to begin the ninth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: Manager Jeff Banister said Joey Gallo, who has been slowed by a sore left hamstring, is not ready to play on a regular basis in the outfield. Gallo is playing first base and DH.

Rays: Souza, who injured his left hip sliding Wednesday, was out of the lineup but pinch-hit in the 10th. ... CF Kevin Kiermaier, who's missed 35 games with a broken right hip, says his rehab has been "pretty much pain free" and expects to return in early to mid-August.

NICE CROWD

Attendance was announced as 24,461, up nearly 9,000 from Tampa Bay's average home attendance of 15,681, which ranks last in the majors. Friday was the first time the Rays played a home game after the All-Star break while in playoff contention since Sept. 23, 2013. They went on win a Game 163 tiebreaker to claim a wild-card berth that season.

UP NEXT

Rangers RHP Andrew Cashner (4-8), who's 1-1 with a 1.98 ERA in two starts this month, goes against Rays RHP Chris Archer (7-5) Saturday night. Archer has worked at least six innings in 11 consecutive starts, the longest streak of his career.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pudge Gets Ready to Enter Hall of Fame Next Weekend]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 16:50:25 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ivan+rodriguez+hall+of+fame.jpg

The countdown is on for Ivan Rodriguez.

Next weekend, “Pudge” will take his place among the greats in the game when he enters the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

So are the nerves kicking in yet the former Rangers catcher?

“No, not really,” Rodriguez said during a conference call on Friday.  “I’m really excited. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous. The days are getting closer to be there in the Hall of Fame. It’s going to be fun.”

Pudge was a first-ballot selection for Cooperstown and will enter The Hall as a member of the Rangers. He played 13 seasons with the team after being drafted by Texas as a 16-year old from Puerto Rico.

The career is full of memorable moments and milestones. Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star, 13-time Gold Glove winner and 1999 American League MVP. He also won a World Series in 2003 with the Florida Marlins, now known as the Miami Marlins.

As the moment gets closer, he's had a chance to get some advice from some Hall of Famers who’s been there, done that in Roberto Alomar and Greg Maddux.

“It’s going to be a lot, a lot going on, but at the same time enjoy it,” said Rodriguez. “Have fun. Try to enjoy everything that is going on during that weekend.”

Rodriguez will be inducted along with Houston Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell, Montreal Expos outfielder Tim Raines, longtime Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves general manager John Schuerholz and former major league baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

Also expected to be in attendance is Gloria Oates, the widow of former Rangers manager Johnny Oates. Texas won division titles in 1996 and 1998-99 under the leadership of Oates, who passed away in 2004.

"I have so much respect for Johnny Oates,” said Rodriguez, who played for Oates on those Rangers teams. “Having her there is going to be a very special moment."

The induction is scheduled for July 30 at 12:30 p.m. CST.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Rangers Gauging Interest in Yu Darvish]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 14:34:15 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Rangers+Yu+Darvish.jpg

Will he stay or will he go?

The ongoing saga concerning the future of pitcher Yu Darvish in a Rangers uniform takes another interesting turn. Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reported earlier this morning that Texas was open to at least discussing possible deals on the table for righty, who’s due to become a free agent after the season.

One team that was said to show some interest is the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, a trade between the two teams is more plausible now than before the All-Star Break.

The Cubs originally didn’t seem like a spot for Darvish simply because they were looking for controllable pitchers to stick in the rotation for the long term, while Darvish would likely be considered a rental before hitting the free agent market.

On the other side, the Rangers weren’t completely sold on idea of letting their ace go. In fact, Texas wasn’t sold on moving anyone while still in contention for an A.L. wild card. Plus, there was the feeling the club could also sign Darvish to a deal that would keep him in Arlington.

“I think wants to be here,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told NBC 5 sports director Newy Scruggs last month. “In his own ways, he’s become a leader on this team. Behind the scenes, you see more than up front, just the way he handles certain personalities and how he interacts with other people.  We would love to have him back.”

Important to also point out that Daniels said he would be open to talks and evaluating where things stand with the entire team leading up the trade deadline.

Now, here we are approaching the end of July. That deadline is right around the corner. A week of decision-making is about to happen.

The Rangers stumbled out of the gate after the All-Star Break, losing five straight, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles. The wild card spot is slowing slipping away. The crazy thing is despite how bad the Rangers have played recently, they’re still in the chase.

