KANSAS CITY -- Rangers starter Bartolo Colon is now the winningest pitcher from the Dominican Republic.Colon passed Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for that honor when he held the Royals to three runs in six innings in the Rangers' 6-3 victory on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. The win was
KANSAS CITY -- Rangers starter Bartolo Colon is now the winningest pitcher from the Dominican Republic.
Colon passed Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for that honor when he held the Royals to three runs in six innings in the Rangers' 6-3 victory on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. The win was Colon's 244th, the most by a pitcher from that country.
"I feel happy of course to pass a Hall of Famer," Colon said. "He is a Dominican and a Hall of Famer. And of course, I thank God and my family. They have always supported me in my career. They helped me get to playing all these years."
Colon still has one more milestone to go. He needs one more win to tie Dennis Martinez, who was from Nicaragua, for the most by a pitcher from Latin America with 245.
"Marichal was the one, but now that I have 244, I know Dennis Martinez is there," Colon said. "If God gives me the health and the time, I'm ready to pass him and be the Latin with more wins."
Colon wasn't at his sharpest while allowing nine hits and a walk with just one strikeout. He faced 27 hitters and threw just 13 first-pitch strikes. That was below his season average of 63.8 first-pitch strikes.
But home runs from Shin-Soo Choo and Adrian Beltre staked Colon to a five-run lead, and he was able to keep the Rangers in front until the bullpen took over in the seventh. He was credited with a quality start, only the 25th by the club this season. That's the second fewest in the American League, but the Rangers are 15-10 when it happens.
"These guys have fought hard for Bartolo every night that he goes out there," manager Jeff Banister said. "They wanted to get this win for some time now, it's just incredible to watch. Such a humble guy, no real fanfare. Just great humility. These guys fought hard for him and were able to get him some runs. He fought hard, too. Not his best stuff. He tried to move the ball around. The ball-strike ratio was not normally where he wanted it."
Colon said he was trying to take advantage of the Royals' aggressiveness by making them chase pitches out of the zone. The Royals showed more patience than he expected.
"It didn't happen the way I wanted it to," Colon said. "Kansas City is a team that swings always at the first pitch. I was trying to get ahead, but they didn't swing."
Colon still didn't beat himself. He threw 90 pitches, 55 for strikes but just the one walk. He has gone 22 straight games with two walks or fewer, the longest such streak in the Major Leagues. Colon knows how to pitch, he continues to march on past significant milestones and he is not ready to stop. He will take aim at Martinez when he pitches against the Twins on Sunday.
"He's fun playing behind," outfielder Delino DeShields said. "He attacks the zone. He's the same every time whether he gives up eight runs or one run. He doesn't back down from nobody and that's good to see. What he's been able to do in this game is amazing and I'm glad that I was here to witness that."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Colon, who, had a 5-3 lead going into the fifth, let the first four hitters reach base and still was able to get through the inning without giving up a run. Whit Merrifield reached on an infield single off Colon's glove. But Colon then picked him off first. Colon walked Alex Gordon and gave up singles to Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez to load the bases before getting Hunter Dozier to ground into an inning-ending double play.
"Nothing bigger tonight than that double play," Banister said. "That was huge."
Choo's homer was his second leading off a game this season. Choo went 2-for-2 with three walks and has now reached base in 32 straight games.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
DeShields made another outstanding catch in center field to get Colon out of a fourth-inning jam. With a runner at third and two out, Adalberto Mondesi launched a drive to deep center. DeShields had to cover 98 feet in 5.2 seconds, but he made the catch on the warning track. The ball had a 15 percent catch probability, according to Statcast™. It was his fourth four-star catch of the season, tying him with Billy Hamilton of the Reds for the most in the Majors.
DeShields also drove in a run in the eighth with a two-out bunt hit that brought home Jurickson Profar from third base. Profar started the inning with a walk, dashed to second on Joey Gallo's fly to center and went to third on a wild pitch by Royals reliever Wily Peralta.
HE SAID IT
"I think I ran 10 miles out there tonight." -- DeShields, on his defensive night
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
DeShields tried to take second on Perez in the seventh on a pitch in the dirt, but the Gold Glove catcher popped up in time to make a perfect throw to Alcides Escobar for the out. The Rangers challenged second-base umpire Chad Fairchild's call, but it was confirmed.
During the review, DeShields was chatting it up with a few Kansas City infielders and missed the decision. Confused, he went back to second for a few seconds despite being called out. Once he realized the situation, he ran back to the dugout as Perez smiled and waved him off the field.
Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels goes for his first win since May 22 when he starts the middle game of this series against the Royals at 7:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. Hamels is 0-2 with a 4.39 ERA in his past four starts. That includes a 5-3 loss to the Royals on May 27, when he allowed five runs in 6 1/3 innings. He is 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA in six career starts against Kansas City. Right-hander Jason Hammel, who was the winning pitcher in the May 27 game against the Rangers, will start for the Royals.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.