Monday, June 20, 2016

After 2-out overturn, Rangers cap rally in St. Louis

 Jurickson Profar lined a pinch-hit two-run single with two out in the top of the eighth to put the Rangers ahead, and they held on for a 5-4 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
Texas' eighth-inning rally was helped by an overturned call off a replay review. The Rangers, who have now won six in a row, finished 8-2 on their 10-day road trip to Seattle, Oakland and St. Louis. The Cardinals have lost five straight after getting swept in the three-game series against the Rangers.
"I know we are playing solid baseball right now," closer Sam Dyson said after earning his 13th save. "We are fighting through innings, guys are coming up clutch. We're a tough team to play right now. Everybody is coming to the ballpark knowing we have a high chance of winning, and we are feeding off the intensity of each other."
It marked the first time the Cardinals have been swept on a homestand of at least five games since 1983.
"The wins will be there if we clean up our game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Every team has these types of things that they have to fight their way through. You can't just sit back on your heels and expect them to change."
The Cardinals led, 4-3, in the eighth when Rougned Odor hit a two-out double off right-handed reliever Matt Bowman. The left-handed-hitting Mitch Moreland, who homered earlier, was walked intentionally so Bowman could face Elvis Andrus, a right-handed hitter.
"The execution of it was fine," Bowman said of the double. "The pitch selection, obviously if you execute it well and he still hits it, then you tip your cap to him, and think maybe another pitch would have worked better."
Andrus hit a grounder to shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who went for the force at second. Umpire Mark Ripperger ruled Moreland out, but the Rangers challenged and the call was overturned, as Moreland's slide beat Diaz's throw to second baseman Matt Carpenter. That loaded the bases for Profar, who pinch-hit for pitcher Tony Barnette and lined a single over Diaz to drive home the tying and go-ahead runs.
"I was ready to hit all day long," Profar said. "Great job by Mitch beating that ball out and giving me the chance."
Each team hit two solo home runs. Stephen Piscotty and Matt Holliday both homered for the Cardinals, while Moreland and Nomar Mazara went deep for the Rangers.
Helping his cause: Mike Leake singled to center field off Rangers starter Martin Perez with one out and nobody on in the third inning. The pitcher moved station to station, and three batters later, he scored on Holliday's sac fly, which gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead. It was Leake's third hit in his last four at-bats, and marked the second game in a row a Cardinals starter got a hit and came around to score.
"I saw a couple changeups and fastballs," Leake said. "He was just missing off a little bit, and it gave me a chance to go deep."
Moreland crushes one: Back in the lineup after not starting for two games, Moreland hit his 11th home run of the season in the fourth. Moreland crushed a 1-1 fastball from Leake over the Cardinals' bullpen and deep into the right-field bleachers. Statcast™ projected it at 456 feet and with a 111-mph exit velocity.
"Yeah, I got that one pretty good," Moreland said.
Wrong choice: After Bowman gave up a double to Rougned Odor with two outs in the eighth, the Cardinals elected to intentionally walk Moreland. Andrus followed by grounding to Diaz, whose throw to second proved not to be on time, keeping Texas' rally going.
"I noticed Moreland was a slow runner," Diaz said. "I was just thinking get the ground ball and throw to second." More >
Cards walk ahead: Barnette entered the game with the bases loaded and one out in a tied game in the sixth. He struck out Matt Adams, but walked Eric Fryer on four pitches to force in a run and give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead. Barnette still got out of the inning and ended up as the winning pitcher when the Rangers rallied.
"Obviously you want to avoid something like that, but these guys, time and time again, pick each other up," Barnette said. "It's fun to be a part of."
"Say what you want, I don't really care, but this team is way better than anybody is giving us credit for. The proof is in what you do, and we haven't done it on a consistent basis." --Matheny, on St. Louis losing games at home
The Rangers have won six straight regular-season games at Busch Stadium since losing the final two games of the 2011 World Series here.
Tommy Pham lined a single to right with two out in the fifth and right fielder Shin-Soo Choolet it get past him for an error. Pham raced to third and was originally called safe despite two strong relay throws from Choo and second baseman Odor. The Rangers challenged the call, and it was overturned for the third out.
Carpenter slapped a ball into left-center field in the seventh. As he saw Rangers center fielder Ian Desmond field the ball, Carpenter decided to try to stretch the single into a double. Odor applied the tag as Carpenter overslid the bag. Matheny challenged the out call, but it was confirmed for the first out of the inning.
"The thought was if he pushed him off the base, if he goes at him hard, how are they going to rule that?" Matheny said. "We have nothing to lose in making sure that they take another look and have some time to think about it and get the right call."
Rangers: The Rangers return home to face the Orioles at 7:05 p.m. CT on Monday in Arlington. It's a one-game makeup from a rainout on April 17, and left-hander Derek Hollandwill pitch for Texas.
Cardinals: The Cards will start a nine-day, eight-game road trip Monday night in Chicago against the Cubs. Jaime Garcia will take the mound for St. Louis. He hasn't won a game at Wrigley Field since 2011. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. CT.

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