Meanwhile in the senior circuit, the Cubs have caught fire, having won six straight games to start the second half and now have the N.L. Central Division title in their sights. The Cubs recently landed pitcher Jose Quintana in a blockbuster deal with the cross-town White Sox and appear to be interested in acquiring more arms for a shot to defend their title.

Let’s just say a deal happens and Darvish is sent to a contender, whether it would be the Cubs or anyone else who gets in the mix. Does that mean his days in Arlington are officially over?

Not exactly.

Take a look at the New York Yankees situation with reliever Aroldis Chapman last season. The Yankees sent him to the Windy City and got a prospect package in return from the Cubs. Chapman helps the Cubs break the curse and win the World Series, and then returns to New York on a free agent deal.

It’s not out of the realm of possibility the same thing could happen with Darvish and the Rangers. That’s just the way baseball go.

However, Darvish may not be the only name floated out there as a trade piece for the Rangers. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy and first baseman Mike Napoli might also be on the move should Texas continue to slip. Just like with Darvish, both Lucroy and Napoli could walk at the end of the season. Even if the Rangers jump back in the middle of the wild card race, Lucroy could still be dealt to shore up the bullpen, which has been a big reason Texas is in this situation. The emergence of Robinson Chirinos at the catcher position has helped make that more of a possibility.

As for the here and now, Darvish takes the mound Friday night against the Rays in what may be the most important series of the season for the Rangers, at least right now. Tampa is one of the teams the Rangers will need to catch in the wild card standings. The good news for the Rangers is that Darvish is 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA in five career starts against the Rays.

Right now, it’s just the business of gauging interest. This time next week, it could be a whole new ballgame.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orioles Hit 4 HRs, Beat Rangers 9-7 to Complete 4-Game Sweep]]>Fri, 21 Jul 2017 04:13:12 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-819925196.jpg

Down by four runs and going up against unbeaten Cole Hamels, the Baltimore Orioles used the long ball and a relentless offense to pull out a victory.

Why, it was just like old times.

Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones both homered and drove in three runs, and the Orioles rallied to beat Hamels and the Texas Rangers 9-7 on Thursday night for a four-game sweep.

Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis also went deep for the Orioles, who trailed 5-1 in the fifth inning before coming back to hand Hamels (4-1) his first loss in 10 starts this season.

Baltimore had 10 hits — three homers, a double and six singles — from the fifth through the eighth innings.

"That's some things we've done in the past that put us in a good position in April and part of May," manager Buck Showalter said. "Hopefully it's a sign of getting back to doing some of those things."

The Orioles' four-game winning streak is their longest since a six-game run in early May, and it puts them within three games of .500 (46-49) for the first time since July 4.

"When you win, it's different," Schoop said. "You have fun."

Baltimore hit 10 home runs in the series and outscored Texas 34-11.

Miguel Castro (2-1) worked the sixth for Baltimore after starter Wade Miley allowed five runs over five innings.

Mike Napoli homered for the Rangers, whose five-game skid matches their season high.

"This is a team that prior to the break was swinging the bats well, throwing it well, pitching well," manager Jeff Banister said. "To say that just is going to completely vanish for an extended period of time, I don't believe in that. I still believe in this core group of players and how they play."

Adrian Beltre had two hits for Texas and has 2,985 for his career, tied with Sam Rice for 31st place on the all-time list.

Hamels brought a 21-inning scoreless streak into the game and extended it to 24 — third-longest of his career — before Schoop homered in the fourth.

Jones and Trumbo connected in the fifth, and Hamels was lifted after Baltimore used three straight singles to pull even in the sixth. Jones greeted Jeremy Jeffress with an RBI double, and Schoop capped the uprising with a two-run single for an 8-5 lead.

Davis homered in the seventh, and the Rangers scored two in the ninth off Zach Britton.

Hamels gave up seven runs, along with a season-high nine hits and three home runs.

"The way that I pitched myself into situations and not finishing off hitters in counts that are favorable to me, that's unacceptable on my part," the left-hander said.

Diekman Returns
Texas LHP Jake Diekman threw his first bullpen session since undergoing surgery to remove his colon in January. Diekman, who has pitched in 283 games over five years, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as a child. A flare-up of the condition led to offseason surgery.

