ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sometimes, like Monday night, a starter can give up five runs in the first two innings and win the game going away, behind 11 runs and some mammoth long balls. Then, 24 hours later, that same offense has to scratch just to score one run and the pitching has to make it hold up.
"That's baseball," Rangers veteran Michael Young said. "Sometimes you score a run because of baserunning and that's all you get."
The Rangers' versatility on offense was critical to its success the past two seasons. And already in this Mariners series alone, fans have seen it. On Tuesday, it was doing the little things right second inning that proved to be the winning formula.
"As soon as I hit the ball, I become a baserunner," Young said. "My job is to get to second base. Adrian did a great job of staying in the rundown long enough for me to get there."
So Young was at second with one out and Nelson Cruz at the plate. As soon as Beavan threw a ball in the dirt, Young didn't hestitate and sprinted to third, sliding in easily. That put him on third base with one out and Cruz still batting. Cruz struck out, but the red-hot David Murphy hit a ball in the hole at shortstop and it went off the glove of a diving Munenori Kawasaki for an infield hit that scored Young.
Those are the things that win ball games, and the Rangers executed it Tuesday.