Back-to-back-to-back HRs cap Rangers' rout
Moreland, Napoli, Andrus go deep in seventh to blow open finale vs. Mariners
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' offense has been running on speed and execution since the All-Star break, but displayed some thunder with the lumber on Wednesday afternoon.
The Rangers had a one-run lead into the seventh inning when Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli and Elvis Andrus smashed three consecutive home runs off Mariners reliever Joe Beimel. The blasts came in a span of four pitches, drove in four runs total and the Rangers went on to a 7-2 victory at Globe Life Park.
"That was great … a big inning for us and gave us a little insurance," Moreland said. "It was a big day all around, a great team effort. Great day."
It's the eighth time in club history the Rangers have hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. The last time was on May 26, 2012, when Nelson Cruz, Yorvit Torrealba and Moreland went deep.
There was some doubt about the first home run and Cruz played a part in the confusion as the Mariners' right fielder. The barrage began after Shin-Soo Choo started the inning with a walk and Adrian Beltre flied out to right.
That brought up Moreland, who hit a high fly ball to deep right. Cruz tracked the ball to the wall and tried to make a leaping catch. For a moment, many weren't sure if Cruz had caught the ball or not. Most notable was Choo, who had stopped at second base.
"I didn't see the ball," Choo said. "I looked at the umpires and they didn't do anything, so I stopped at second base."
Moreland thought he saw the ball disappear, so he kept on running.
"Choo thought Cruz had caught it," Moreland said. "He started running back toward me so I had to stop and make sure he didn't pass me and it becomes a one-run single."
First-base umpire John Tumpane hesitated and then realized the ball had eluded Cruz, instead dropping down between the wall and the beginning of the bleachers. Tumpane signaled home run.
Napoli was next, and there was no doubt about his home run. He crushed an 0-1 sinker to deep center that landed beyond the bleachers. According to Statcast™, the ball left the bat at 109 mph and was projected to land 447 feet from the plate.
"I hit it pretty good," Napoli said of his 200th homer. "It was fun. When you have an inning like that late in the game, it's big."
Andrus also left no doubt with his home run, this one leaving the bat at 102 mph and projected to land 423 feet away, according to Statcast™, before landing in the Mariners' bullpen.
That was it for Beimel. Reliever David Rollins took over and got Rougned Odor on a grounder to second to end the blastfest.
"That felt great," Andrus said. "I've watched a lot of back-to-back home runs, but I don't think I have ever been a part of one. Maybe when Ian Kinsler was here, but I don't remember it. That was a lot of fun."