"Pretty crisp early on," Banister said. "Fatigued in the middle of it. That's to be expected. I saw a lot of joy in a guy that hasn't been on a mound in a long time."

Hot Stuff
The Orioles skipped batting practice, not because they scored 22 runs in the previous two games but because the heat index was around 102 degrees.

"It didn't make a whole lot of sense," manager Buck Showalter said.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (4-1, 2.64 ERA in 30 games) was activated from the DL. He had been sidelined since June 27 with a sore right shoulder. To make room on the roster, Texas designated INF Pete Kozma for assignment. Kozma hit .111 with two RBIs over 28 games.

Orioles: Rule 5 OF Anthony Santander (right forearm strain) is expected to begin a rehabilitation assignment next Thursday. He hasn't played this season.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish (6-8, 3.45 ERA) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Tampa Bay. He's 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA and 40 strikeouts in five career starts against the Rays.

Orioles: The Houston Astros, who own the best record in the AL, come to town for a three-game series. RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (4-5, 7.01 ERA) starts the opener Friday night.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Orioles Overpower Rangers 10-2]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:06:43 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-819077372.jpg

All of a sudden, the Baltimore Orioles' starting rotation is pitching magnificently.

The question is: Has this struggling staff finally found its groove, or is it because the opposition is the Texas Rangers?

Kevin Gausman pitched six innings of four-hit ball, Adam Jones homered and scored three runs and Baltimore beat the faltering Rangers 10-2 on Wednesday night.

Gausman (6-7) gave up one run, struck out eight and walked two. The right-hander came in with a 6.39 ERA and had yielded a total of 14 runs in his last two starts.

Though the Orioles' faulty rotation is one big reason why the team is four games under .500, the starters in this series have combined to allow three runs over 18 innings.

"It's a roll we'd like to get on," manager Buck Showalter said. "Start kind of passing the baton to the next guy."

Having thus far outscored Texas 25-4 in the series, the Orioles will attempt to complete a four-game sweep on Thursday.

"I think we all know that we need to pitch better and, you know, we're trying to do that," Gausman said. "Obviously the offense is what's kind of given us a bigger margin for error."

Trey Mancini contributed two hits in a seven-run seventh inning, including a bases-loaded triple, and Jonathan Schoop finished with three hits and three RBIs.

Joey Gallo hit his 22nd home run for the Rangers, who have dropped four straight and scored only eight runs in their last five games.

"We have to continue to believe in our offense. That's a challenge for us right now," manager Jeff Banister said. "It's been a bit of a stretch where one run has been the case for us and it's coming off solo shots."

Adrian Beltre hit a fourth-inning double to move within 17 hits of 3,000 for his career. It was his 602nd double, breaking a tie with Barry Bonds for 16th place on the all-time list.

But there were few other highlights for the Rangers, now 2-4 on a 10-game trip out of the All-Star break.

"It just seems tough to score right now," said Elvis Andrus, who went 0 for 4.

Texas had eight hits — only two for extra bases.

"We can score runs. We need to get back to that and show our identity again," Gallo said. "I don't think anyone in this clubhouse is worried or panicking."

Jones got Baltimore started with a leadoff homer off Martin Perez (5-7), and Schoop made it 3-0 with a two-run double in the third.

Gallo connected in the fifth, but the Orioles pulled away in the seventh. Baltimore got six hits and took advantage of an error by catcher Robinson Chirinos to score four unearned runs.

Make No Mistake
Beltre played his 54th consecutive errorless game, the longest run of his career and a team record by a third baseman.

Buddy Bell and Hank Blalock both played 53 error-free games in a row at third base for Texas. Beltre was charged with an error after missing a line drive Tuesday, but the call was changed to a hit later in the game.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (sore shoulder) had a throwing session Wednesday and could be activated from the DL on Thursday. ... RHP A.J. Griffin (rib cage) allowed four runs and six hits in 3⅓ innings in a rehabilitative start for Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday.

Orioles: INF Ryan Flaherty (shoulder) and SS J.J. Hardy (wrist fracture) fielded grounders before Baltimore took batting practice. The Orioles hope Flaherty can begin a rehab assignment next week. ... RHP Hunter Harvey, drafted 22nd overall in 2013, threw 27 pitches in the Gulf Coast League. It was his first action since Tommy John surgery last summer.

