After suffering through a slump which included a six-game losing streak and the loss of the division lead, the Texas Rangers have managed to turn things around, winning their last four consecutive games. More impressively, they’ve done so against some of the stiffest competition in the league: division rivals Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals, who currently hold the best record in the MLB.
Coming off an early but crucial series in which the Rangers were able to take three out of four games from the A’s, the team packed up and headed to St. Louis–site of their heartbreaking Game 6 loss in the 2011 World Series– hoping to steal a series win on the road against the best team in baseball. Fortunately, they were able to do just that as the Rangers have taken the first two games of the three-game series.
In Saturday night’s game vs. the Cardinals, the Rangers called up Martin Perez, considered to be the the top pitching prospect in the club’s system, who was sent back down to Triple-A in late May after struggling. Since then, Perez has dominated, going 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA in four starts with the Round Rock Express. It was a solid outing for the 22-year-old, who went seven full innings giving up just two runs.
For the second straight game, Nelson Cruz knocked in the go-ahead run.
The Rangers caught fire right when they needed to find a way to stop the bleeding, though we aren’t quite yet even halfway through the season. Nevertheless, the race for the American League West could once again come down to the wire, and while it may not seem like it at this point, every game counts.