Thanks to a power resurgence, the Texas Rangers are in position to set the franchise record for consecutive road wins in a season.
With ace Yu Darvish on the mound, the Rangers try for a 10th straight road victory Saturday night against the Chicago White Sox in the annual Civil Rights Game.
Though Texas (75-53) won 10 straight road contests spanning the 2011-12 seasons, it matched the single-season club mark from 1977 with Friday’s 11-5 rout of Chicago. Ian Kinsler hit a strange inside-the-park home run for one of the season-high five homers by the AL West-leading Rangers, who won for 19th time in 23 games.
Adrian Beltre, Jeff Baker, Mitch Moreland and Chicago native Adam Rosales also went deep for Texas, which totaled four home runs in its previous 10 contests.
“We’ve got guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark, but we just haven’t been hitting it out of the ballpark,” manager Ron Washington said. “All that tells me is we’re able to win baseball games many, many ways, not just with the long ball.”
Kinsler’s third inning line drive rolled into a drainage track under the left-field line wall. By the time Dayan Viciedo was able to find it, Kinsler was about to score.
“The ground rules say that if the ball is trapped and visible, you have to go get it,” Washington said. “It was visible.”
Kinsler is 7 for 15 with six RBIs in the last four games, and 8 for 18 with five driven in versus Chicago this season.
Two former White Sox, A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios, did not homer but combined to go 3 for 9 with three runs scored and an RBI.
Darvish (12-5, 2.68 ERA) has posted a 1.73 ERA while going 4-1 in his last six starts, and is 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA in four this month. Two of those August victories came on the road, where he’s yielded three solo homers and one other run over 15 innings.
The right-hander, however, wasn’t all that sharp at home Sunday when he allowed three runs and seven hits while walking four in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-3 loss to Seattle.
“In many games I have trouble with my command in any inning I throw, but (Sunday) it happened after the sixth inning,” Darvish said.
He is 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA against the White Sox (52-75), but that victory came April 30 when he gave up four runs, seven hits and fanned nine in six innings of a 10-6 win.
Dayan Viciedo is 0 for 3 versus Darvish, but 6 for 13 with seven RBIs in the last three games. He had two hits and two RBIs on Friday as Chicago’s season-high six-game winning streak ended.
Chicago starter Hector Santiago (4-7, 3.27) is 1-1 in his last five starts, but has a 2.97 ERA during that span. He allowed nine hits but one earned run in six innings of a 5-2 victory at Minnesota on Sunday.
“That’s just kind of the way he pitches,’ manager Robin Ventura said. “Over the course of the season, he finds a way to get into a little bit of trouble and then get out.”
Though the left-hander is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his last seven starts at U.S. Cellular Field, he gave up a homer to Beltre and one other hit while striking out six in 5 1-3 innings of a 3-1 win at Texas on May 2.