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 3.05 ERA) brings a 21-inning scoreless streak into the series finale Thursday night. He was out from May to late June with a right oblique strain.

Orioles: LHP Wade Miley (4-8, 5.40 ERA) surrendered seven runs in two of his previous three starts and has lost four of five decisions.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Davis Hits 2 HRs as Orioles Beat Rangers 12-1]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 03:14:34 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/199*120/Chris+Davis+451823500.jpg

Chris Davis hit two home runs, Baltimore pounded out 16 hits and Dylan Bundy stymied Texas with six innings of four-hit ball.

For a change, everything went right for the struggling Orioles in a 12-1 rout of the Rangers on Tuesday night.

Quality starts and lopsided victories have been scarce for Baltimore, which must repeat the formula on a consistent basis to get back into the playoff picture.

"We know we have to have a lot of things clicking to get back to where we want to be," manager Buck Showalter said. "I think not only the starters, but just the whole team in general."

Davis homered in a six-run first inning, added a grand slam in the fourth and finished with a career-high six RBIs. It was the 19th career multihomer game for Baltimore's cleanup hitter, making his fifth start since coming off the disabled list with an oblique strain.

Trey Mancini and Seth Smith also homered for the Orioles, who scored six runs against Tyson Ross (2-2) before making an out.

"It was one of those nights where we just kind of fed off of each other," Davis said. "We've been looking for that for a while."

Baltimore has won two straight over Texas following a three-game sweep by the Chicago Cubs. The Orioles are still five under .500, but now there's hope.

"Anytime your offense has a game like tonight, I feel like everybody else can kind of take a deep breath and not stress so much," Davis said.

Bundy (9-8) breezed in his first victory since June 24.

"You get a cushion from our offense," he said, "and it just wants to make you get back in the dugout so they can hit some more."

Vying to stay afloat in the AL playoff picture, Texas pitched poorly and sputtered at the plate. In addition, center fielder Carlos Gomez got his glove around Davis' first-inning drive before the ball escaped over the wall.

Shin-Soo Choo homered for the Rangers, who have lost three in a row and scored only six runs in their last four games.

"We've got to find a way to get this offense going," manager Jeff Banister said.

After Choo hit the 23rd leadoff homer of his career, Baltimore responded with gusto in the bottom of the first. Jonathan Schoop doubled in two runs, Davis followed with the drive that eluded Gomez's grasp and Mancini capped the uprising with a two-run homer.

"Tough way to play a baseball game tonight," Banister said. "Obviously, very challenged from the first inning."

In the fourth, Ross was lifted after a single, an error and a walk loaded the bases. Davis hit the second pitch from Austin Bibens-Dirkx into the center field seats. It was his eighth career grand slam, the first this season.

Ross gave up nine runs, eight earned, in 3⅓ innings. He's 0-3 with an 18.23 ERA in eight career games against Baltimore.

"The pitches I had over the plate didn't have the movement I wanted and a lot of pitches flew over the heart and got hit hard," the right-hander said.

Smith homered in the eighth to complete the Orioles' most lopsided win of the season.

No Day Trader
Banister isn't thinking about buying or selling as the non-waiver trade deadline nears.

"We need to go out and win baseball games with these guys," he said. "We don't worry about where we are in the division. The bottom line is that we have to go out with this group of players. We believe in these guys."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: Banister said he's "not sold" on the idea of a rehab assignment for RHP Keone Kela (right shoulder soreness) before the reliever comes off the DL. ... LHP Jake Diekman (ulcerative colitis) is in a throwing program and still hopes to play this season.

Orioles: RHP Hunter Harvey, the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 draft, is slated to start in the Gulf Coast League on Wednesday — his first outing since elbow ligament replacement surgery last summer.

Up Next
Rangers: Martin Perez (5-6, 4.55 ERA) starts Wednesday in the third game of the series. He's 3-0 in his last four starts and his ERA hasn't been this low since May 29.

Orioles: Kevin Gausman (5-7, 6.39 ERA) looks to rebound from a horrid start out of the All-Star break, when he gave up eight runs in three innings against the Cubs.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Smith HR in 7th Breaks Tie, Carries Orioles Past Rangers 3-1]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 04:29:28 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-491985272.jpg

Chris Tillman and a trio of relievers provided the Baltimore Orioles something that's been lacking for much of this season: a well-pitched game.

