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Chirinos comes up big for Rangers in win

Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- For better or for worse, Robinson Chirinos found himself in the center of the action more times than not in the Rangers' 7-5 win over the Angels in 10 innings on Wednesday night.

An inning removed from being thrown out at home plate as the go-ahead run by Mike Trout, Chirinos delivered an RBI single that proved to be the deciding run in the victory as the Rangers pulled to within two games of the Twins for the second American League Wild Card.

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ANAHEIM -- For better or for worse, Robinson Chirinos found himself in the center of the action more times than not in the Rangers' 7-5 win over the Angels in 10 innings on Wednesday night.

An inning removed from being thrown out at home plate as the go-ahead run by Mike Trout, Chirinos delivered an RBI single that proved to be the deciding run in the victory as the Rangers pulled to within two games of the Twins for the second American League Wild Card.

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"Tough moment [for him] getting thrown out at the plate," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "However, he maintained his focus and that's why he stayed in the game. That's why we didn't take him out of the game … We want his decision-making behind the plate in games like this.

"For him to stay focused, to stay engaged -- enormous."

Chirinos was able to remain in the contest prior to being thrown out, despite being drilled with a 90-mph cutter from Bud Norris. With relievers like Alex Claudio and Ricardo Rodriguez out of the game, and the Rangers' bench shortened to just two players, Banister wouldn't have changed a thing about the ninth.

"Robbie, we know with what his speed level is, it took a strike to throw him out," Banister said of Trout's 250-foot toss. "It also looked like Robbie caught a cleat and his foot went up in the air. If his foot stays down, he's safe."

Chirinos' RBI in the 10th was one of two in the contest. His solo home run in the third, which sailed a Statcast-projected 425 feet over the wall in center field, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead and added to his career high with home run No. 15.

Video: TEX@LAA: Chirinos on the Rangers' extra-innings win

It was more than just his offense that stood out, though.

"He's been the guy who we've looked to to make decisions, call games, keep the pitchers engaged, keep them calm, and take care of what we need to behind the plate," Banister said.

He wasn't the only one who felt that way.

"His defense was unbelievable tonight," said Andrew Cashner, who took a no-decision and has a 2.81 ERA over his last eight starts. "Just a big team effort for us."

Rougned Odor staked the Rangers to a lead in the 10th with a sacrifice fly. But due to Kole Calhoun's RBI single in the bottom half of the inning, it was Chirinos' run-scoring single that was ultimately the deciding factor in taking the edge in the series over the divisional and AL Wild Card rival.

"A lot of feel-good coming out of this game," Banister said.

Ryan Posner is a contributor to MLB.com. He covered the Rangers on Wednesday.

Texas Rangers, Robinson Chirinos