The Texas Rangers feel better about their chances now than they did before Friday’s game. They held their ground in the wild card race with a 5-3 victory over Anaheim, and are now only one-game back of each Tampa Bay and Cleveland.
The Rays lost to the Blue Jays, and the Rangers now only need one of them to lose in the final two games to force a tiebreaker. That, of course, only happens if the Rangers win their next two games against the Angels.
“Now that they’re tied, anything can happen,” outfielder Alex Rios said. “Anything can really happen right now, but we’re focusing on the task we have tomorrow and the next day.”
Here are a few postgame notes:
* The Rangers bullpen came through once again with 3 2/3 perfect innings. Jason Frasor retired the two batters he faced in the sixth, and then Neal Cotts, Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan each had a 1-2-3 inning to close out the game.
“We have guys who know what they’re doing and they’re not afraid of the moment,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “It’s a good feeling to look out there and see them coming in. They’re good weapons to have, it really shortens the game.”
The bullpen has been relied on heavily this homestand, but as Nathan said: “You’re at a time now where adrenaline is going to take over. So if you’re tired, you won’t feel it when you’re out there.”
* Alex Rios continues to come through for the Rangers. He drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the seventh, and then scored an insurance run on A.J. Pierzynski’s infield single.
“It is satisfying because you get ahead in the game,” Rios said. “This is what we’re looking for. To get a big run like that, feels good.”
* Saturday’s game has been pushed up to 11:05 a.m. due to weather concerns later in the day. The Rangers and Angels each have to deal with it, but as Joe Nathan said:
“At least we’re coming in with something to play for. We’ll adjust and get ready for the game. Obviously we need everybody to get home, sleep quick.”-- Drew Davison