Seth Smith hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and the Orioles used a solid outing from by its struggling pitching staff to beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 Monday night.

Smith connected off Andrew Cashner (4-8) to make it 2-1, Baltimore's first lead since the All-Star break following a three-game sweep by the Chicago Cubs. Baltimore yielded 27 runs in that series, including 21 by the starters over 11⅓ innings.

In this one, Tillman allowed one run and two hits over six innings. It was the right-hander's best performance since his season debut on May 7, when he blanked the White Sox over five innings in what remains his only win over 12 starts.

"It was great. He did fantastic,"" Smith said. "I think that's what we expect from him, and what he expects from himself, so it was great to see him go out there and shut them down."

Richard Bleier (2-1) pitched a scoreless seventh, Mychal Givens had a perfect eighth and Brad Brach completed the three-hitter for his 16th save.

"There's a lot of pieces, but we know that's been a challenge for us," manager Buck Showalter said about the team's pitching. "We know that's got to get better."

Manny Machado went 3 for 3 and Welington Castillo had two hits and scored a run for the Orioles, who were coming off a 2-8 stretch that dropped them into a tie with Toronto in the AL East cellar.

Adrian Beltre had two hits for the Rangers to move within 18 of 3,000 for his career.

Texas has scored only five runs in its last three games and now stands at 45-47.

"There have been a couple of games here where the offense has been challenged. The opportunity to score has been challenged," manager Jeff Banister said. "But these guys are still playing. We're engaged. We're getting excellent starting pitching."

Cashner gave up three runs and six hits in 6⅔ innings.

"I thought he was pretty good," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "Obviously, I thought he threw well enough to get the win. We just didn't score runs for him."

Texas took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when rookie Drew Robinson drew a two-out walk and scored on a double by Lucroy , who was thrown out trying to make it a triple.

Baltimore pulled even in the sixth when Adam Jones walked, went to third on Machado's hit-and-run single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jonathan Schoop.

Trade Winds
With the Orioles fading from contention, it's possible that closer Zach Britton could be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I'm not in any rush to go anywhere, but it's not my decision," he said. "If it happens I'll take it in stride. But I've been here since I was 18."

No Short-Changing
Robinson, who started in left field for Texas, won't have to worry about playing shortstop anytime soon.

"We're not going to put that on him," manager Jeff Banister said. "He been at second, he's been at third, he's been at left, we know he can go out in center."

Trainer's Room
Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Tuesday and could return to game action as early as Thursday, though it's unclear whether that would be with Texas or on a rehab assignment, Banister said . RHP A.J. Griffin (left intercostal strain) will pitch Wednesday at Triple-A Round Rock . LHP Jake Diekman (ulcerative colitis surgery) threw long toss on Monday and expects to have his first bullpen session of the season Thursday.

Orioles: RHP Stefan Crichton (right shoulder strain) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk.

Up Next
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross (2-1, 5.33 ERA) will start Tuesday night in the second game of the series. He's 0-2 with a 17.10 ERA in seven career appearances against Baltimore.

Orioles: Dylan Bundy (8-8, 4.33 ERA) makes his third start since June 24 and first since July 11.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Choo Loses Fly in Sun With 2 Out in 9th, KC Shades Texas 4-3]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 21:16:02 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/169*120/rangers+7-16-17.jpg

On a bright afternoon in Kansas City, the Royals shaded the Texas Rangers.

Texas right fielder Shin-Soo Choo lost Lorenzo Cain's routine fly in the sun, and the ball glanced off his glove for an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning that lifted Royals over the Rangers 4-3 Sunday.

"When I hit it, I was thinking out," Cain said. "Luckily, the sun had shifted over just enough to block his view and missing that ball. I appreciate that sun in that situation."

Choo tried to shield his eyes, but even sunglasses didn't help on Cain's sliced flyball.

"I saw the ball at the very beginning and the ball just kept going to right field and then I lost the ball," Choo said. "I'm guessing the ball's fair and just off the glove. I was trying to make the play so I can't say I was very lucky."

"You work on it during the season, in spring training on sun balls. On straight balls, on straight popups, you can have a better chance, but the ball was moving. That's a lot more difficult to catch," he said.

Cain could empathize, having to fight off the sun to make three catches in center.

"It's a tough sun today, so I definitely knew what he was going through," Cain said.

