Rodney issues winning walk in Rangers’ victory
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre helped the Rangers win their fifth straight game with his bat, glove and eye.
The last of Beltre’s three RBIs came when Fernando Rodney walked him with the bases loaded to force home the winning run on Monday night with one out. That gave Texas a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He also had a pair of RBI doubles.
His five errorless chances in the field included charging a fifth-inning bunt and forcing out the lead runner at third base, limiting what could have been a big Seattle inning to one run.
“I’m always trying to kick it in gear every day,” said Beltre, who has 11 hits in his last 23 at-bats. “I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help this ballclub win.”
The Rangers have won eight consecutive home games and are three games over .500 for the first time since June 23. They moved within three games of first place in the American League West and entered play Monday one game out of the A.L.’s final wild-card spot.
Shawn Tolleson (5-2) worked a scoreless ninth inning for Texas. Rodney (5-5) took the loss, allowing four of five batters to reach.
“All facets of the game, we’re playing well,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Situational hitting. Speed. Good pitching. Good defense. We’ve beat the ball around a little, and we’ve played small ball. We’ve allowed the game to come to us.”
Rookie Ryan Strausborger, who joined Texas last week, opened the ninth with a bunt toward first base that Rodney couldn’t field. Delino DeShields bunted down the third base line and beat out Kyle Seager’s throw to first. Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After Rodney struck out Prince Fielder, he walked Beltre on a 3-1 pitch.
“I think I made good pitch to try to get out of the inning,” said Rodney, who said he was trying to get Beltre to hit a ground ball. “That’s baseball.”
Cole Hamels came away with his second no-decision to go with one loss in his three Texas starts since being acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 31. He missed his previous turn in the rotation last week with a groin injury and said he felt good.
Hamels allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked four, the latter tying a season high.
Hamels has allowed 12 earned runs in 20 2-3 innings in three Texas starts for an ERA of 5.22. He had a 3.64 ERA in 20 starts for Philadelphia.
“Being able to go out there and make quality pitches is something that I haven’t been able to do here for the past couple of weeks,” Hamels said. “That’s something I definitely have to work on.”
LHP Derek Holland is scheduled to start the series finale for Texas on Wednesday afternoon, his first appearance since making only nine pitches in the home opener on April 10. He was sidelined with a torn muscle behind his left shoulder. “I’m bitin’ at the bit,” Holland said.
HAMILTON HELD OUT AGAIN
Josh Hamilton missed his second consecutive game with a sore left knee. Hamilton has missed four of Texas’ last six games.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (strained left middle finger) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Tuesday. Paxton (3-3) has been sidelined since late May.
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish threw Monday for the first time since having Tommy John surgery in March. He threw 25 pitches at 45 feet and is scheduled to throw again Wednesday and Friday.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (4-2), the American League Player of the Week, comes off a no-hitter pitched last Wednesday at home against Baltimore.
Rangers: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-4) hasn’t won since his second start of the season in early June, compiling four losses and two no-decisions since.