(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers eye a fourth straight win on Thursday
when they play a makeup game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Rangers
Ballpark in Arlington.
Texas used three straight walk-off wins to sweep the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim. On Wednesday it was Adrian Beltre's turn to play hero, as he crushed
a solo shot off Michael Kohn in the ninth inning to give the Rangers another
dramatic 2-1 win.
"Our offense has been the reason why we struggled the last few weeks, and our
offense is getting a lot better," Beltre said.
The crowd-pleasing blast marked the first time in club history the Rangers
homered in their final at-bat in three consecutive wins. It also brought them
within four games of the Oakland Athletics in the American League West.
"Right now we're getting our legs back," Texas manager Ron Washington said.
"Two weeks ago our legs didn't look as fast. Now they are. That's what we've
been looking forward to, is getting our legs back. That's our game. When we
play it, it looks good."
With the A's idle on Thursday the Rangers stand a good chance at gaining even
more ground with Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish on the hill. Darvish lost
for the second time in three starts on Saturday in Cleveland, but pitched
well, as he allowed just one run and three hits and struck out 11 in six
The run Darvish allowed came on a homer to the first batter he faced.
Regardless, he fell to 9-5 on the year to go along with a 2.80 ERA.
"Things like this are just part of the game," Darvish said through an
interpreter. "Some games pitchers don't perform their best, and some games
hitters don't perform their best."
Darvish struck out a career-best 14 batters against Arizona back on May 27,
but did not get a decision in his team's 5-3 loss.
While the Rangers stood pat at Wednesday's non-waiver trade deadline, Arizona
made maybe the biggest move of the day, shipping former 21-game winner Ian
Kennedy to the San Diego Padres for left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher.
With Kennedy gone, the Diamondbacks needed a starter for Thursday and in steps
Zeke Spruill, who will make his first big league start. Spruill has pitched to
a 2.08 ERA in 4 1/3 innings of relief for Arizona, but did not allow an earned
run over 31 2/3 consecutive innings while going 3-0 over his last five starts
for Triple-A Reno.
Arizona snapped a three-game losing streak on Wednesday, as Wade Miley worked
6 1/3 scoreless innings in the Diamondbacks' 7-0 win over the surging Tampa
Miley (8-8) gave up pair of hits, both of which came in the fourth inning, and
five walks while fanning a season-high eight batters to win for the fourth
time in five starts.
"He's been on a pretty good roll for us," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson
said of Miley.
Eric Chavez went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three RBI and Paul
Goldschmidt hit a solo homer and scored three times in the win.
Arizona took two of three from the Rangers earlier in the year.