The Royals snapped a five-game losing streak, and also ended a 12-game skid against the Rangers.

Kelvin Herrera (2-2) pitched a spotless ninth. Jason Grilli (2-5), acquired by Rangers from Toronto on July 2, took the loss.

Alcides Escobar led off the ninth with a single for his third hit and Alex Gordon walked on four pitches. With one out, Grilli hit Whit Merrifield with a pitch to load the bases. After Jorge Bonifacio struck out, Cain delivered the game-winning hit, with some help.

Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish, who is 0-4 in his past six starts, allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked one and struck out one.

Darvish's wild pitch in the first allowed Merrifield to score. Mike Moustakas' two-out double in the third scored Eric Hosmer, who had walked.

Royals starter Ian Kennedy yielded solo home runs to Drew Robinson in the third and Mike Napoli in the seventh.

Kennedy left after 6 2/3 innings and the score tied at 2.

Kennedy, who is winless in his past 12 home starts, gave up two runs on five hits. After throwing 25 pitches in the first inning, he navigated his way into the seventh on 74 more pitches.

"I watched some of the replays of Lorenzo battling with the sun and he happened to hit the ball into the sun to win the game, so that was ironic," Kennedy said. "It was a great way to end."

The Royals took a 3-2 lead in the seventh when Drew Butera, who had singled, scored an unearned run. Merrifield doubled and Butera came home when left fielder Nomar Mazara misplayed the ball.

Joakim Soria could not hold the lead in the eighth, charged with his seventh blown save. Mazara's two-out single scored Elvis Andrus, who had doubled.

DARVISH PASSES RYAN

Darvish moved past Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan and into fourth place on the Rangers' career strikeout list. When Darvish fanned out Brandon Moss in the fourth inning it was his 940th strikeout in his 120th start. Ryan, baseball's all-time strikeout king, fanned 939 in 129 starts with Texas.

NO GALLO

Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, who has seven strikeouts in seven at-bats against Kennedy, was not in the lineup.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (shoulder soreness) threw a bullpen Saturday with no problems. The Rangers are unsure whether Kela needs another mound session or activate him Monday in Baltimore.

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Andrew Cashner will start Monday at Baltimore in the opener of a four-game series. RHP Chris Tillman will be the Orioles starter.

Royals: LHP Jason Vargas, who worked a scoreless inning in the All-Star game, will start against the Tigers. Vargas leads the AL with 12 victories and a 1.84 ERA at home.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Should Rangers Buy or Sell at Trade Deadline?]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 20:52:04 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*120/doney+sandler.JPG]]><![CDATA[Choo drives in go-ahead run in 8th as Texas beats Royals 1-0]]>Sat, 15 Jul 2017 22:04:34 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/160*154/GettyImages-815156598.jpg

Cole Hamels could have been frustrated or intimidated or annoyed by the effortless way Kansas City counterpart Danny Duffy was slicing up the Rangers lineup Saturday night.

Instead, he rather enjoyed it.

The quick innings allowed Hamels to get into a rhythm of his own, and the left-hander kept matching Duffy's scoreless innings. It wasn't long after Hamels departed that Texas finally broke through, with Shin-Soo Choo flaring a lazy fly ball down the left-field line with one out in the ninth for a 1-0 victory -- the Rangers' 12th straight over the Royals.

"Duffy is a tremendous pitcher," said Hamels, who scattered four hits and a walk with five strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. "He was making good pitches, getting good outs, and it was up to me to go out and match him. ... It was kind of nice to be able to do that."

Duffy (5-6) began the ninth by giving up a weak single to Jonathan Lucroy. After pinch-runner Joey Gallo took second on a sacrifice bunt by Delino DeShields, Choo got just enough wood on Duffy's 91st pitch to drop a fly ball in front of left fielder Alex Gordon.

"We needed to find a way to get a hit and we just didn't. They did," Royals manager Ned Yost said, "even though it was a jam-shot that won the game for them."

It wasn't quite over, though.

After Jose Leclerc (2-2) got the final out in the eighth for Texas, he walked the leadoff man in the ninth. But Alex Claudio worked his way back from a 3-0 count to strike out Eric Hosmer, then got Salvador Perez to ground into a double play to earn his third save and second in as many nights.

"Great slow heartbeat by Claudio right there," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.

