AL West leaders haven't lost consecutive games in over a month
By Ryan Posner
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had one of their toughest setbacks of the season on Friday night against the Red Sox, blowing a three-run lead in the ninth on their way to an 8-7 loss. Things were not looking much better for Saturday, as they were up against American League ERA leader, Steven Wright, whose knuckleball has given teams fits all season.
They wouldn't let the stunning loss a night earlier get the best of them, however, as they scored eight runs off Wright -- more than any team has this season -- in a 10-3 win over the Red Sox. The Rangers haven't lost back-to-back games since being swept by the A's May 16-18 in Oakland, and their 48 wins are tied with the Cubs and Giants for the most in the Majors.
"I give the credit to management and ownership for searching out character guys, and making sure that character guys stay. I think Adrian [Beltre] is a perfect example of that. He goes out there and just grinds," Ian Desmond said. "We all feed off it. … You get all these character guys together and this like-mindedness, you always just want to pick up the other guys."
Since being swept by the A's in mid-May, the Rangers have won every series but one, splitting a two-game set with the Reds on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"They've proved time and time again that they will show up," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "They haven't given me any reason to doubt they will show up."
Desmond's solo home run to left-center in the fourth woke up the Rangers' bats. It traveled an estimated 432 feet and left his bat at 109 mph, according to Statcast™. Before his home run, the Rangers had just a single to their credit off Wright.
The Rangers went on to score two more runs in the fourth on a two-run single from Mitch Moreland. They tacked on five more in the fifth, punctuated by a three-run triple from Elvis Andrus.
"They don't like getting beat. It's a great mix of veteran leadership and youthful energy. They love to be at the ballpark, they love the challenge of the next day," Banister said. "They forgot about yesterday, in a sense that as tough as it was and the way it felt, they showed up with great confidence."
The offensive attack gave starter A.J. Griffin plenty of wiggle room in his first start since being placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 8 with right shoulder stiffness.
"We have a lot of belief in this team. We expect to win every game," Griffin said. "It could be the bottom of ninth with two outs and we have a six-run deficit and we're like we're going to do it somehow. We're a clutch team. It's fun to be a part of that."
Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.