Offense executes, puts together big innings

ARLINGTON, Texas -- For a brief moment, it appeared that the Texas Rangers' offense might have another rough night of execution. Adrian Beltre led off the second inning with a double and Michael Young's grounder got him to third with one out. In April and part of May, the Rangers flourished in those situations. But since then, they haven't been as consistent in getting that runner home. And in the second on Monday, Mike Napoli and Brandon Snyder struck out following a Nelson Cruz walk to end the inning without scoring a run.

"It was big to bounce back after that and not let that hurt us," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We did the things we needed to after that."

They did thanks to two big innings. The offense put up nine runs, tying its high total for July, and they did it by scoring runs in a variety of ways. It started with a double steal with Andrus at the plate in the third inning after Craig Gentry singled and Ian Kinsler walked.

"Craig was trying to get to third it seemed like the whole at-bat," Kinsler said. "He was very patient. He kind of gave away his hand a little early there, but he was able to get the bag late and it definitely helped us that inning. When you can get a double steal it changes the whole inning. First and second is a lot different than second and third to a pitcher and to the hitter."

Andrus said he then expected to see fastballs with the Red Sox not likely to risk a ball in the dirt that would score a run.

"They made it easier for me trying to shoot the middle and bring the run in and move the runner to third base," Andrus said. "I wasn't trying to pull at all. I wanted to hit the middle or hit it to second base. When you do little things like that, you always get a plus."

Andrus executed with two strikes, hitting the ball toward second base. His speed did the rest, forcing an off-balance, errant throw by Dustin Pedroia that allowed a second run to score.

With Andrus on at second base, Josh Hamilton, who has struggled in June and July, stayed back on an 85-mph changeup and hit a double to the opposite field, scoring Andrus. Young kept things going with a clutch single and by the time the inning was over, the Rangers had turned a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 lead. They tacked on five more in the sixth, two of them on Mike Napoli's home run on a 3-2 pitch. Hamilton did what the game asked, hitting a sacrifice fly to score a runner from third. In other words: It was a solid, all-around game for the offense, something it badly needed.

"It's a reminder of what we're capable of," David Murphy said. "There's a lot of games where we haven't been sharp offensively this year and we won. That's the bottom line. But on a night like this, you're laying in bed at night and you feel great about what the team did. You know we played up to our capabilities. That's something we'd like to see more of. Wins are the most important thing. But with the hits we've taken to our pitching staff lately, it would be nice if our offense would stay on its game this year."