Most of the game shook out just as expected: an entertaining duel between talented left-handers.

Hamels rolled in on a 13 1/3-inning scoreless streak and was 3-0 in three starts against the Royals since arriving in Texas. Duffy carried a shutout into the eighth when the teams met in April in Arlington, and he was amped up making his first home start since mid-May.

Texas was first to threaten when Mike Napoli led off the second with a triple, but Duffy set down the next three batters. The only other hit he allowed until the eighth was a one-out single by Carlos Gomez in the fifth, and Duffy picked him off first base.

"Everything was working," he said.

Hamels waded through far more trouble in the third inning.

He started by walking Alcides Escobar, who hadn't earned a free pass in 115 plate appearances. Hamels then gave up a single to Brandon Moss and a two-out single to Jorge Bonifacio, who was robbed of driving in the game's first run when shortstop Elvis Andrus leaped up to knock down the ball.

With the bases loaded, Hamels calmly got Lorenzo Cain to ground out and end the inning.

"The guy has been doing it for a long time. It's always fun to have matchups like that," said Duffy, who allowed five hits and four strikeouts without a walk in 8 1/3 innings. "He did a heck of a job. They just came out on top. Somebody had to lose this game. It is what it is."

RIB ROAST

Royals RHP Nate Karns will have one of his ribs removed Wednesday in a procedure designed to help nerve irritation in his pitching arm. The condition, called thoracic outlet syndrome, occurs when there is pressure on the nerve. Karns hopes to be ready for spring training. "It's a relief to know what the problem is," he said. "We'll have the surgery and go from there."

MINOR MOVES

Texas traded SS Yeyson Yrizzari to the White Sox for international bonus pool allotment. The 20-year-old Yrizzari signed in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic and was hitting .258 in Class A.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals INF Cheslor Cuthbert (left wrist sprain) will head to Triple-A Omaha on a rehab assignment in the next day or two, manager Ned Yost said. Cuthbert has been out since June 28.

UP NEXT

Rangers RHP Yu Darvish tries to stop a three-game losing streak when he takes the mound Sunday for the series finale. He'll go against Royals RHP Ian Kennedy, who is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA over his last five starts after going winless in his first 11 outings this season.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: TNS via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Beltre, Napoli Homer as Rangers Rally to 5-3 Win Over Royals]]>Fri, 14 Jul 2017 21:22:31 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-814650340.jpg

Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer, pinch-hitter Mike Napoli had a go-ahead two-run shot and the Texas Rangers rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Friday night.

Martin Perez (5-6) allowed eight hits and a walk over seven innings, but kept all that traffic to just three runs. Two of those came in the second, when Alcides Escobar homered to left.

Beltre connected in the sixth off Royals starter Jason Hammel, who had just surrendered back-to-back singles -- the first hits off him all night. Napoli followed with nobody out in the seventh, sending a poor pitch from reliever Mike Minor (5-2) soaring over the left-field wall.

Matt Bush breezed through a perfect eighth and Alex Claudio handled the ninth for his second save, giving the Rangers their 10th straight win over Kansas City dating to last July.

The Royals jumped ahead 2-0 in the second, when the light-hitting Escobar ripped a 2-0 pitch from Rangers starter Perez off the foul post in left field. The ball caromed into the Royals bullpen as Escobar trotted around the bases for a two-run homer.

Jorge Bonifacio made it 3-0 when he drove in Whit Merrifield with a single in the fifth.

The Rangers, crossed up all night by Hammel, finally managed their first hit with one out in the sixth when Elvis Andrus beat out an infield single. Nomar Mazara made it consecutive hits before Beltre cracked the 453rd homer of his career, passing Carl Yastrzemski for 38th on the career list.

The three-run shot also gave Beltre 1,601 RBIs in 20 big league seasons.

Minor entered a couple batters later and finished the sixth, but he surrendered a single to Carlos Gomez in the seventh before Napoli's homer gave the Rangers their first lead.

STATS AND STREAKS

The Royals' Eric Hosmer singled in the sixth, extending his hit streak to 16 games. ... Beltre went 2 for 3, pushing his average to .347 against Kansas City. That trails only Ichiro Suzuki (.355) for career best against the Royals. ... Hammel hasn't won since June 19 at Boston.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers RHP Keone Kela (right shoulder soreness) was "all smiles" after throwing Thursday, manager Jeff Banister said. The next step is to throw off a mound. ... Banister said the All-Star break probably helped 1B Joey Gallo, who has been dealing with a sore left knee tendon all season. But Banister said, "I don't think four days gets rid of (the injury) completely."

