August was a critical month. The Rangers widened the gap on the Angels, then it closed on them a bit, and the club widened it again. Beating the Angels 5 out of 7 games helped. A look back:
Webb won’t make big leagues: Aug. 1 – Brandon Webb has shoulder surgery, ending his 2011 season. He was never able to find his velocity or pitch well enough for the Rangers to consider him for the rotation. He earns $3 million guaranteed, but doesn’t reach any of the incentives in his contract.
Hamstring setback: Aug. 6 – Adrian Beltre, running the bases in hopes of going on a rehab assignment, reaggravates his hamstring and isn’t able to return until Sept. 1.
Tough walkoff loss: Aug. 18 – Three outs away from an 8-game lead, Mike Adams allows a two-run, walkoff homer to Mike Trumbo to give the Angels some hope. Texas wins three of four in the series and leaves with a 6-game lead, but the hit also gives the Angels some momentum.
Critical win: Aug. 28 – After splitting the first two games of a home series with the Angels, Texas needs a win to avoid watching its lead fall to just one game. They get it, behind a strong showing from Derek Holland and nine runs from the offense. Jered Weaver gets the loss pitching on short rest. The win puts the Rangers 3 games up and gives them some momentum.
Acquiring reinforcements: Aug. 31 – Matt Treanor and Michael Gonzalez join the Rangers before the August waiver trade deadline at 11 p.m. Dallas time. The moves make both players eligible for the postseason. Treanor provides a veteran third catcher and Gonzalez is a late-inning situational lefty.
Other August moments:
Aug. 2: Adams, admitting nerves in his first appearance for Texas, gave up a game-winning homer to Brennan Boesch in Detroit.
Aug. 5: Elvis Andrus’ aggressive baserunning, going from second to home on an infield single by Josh Hamilton, provides the winning run in the bottom of the 11th in an 8-7 win. Texas was down two in the ninth and came back to tie it. …A new song titled, ‘That’s the Way Baseball Go,’ debuts at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Co-chairman Bob Simpson and his wife, Janice, come up with the lyrics and have Merle Haggard sing it to his hit ‘That’s the Way Love Goes’ as a tribute to Ron Washington.
Aug. 7: Michael Young gets his 2,000th hit.
Aug. 11: Texas sits 2 games up in the AL West as they head out for a 10-game road trip through Oakland, Anaheim and Chicago.
Aug. 17: Ian Kinsler’s flare helps the Rangers grab a late lead and they hang on for a 4-3 victory over Anaheim, pushing the AL West lead to 7 games, the highest all season.
Aug. 25: The Rangers fall, 6-0, to the Red Sox, losing the final three games of the four-games series. The lead in the AL West, which was 7 games on Aug. 17, drops to 2.
Aug. 28: After splitting the first two games of a home series with the Angels, Texas needs a win to avoid watching its lead fall to just one game. They get it, behind a strong showing from Derek Holland and nine runs from the offense. Jered Weaver gets the loss pitching on short rest. The win puts the Rangers 3 games up and gives them some momentum.