KANSAS CITY -- Who knows what really gets offered or rejected in all these trade discussions going back and forth in the month of July. The one thing reinforced on Saturday night amid all the non-waiver Trade Deadline rumors is that any club would love to have rookie outfielder Nomar
KANSAS CITY -- Who knows what really gets offered or rejected in all these trade discussions going back and forth in the month of July. The one thing reinforced on Saturday night amid all the non-waiver Trade Deadline rumors is that any club would love to have rookie outfielder Nomar Mazara.
But the Rangers are the ones who have him and seem to have no inclination of giving him up. They'd rather sit back and watch him do what he did in a 7-4 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Mazara went 3-for-4 for with a double, home run, a crucial walk and three RBIs in helping Texas snap a four-game losing streak and win for just the second time in eight games since the All-Star break. The Rangers remain 2 1/2 games ahead of the Astros in the American League West.
"It feels so good right now to get the [win]," Mazara said. "We've been working so hard to win games and it hadn't been going our way. It feels great."
Mazara may be starting to heat up again. By staying back on pitches and not getting too eager, he has eight hits in his last 17 at-bats over five games.
"He's back to where he was in Spring Training and early in the season," manager Jeff Banister said.
Mazara's night actually started off on a bad note. He struck out in the first against Royals starter Yordano Ventura and committed his first Major League error in the bottom of the inning.
Chelsor Cuthbert, batting with one out against Rangers starter Cole Hamels, doubled down the right-field line and Mazara misplayed it out of the corner. Cuthbert ended up at third on the play and scored on Eric Hosmer's grounder. Mazara had not committed an error in 200 chances coming into the game, the most by an Major League outfielder.
But Mazara's night got better quickly. Ventura retired the first nine batters he faced before walking Jurickson Profar to lead off the fourth. Mazara followed with a two-run homer over the center-field wall to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
"I saw every pitch he had in the first at-bat so I was ready for something up-and-in," Mazara said. "I was ready for anything, though, and he threw me the changeup, and I hit it pretty good. When I hit it, I didn't know if it was going to get over the fence. Then, I saw the center fielder going back, and back, and it went over his glove. It was a pretty good moment when it went over."
It was Mazara's 12th home run and first since June 19 against the Cardinals. Mazara had gone 90 at-bats before catching one with a Statcast™ exit velocity of 105.1 mph and a projected distance of 418 feet.
Mazara had an RBI double in the fifth, but his biggest plate appearance came in the seventh. He came up with two out and a runner on third against veteran reliever Joakim Soria and worked a walk. That extended the inning and the Rangers broke the game open on an RBI single by Ian Desmond and a three-run home run by Adrián Beltré.
"The walk was as big as the home run," Banister said. "There were some borderline chase pitches. That was a quality at-bat."
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.