Rangers swipe game on Elvis' steal of home
SAN DIEGO -- Elvis Andrus' stunning steal of home finished off a four-run rally in the top of the seventh and the Rangers defeated the Padres, 8-6, at Petco Park on Tuesday night. The Rangers, with their eighth win in 11 games, are now three games behind the Astros in the American League West, while maintaining a one-game lead over the Twins for the second Wild Card spot.
"Right now every game means something so it's really intense," first baseman Prince Fielder said. "That's what makes it fun."
Rangers reliever Ross Ohlendorf earned the win in relief of starter Yovani Gallardo, pitching a scoreless inning after being called up from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day. Gallardo allowed four runs in five innings and had his latest scoreless streak end at 16 1/3.
Matt Kemp finished with four RBIs, was a triple shy of the cycle and fired a bullet from right field to save a run.
Padres starter Andrew Cashner allowed four runs in five innings. The Padres had a two-game winning streak snapped and have lost four of their last six games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kemp flirts with cycle: Kemp hit a two-run double in the third, a go-ahead, two-run homer to center field on a 2-0 count in the fifth, and a single in the seventh. He also walked in the ninth. But his most impressive play may have been his defense in the top of the third. With one out and Shin-Soo Choo at third base, Kemp fielded a liner to right off the bat of Adrian Beltre and made a throw to home measured by Statcast™ at 99 mph to keep Choo at third.
Tolleson escapes disaster: Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson, holding an 8-4 lead, ran into trouble in the ninth. Yangervis Solarte led off with a single and then Tolleson walked Brett Wallace and Kemp. He struck out Justin Upton but Jedd Gyorko singled to make it 8-5. Tolleson got Austin Hedges on a sacrifice fly to right for the second out and then Cory Spangenberg on a fly to deep center to end the game
"I'm just excited we came out on top at the end and won the game," Tolleson said.
Norris scare: With the game tied 4-4 in the seventh inning, Andrus singled to right field as Kemp picked up the ball and threw to home. As the ball entered Norris' glove, Beltre slid feet first into home and Norris' left arm, knocking the ball out and the catcher down as well. Norris lay on the ground as Rougned Odor scored Texas' third run of the inning. Trainers came out to look at what appeared to be Norris' wrist and he left the game.
"I think they diagnosed it as hyperextended elbow, hyperextended shoulder," Norris said after the game. "They'll see how it feels tomorrow when I wake up. Sometimes these things can bounce back quick, sometimes they linger. Hopefully I wake up tomorrow and get some treatment. Hopefully we'll be OK to go tomorrow. We'll see."
Fielder goes deep: Fielder gave the Rangers a lead in the first on a two-run home run. It was his 18th home run of the season, but just his fourth in 155 at-bats since the All-Star break.
"It's always good to score first and give your team the go-ahead runs," Fielder said.
The Rangers were hoping to win a challenge on a close play in the seventh inning. Choo grounded out to shortstop Gyorko with one out and was narrowly called out at first base by first-base umpire Tripp Gibson. The Rangers challenged and the call was confirmed as the throw just barely beat Choo.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Andrus' steal of home in the seventh was his fourth of his career and extends his own club record. He was the last Ranger to steal home on Aug. 19, 2013. Andrus' three previous steals of home came as part of a double steal. The last straight steal of home by a Ranger was Scarborough Green on May 26, 2000. More >
INJURIES FOR PADRES
First baseman Yonder Alonso left the game with lower-back tightness in the third inning. It was unclear when Alonso got injured, but it appeared he may have struggled to pick up a ground ball in the top of that inning. Alonso hit a double, his 18th of the year, in his only at-bat of the game in the first inning. More >
Shortly after Norris was injured on Beltre's slide at the plate, reliever Shawn Kelley appeared to have hurt himself after throwing a warm-up pitch. He immediately walked off the field and headed into the clubhouse. Kevin Quackenbush replaced Kelley. Austin Hedges came into the game to replace Norris. Norris was 0-for-3 before leaving the game. More >
"We had three guys go out tonight in the game, that's very unusual," Murphy said.
Rangers: Cole Hamels, who is from San Diego, pitches against the Padres at 9:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Petco Park. Hamels is 5-1 with a 1.78 ERA in eight career starts at Petco. He has won his last two starts, allowing three runs in 14 innings.
Padres: Right-hander Ian Kennedy goes for his fifth straight win at home. Kennedy is 4-0 with a 1.57 ERA in his last four starts at Petco.
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