Trailing by one run in the 8th after an RBI triple by Elvis Andrus had plated Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton hit a no-doubter to the upper deck in right field that silenced the hometown Twins once and for all and wrapped up the opening road series sweep.
- It’s the first time that the Rangers have swept the Twins in Minnesota since 1999.
- Prior to the sweep, the Rangers had lost 20 of their last 26 in Minnesota, including 9 of 10 at Target Field.
“You know I don’t watch them,” Hamilton said regarding the distance of his home run. “I know it feels good and sounds good and Ron yells, ‘Yes!’ pretty loud. That’s about it. But that one felt pretty good.”
“That was awesome,” outfielder David Murphy said. “We didn’t get our offense going, but with this offense, we’re never out of it. Huge shot by Josh. As long as we have outs, we’re never out of it.”
“We played good baseball,” Washington said. “We pitched, we played defense, we ran the bases, we delivered the big hit when we needed them. Everything fell into place.”
- Joe Nathan closed the door, working a perfect 9th against the middle of the Twins order and earning his 3rd save on the season.
“It’s nice to come in here and sweep these guys,” Nathan said. “I know the Twins have done pretty well against this club at this park. Today was a good win, come-from-behind win, and to hold down a one-run lead, it was nice.”
- Neftali Feliz (5 IP, 3 ER on 5 hits and 2 BB, 3 K) pitched well early in the game but ran into some trouble in the 6th and was relieved by rookie Robbie Ross, who earned the win and pitched two brilliant innings.
“It was a pretty fun weekend,” Ross said. “I enjoyed it. I tried not to put too much pressure on myself, just relax and try to get guys out.”
- This was a big one, as the Rangers were able to put the final nail in the coffin and get a series sweep…on the road no less. There was much to be impressed with in this game, including the clutch hitting of Josh and Elvis, the plate discipline of Kins, the first four innings from Nefti, the dominance of the rookie Robbie Ross…but the moment that put the biggest grin on my face was Joe Nathan closing the door on his former teammates. Once we can trust in Joe (which he has to earn through consistent dominant pitching), this thing is unstoppable.
- Rangers are off today…what the hell are we supposed to do now!
- Colby Lewis will pitch in game one of the two game series in Boston. He’ll face off with Boston ace Jon Lester. Lewis has not had much success against Boston in his career (.329/.388/.685 in 80 PAs). Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz in particular have hammered the Colbra in the past (Gonzalez: 6 for 7 with 2 HRs and a double; Ortiz: 5 for 15 with 3 HRs)
- Derek Holland vs. Josh Beckett on Wednesday to wrap the short series, then it’s on to Motown for a four game set with the Tigers and home to face the hated Yankees…who, while they’ll always be hated by Rangers fans, are no longer public enemy #1.
“They’re chasing us,” echoed second baseman Ian Kinsler. “It shouldn’t matter to us. We’re not chasing them. Obviously, they are some of the best teams in the American League, but we feel like it’s got to come through us. We just have to play good baseball.”
- Mitch Moreland missed his second straight game Sunday due to a painful abscessed tooth. He flew back to Dallas last night and is scheduled to undergo oral surgery today. The plan is for him to rejoin the club tomorrow in Boston.
- In an effort to split up the lefties in the rotation, Wash said he was considering switching Darvish and Harrison during the series with the Tigers, but no official decision has been made yet.