ROSTER MOVES

The Royals put RHP Neftali Feliz on the paternity list and recalled RHP Miguel Almonte from Triple-A Omaha. Almonte has appeared in two games for the Royals this season.

UP NEXT

Rangers LHP Cole Hamels and Royals LHP Danny Duffy square off Saturday night. Hamels has tossed 13 1/3 scoreless innings over his last two starts, the third-longest streak in the majors, while Duffy will be trying to bounce back from a poor outing against the Dodgers before the break.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ramirez, Pujols Lead Angels Past Rangers 3-0]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 03:19:11 -0600https://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-811397608.jpg

J.C. Ramirez provided a much-needed boost in the Texas heat on Sunday afternoon to the Los Angeles Angels' beleaguered starting rotation and struggling offensive attack.

Ramirez outpitched All-Star Yu Darvish and Albert Pujols hit his 604th career home run as Ramirez and three relievers held the Rangers to two hits in a 3-0 win.

Ramirez (8-7) allowed both hits in his six innings. Bud Norris earned his 13th save with a perfect ninth inning in only the second shutout of Texas this season, the first since mid-April. The Angels went into the game last in the American League in total bases.

Ramirez made his 16th straight start since mid-April after his previous 108 career appearances in the major leagues were in relief. The 28-year-old was moved into the starting rotation after Los Angeles lost multiple starters to injury.

"We're not going to reach our goal unless these guys go out and give us an opportunity to win like J.C. did this afternoon," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Ramirez credited a switch to a four-seam fastball from a two-seamer following a recent talk with pitching coach Charles Nagy for his Sunday success.

Ramirez's plan for the All-Star break? "I'm going to Vegas for a couple of days," he said. "I need my mind to get away from baseball."

Darvish (6-8) gave up two runs while pitching 7⅓ innings. He allowed three hits, fanning six and walking four in a start that cost him a potential appearance in Tuesday night's All-Star Game. Darvish last week complied with a club request not to pitch in Miami two days after starting.

"We ran into a guy today who was on top of his game," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Darvish threw the ball extremely well. He made two mistakes."

Pujols hit a two-out home run on a curveball into the Angels' bullpen in left-center in the first inning. He took a .206 career batting average vs. Darvish in 34 at-bats into the game. Three of his eight career hits off the four-time All-Star have been homers.

The Angels added a run in the fifth inning after Ben Revere stole third base following Darvish's throw behind him to second base. Juan Graterol followed with a sacrifice fly.

Ramirez ends the season's first half with a major league career-high 103 innings. His previous high as a reliever was 78⅔ innings last season, which was divided between the Angels and Cincinnati.

The Rangers are 1-8 in Darvish's last nine starts. Texas has scored 15 runs in his eight losses this season.

"It's part of baseball," Darvish said through an interpreter. "I don't really think about it."

Ready, Break
The Rangers end the first half 43-45, 16½ games out of first place in the AL West. They were 42-46 two years ago at the break but only three games out. They grabbed the division lead on Sept. 15 and won by two games.

The Angels are 45-47, 19-20 without reigning league MVP Mike Trout in the lineup. They've been within three games of .500 since April 23, when they were 8-12.

Angels' RISP Drought Ends
Andrelton Simmons' ninth-inning double that scored pinch-runner Eric Young from second base ended Los Angeles' 0-for-10 streak with runners in scoring position during the series. In Friday night's 10-0 Angels loss, they failed to get a runner beyond first base.

Short Hops
Rougned Odor went 0-for-4, ending a career-long 10-game hitting streak. . The Angels will have six off days during the first 35 days of the season's second half after having only six to date in 98 days.

Trainer's Room
Rangers: RHP Keone Kela (shoulder soreness) can come off the disabled list on Monday and is expected to rejoin the club on Friday.

Angels: Trout is scheduled to make rehab starts on Sunday and Monday with high-A Inland Empire with the Angels hoping to return him to their active roster on Friday.

Up Next
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (4-6) will open the three-game series at Kansas City on Friday.

Angels: No starter has been announced for Friday's home game vs. Tampa Bay.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>