The Rangers sent 16 hitters to the plate in their 11-run fifth, and Kevin Millwood had to find a way to stay busy between innings. Here's how he spent the top of the fifth.
"I got up and shook hands a lot," he said. "I went down and stretched a little bit and threw against the wall a little bit behind the dugout. I tried to do everything I could to stay loose. I'll take that any time. I'll find a way to stay loose."
The Rangers will at least have something to play for when they head to Los Angeles Monday. Even if the Angels win tonight and Sunday and the Rangers lose Sunday, Los Angeles cannot clinch the outright West title. The Rangers will control their own destiny at least through Thursday, and that isn't lost on the players.
"We started struggling there and we said the same thing then as we're saying now," David Murphy said. "We're going to go out and play the game the right way and play hard every single day and see what happens. The odds are definitely tough, but we still have a shot at it so why not keep playing for it."
It started out looking like it would be a squandered opportunity as the team loaded the bases before Matt Garza got Elvis Andrus to fly out and Josh Hamilton to strike out. But Marlon Byrd hit a grand slam that started a stretch of 10-consecutive Rangers to reach. By the time Hank Blalock flied out to center, the Rangers had turned a 3-1 deficit into a 12-3 lead. Byrd, David Murphy, Ivan Rodriguez, Julio Borbon and Josh Hamilton each had RBI in the inning.
He's got five more RBI and has singlehandely given the Rangers a 5-3 lead. He has 89 RBI on the season. If he wants a three-year deal, the Rangers should give it to him. He's been the team's best outfielder all season long. How can just let that go?
Matt Garza has struck out five through the first three innings. That's not exactly the return Ron Washington expected when he decided to use the same lineup that scored eight runs Friday. The Rangers trail 3-0 in teh fourth inning.
The rookie made his 12th start of the season in left Saturday night, but manager Ron Washington said he'd see some time in center before the season is over. It's just a matter of when. As long as the Rangers remain in the playoff picture, it won't happen.
His three-run homer to left in the eighth gave him 30 homers on the season. He's just the third second baseman in big-league history to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season. Alfonso Soriano has done it three times and Brandon Phillips once.