2013 Texas Rangers
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2013 Texas Rangers / Franchise: Texas Rangers / BR Team Page
Managed by Ron Washington
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2013 Texas Rangers fanned 43 Houston Astros in their opening three-game series, a record for Ks in a team's first three games. Yu Darvish led the way with 14 in coming within one out of throwing a perfect game, while Alexi Ogando had 10 and Matt Harrison 9. The old record was held by the 1966 Cleveland Indians.
Between Derek Holland's win over the Kansas City Royals on May 31st, and a win by Justin Grimm over the Oakland Athletics on June 19th, the Rangers' starting pitchers went 17 games without recording a win. The streak set a team record, as they had gone 16 games without a win by a starter in 1975. They were in first place in the AL West with a three-game lead when the streak started, but had fallen to 2 games back of the A's during the stretch, during which their record was 5-12, with reliever Neal Cotts getting credit for three of the five wins during that stretch, after not recording a single win in seven seasons. They managed a remarkable turnaround in the second half of June: after starting the month 4-11, they righted the ship and finished on a 10-3 roll to end up at .500, 15-15, after a roller coaster ride and were back a half-game in front of the A's.
From July 29-31, the Rangers swept a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels with three walk-off home runs. In the first game, A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto both homered off Ernesto Frieri to turn a 9th-inning 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 win. The next night, Leonys Martin hit a three-run blast in the 11th inning to cap a 14-11 slugfest win after the Rangers had tied the game against Frieri in the 9th, and Adrian Beltre completed the trifecta the next day, victimizing Michael Kohn in the bottom of the 9th for a 2-1 win. The 2004 Detroit Tigers had been the last team to hit walk-off homers in three consecutive games, while the only other team to sweep a three-game series in this manner had been the 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks, who had done so against the Montreal Expos. The Rangers lost RF Nelson Cruz for the remainder of the year when he was suspended for his role in the Biogenesis scandal on August 5th, but the Rangers kept rolling right along. On August 6th, they stole 6 bases in an 8-3 win over the Angels, then had seven steals in a 10-3 win the next night. That made them only the second team since 1917 to have back-to-back games with six or more steals; for his part, Leonys Martin had three steals in each game, making him the first player in team history to do so in consecutive games. The win on August 6th was the Rangers' 9th in their last 10 games and moved them into a tie for first place with the A's for the first time since the end of June. On August 12th, Darvish once again flirted with a perfect game against the cross-state Astros, this time allowing merely a 6th-inning walk - on a borderline call by umpire Ron Kulpa - and a solo homer in the 8th while striking out a career-high 15 opponents. Closer Joe Nathan pitched the 9th inning for a combined one-hitter, the Rangers' 13th win in their last 14 games. The Astros were once again the victims on August 19th when the Ranger put together an 11-run 3rd inning in a 16-5 win, the highest-scoring inning in the major leagues in 2013. They once again started the game by running wild, as Martin beat out an infield hit to lead off the 1st, Andrus moved him to third on a hit-and-run, Andrus stole second, and after Martin had scored on a sacrifice fly, proceeded to steal home on the back end of a double steal with Adrian Beltre for a 2-0 lead. Martin and Andrus were a combined 5 for 8 with 6 runs scored.
Awards and Honors