Double steal keys Rangers’ win over Angels

August 3rd, 2021

ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Chris Woodward has always emphasized aggressiveness on the bases. It’s been a staple of his tenure with the club.

In Monday night's 4-1 victory over the Angels at Globe Life Field, Texas’ aggressiveness was next level when and perfectly executed a double-steal to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. In a first and third situation, Kiner-Falefa stole second, while Holt immediately took off for home. Angels catcher Max Stassi attempted to get Kiner-Falefa, allowing Holt to dive into home plate safely well before the tag.

Holt recorded the 38th steal of home in club history and the second of 2021. Woodward said it was a momentum-shifting moment, as it gave the Rangers a lead they never surrendered.

“Frankly, I was a little bit surprised they actually threw it,” Woodward said. “I know [shortstop José] Iglesias is really good about getting that relay back home, but when the third baseman is playing off like that, Brock could get a pretty big lead and a decent jump. We talk about that play all the time, and we've obviously stolen a lot of bases in first and third [situations], but most teams don’t throw in that situation. The times that they do throw, we’ve got to be ready to execute the double steal and the guys did a good job.”

No. 19 prospect Curtis Terry, who notched his first two MLB hits, said catcher Jose Trevino called the double steal in the dugout before it happened, which energized the team even more in the moment.

“It was huge,” Terry added. “Our whole team chemistry is good right now. It's just gone super up. Like that play. ... Good baserunning, playing defense hard, we’re just playing good baseball and everything during the past three or four days. We’ve just been doing well as a team and it’s leading to some wins. I'm glad I'm able to be a part of it.”

The Rangers didn’t let up, adding to their lead in the seventh with a sacrifice fly from Holt and an RBI single from Kiner-Falefa. The victory extended the Rangers' win streak to three games, something they haven’t done since late June when they won four straight against the Royals and A’s.

Woodward emphasized that this was the most all-around team win for the Rangers this season. From battling at the plate, to running the bases aggressively and giving their all on defense, it was the most complete game they’ve played.

“We look relaxed executing on offense,” Woodward said. “Listen, we didn't score 15 runs. But when we needed to, we got a guy over, and when we needed to, we got the guy in. On the defensive side, we played really well and made a lot of nice plays on the infield. The pitching and the execution was phenomenal. It was just a lot of really good things. ... It was just a well-played game on all sides of the ball.”

Since the Trade Deadline has passed, the Rangers have been playing with a renewed energy despite being one of the biggest sellers across the league. It’s palpable on the field, as the club’s youth finds a way to win games.

Terry agreed that the Deadline possibly put some undue stress on some players, but the club has really come together during the homestand after going 3-17 before this winning stretch.

“I told the guys after the game, 'That's the vision you have for a winning ballclub,'” Woodward said. “We made it look easy a little bit at times tonight, but I felt like the way they played the game, there was a calmness about our guys. I don't know if it's after the Deadline. … Obviously, it's a good unit and a good group of guys, but we need to see that more often. If we could do that every night, we would give ourselves a chance.”