ARLINGTON, Texas -- It has been well documented that the Texas Rangers offense has struggled to push runs across the plate on a consistent basis of late -- especially with runners in scoring position -- but Tuesday the offense did its job, scoring seven runs to set up Wednesday's rubber match against the Detroit Tigers.
The Rangers fell into a 2-0 hole in the first inning, but they answered Detroit almost each time they scored to secure a 7-5 win.
"We've been struggling, obviously," Yorvit Torrealba said of the offense. "But we've been finding ways to win ballgames. The offense knows where we want to be. It would be nice if the bottom of the lineup can do some damage. Today, we were able to. Hopefully, it gets us going. We've been having a lot of quality at-bats. The big hit just hasn't come through, and tonight it did."
Ian Kinsler set a good tone for the offense with a leadoff home run over the left field wall in the first inning. The Tigers tacked on to their lead in the fourth with a solo shot from Prince Fielder, but Texas came right back with four runs in the bottom of the frame to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Detroit helped the Rangers out to start the inning. Adrian Beltre beat out an infield single, but an errant throw down the right field line allowed his to get to second. Michael Young then came through with an RBI triple in the left-center gap.
Nelson Cruz followed up the Young triple with a single to tie the game, and that may have been the most important hit of all. Coming into Tuesday's contest, the Rangers were 15-of-65 with runners in scoring position over the past seven games. They were 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position Tuesday.
It didn't look like the same offense from the past few weeks. It looked like the Texas offense that was so highly regarded at the beginning of the season.
Cruz stole second before making an athletic slide safely into home on a single from Torrealba, avoiding not only the tag by Detroit catcher Alex Avila but also the bat that was lying right in front of the plate.
"Instincts, you know?" Cruz said of the slide that gave the Rangers the lead. "You go out there and you don't expect anything. You just do whatever you see and react to it."
Brandon Snyder capped off the four-run inning with an RBI single to score Torrealba.
"Their starter was a young lefty," Young said. "He had really good stuff. We were fortunate enough to string some at-bats together and push some runs across."
Detroit pushed across a run in the fifth, and once again, Texas answered. Elvis Andrus got a one-out double and later scored on a passed ball to extend the Rangers' lead.
Josh Hamilton hit his second home run in as many nights in the seventh for the Rangers' seventh run of the game, but he's still not satisfied with how he's doing at the plate after finishing the evening 1-for-4.
"Right now, it's just going up there and whatever happens, happens," Hamilton said. "The biggest thing is seeing pitches and not swinging at pitches out of the zone. I just kind of laugh at myself when I swing at pitches that are above my head. I see the ball come out of a guy's hand and I'm like 'ball.' Then, your body goes 'swing.' You just walk back (to the dugout). You can't be mad at stuff like that. You learn from it and just try to stay calm."
For an offense that has been up and down, it was big to have a night with a big inning, clutch hitting in key situations and production from nearly everyone in the lineup. Eight of the Rangers' nine starters got a hit.
"We're trying really hard to be where want to be," Torrealba said. "Obviously, we're not there yet, but today is a good sign."