Choo's clutch hit, solid pitching from bullpen help knock off Orioles
By Ryan Posner
ARLINGTON -- If there's been one theme that characterizes the Rangers' season-high seven-game winning streak, it's that the team is going to scratch and claw its way to earn a victory.
They exemplified that in Monday night's 4-3 win over the Orioles at Globe Life Park. Starter Derek Holland lasted just 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs and nine hits, but the bullpen picked up the slack.
"It doesn't always take the big blow. It doesn't always take the three-run home run. You can chip away," manager Jeff Banister said. "We've seen it, it's the battling at-bats, it's the grinding at-bats, the attack early. … It's our pitchers giving our defenders an opportunity to catch baseballs and make plays. Then you see it on the basepaths, we run hard."
The Rangers lead the Majors with 23 come-from-behind wins and a 17-4 record in one-run games. Their last four wins have come in one-run fashion.
"Nobody quits, we all go out there and fight," closer Sam Dyson said. "Everyone in the bullpen is a stud in my opinion and we can all be interchangeable in different situations."
Right-handers Shawn Tolleson and Tony Barnette threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings to set the table for Dyson, who worked out of a first-and-third, one-out jam to pick up his 14th save. He's now 12-for-12 in save opportunities since replacing Tolleson as the closer on May 18.
"Ever since Dyson kind of took over the role of closer, what he's done is remarkable," Tolleson said. "And he's been asked to do a tremendous amount and he's handled the workload really well."
Ian Desmond's solo homer in the third got the Rangers on the board against Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. But Bobby Wilson and Shin-Soo Choo gave Texas the lead in the fourth.
Wilson battled through a 10-pitch at-bat and hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Prince Fielder, who had walked and moved to third after singles from Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland.
"That's who Bobby is -- really just trying to control the barrel, trying to control the bat," Banister said. "Huge at-bat for us to get the run in."
Then, Choo stepped up and lined a single off the right-field wall to score Andrus and Moreland for a lead the Rangers wouldn't relinquish. It was Choo's first multi-RBI game of the year in his 13th game, and seventh since returning from a left hamstring strain that put him on the 15-day disabled list.
"We'd like to think we're some juggernaut offense, but the realization is we're an offense that continues to grind on pitchers and wear them down," Banister said. "It's 12 rounds of just body shot after body shot, then eventually we get the big knock somewhere that breaks things open for us and puts us on top."
Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.