ST. LOUIS -- The Rangers rallied with two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings for a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium. Texas has won five in a row and recorded its ninth straight series win, a club record. The Cards have lost
ST. LOUIS -- The Rangers rallied with two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings for a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium. Texas has won five in a row and recorded its ninth straight series win, a club record. The Cards have lost four straight.
The loss went to Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, his second of the year, and Kevin Siegrist was charged with his third blown save after Carlos Martinez held the Rangers scoreless over seven splendid innings. The Rangers won by manufacturing four runs despite being 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
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"That's not how you draw it up," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "You don't want to play it like that every day, but it shows the resiliency of this ballclub. These guys live for the moment and believe in each other."
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Rougned Odor started the ninth inning with a hard grounder at first baseman Matt Adams, who bobbled the ball momentarily. That allowed Odor to beat Rosenthal to the base for an infield single.
"It was a bang-bang play," Rosenthal said. "He was a fast runner. If I would have broken over a hair earlier, I would have had him no problem."
Jurickson Profar followed with a single to left, putting runners on first and second. Robinson Chirinos then went up to bunt the runners to second and third, but a passed ball by catcher Yadier Molina did the trick.
Chirinos then was hit by a 1-1 pitch on the right arm. It appeared to be in a similar area where he was hit in April that resulted in a forearm fracture. This time, Chirinos stayed in the game.
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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny brought in left-hander Siegrist to face Mitch Moreland. But Banister countered with Ryan Rua, who popped to shallow center, keeping Odor at third. Shin-Soo Choo then worked the count full, fouling off three pitches, and took ball four to force in the tying run. Ian Desmond then put the Rangers ahead with a sacrifice fly to deep left field.
In the eighth, Seung Hwan Oh allowed Choo to score on a wild pitch, before Desmond scored on Adams' fielding error, pulling the Rangers within one.
"They never give up," Banister said. "They don't. It comes in all areas. A complete team effort."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Desmond makes big throw: The Cardinals scored two in the fifth, on RBI singles from Kolten Wong and Stephen Piscotty, to take a 3-0 lead against Nick Martinez -- who exited his first start of the season after 4 1/3 -- but Desmond cut the rally short. With the bases loaded and one out, he caught Adams' fly ball in center field and made a perfect throw to the plate to cut down Wong trying to score.
"Chirinos did a great job," Desmond said. "The throw was fading. He stuck his nose in there and made the tag. That goes to him."
Masterful Martinez: Carlos Martinez has now pitched seven or more innings in three of his last four starts and is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in June after he gave up only four hits Saturday. He loaded the bases in the first inning but got Prince Fielder to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the threat and retired nine of the next 10 batters. He had recorded a decision in all 12 of his starts this season until Saturday.
"In the beginning of the season, I felt like I was going through a slump, but now I feel like I'm getting back," Martinez said. "I feel, actually, very mature. My mind is in the game, and I feel ready to keep on going with this streak."
Bullpen shines: The Rangers received 4 2/3 scoreless innings from their bullpen. Cesar Ramos gave them 2 2/3, Shawn Tolleson worked the eighth to get the win and Jake Diekman earned the save in the ninth.
"Obviously, we don't get the opportunity to come back if the bullpen doesn't give us 4 2/3 scoreless innings," Banister said. "Great job by them."
Here's Jhonny: Since he started the season on the disabled list after thumb surgery, Jhonny Peralta hadn't come around to touch home at Busch Stadium this season. He finally got the chance Saturday, when he doubled in the second inning and came around to score on a single from Molina.
It was the Cardinals' first run scored in the series after Cole Hamels shut them out Friday night.
"You could say probably as soon as we got out of the shower." -- Wong, on how long it will take the team to forget Saturday's game
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Rangers:Martin Perez pitches for the Rangers at 1:15 p.m. CT in Sunday's finale against the Cardinals. Perez is riding a five-game winning streak and needs one more victory to tie his career high.
Cardinals:Mike Leake will take the mound for the Cards. He's 0-1 with a 2.03 ERA in two starts against Texas, but he has won two of his last three outings.
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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.
** Nick Krueger** is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis.