ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Now the AL West champion Texas Rangers have to wait to find out when they will play at home again.
They’ve already had a record-setting season at Rangers Ballpark.
Yorvit Torrealba(notes) hit two of Texas’ four home runs, including a grand slam, in a 12-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday as the Rangers matched a franchise record with their 52nd home win in their final regular-season game in Arlington.
With three games left before the postseason begins, Texas stayed a game ahead of AL Central champion Detroit for the second-best record in the American League and home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
“Home-field advantage definitely matters,” said Ian Kinsler(notes), who had the two-run homer that put the Rangers ahead to stay. “I don’t know how much. It kind of depends on the team and the team that you’re playing. We’d love to play games at home.
“If we are or aren’t, I don’t think it’s going to affect us that great. But we’d love to play at home.”
The Rangers wrap up the regular season with three games at the Los Angeles Angels, who could still win the wild card. Detroit plays three games at home against Cleveland.
With a crowd of 43,508 on Sunday, Texas also set a franchise record for season attendance with 2,946,949 in its 51st season. And it came during one of the hottest summers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including 27 games at Rangers Ballpark when the temperature was 100 degrees or more at first pitch.
“I think it’s pretty amazing when you consider the record heat that we’ve had here in the Metropelex and all over Texas this year to set the all-time attendance record,” team president Nolan Ryan said. “It’s a shame that we had to endure the heat. … The team has played extremely well under those conditions and I think it speaks volumes for our fans that were willing to come out and endure the heat and put themselves in that situation. We are truly appreciative of that.”
The only other time the Rangers won 52 games at home was 1978.
Derek Holland(notes) (16-5) pitched his scheduled five innings and matched C.J. Wilson(notes) with his team-high 16th victory. The left-hander gave up three runs on a pair of homers while striking out seven and walking one.
“It was pretty good. He got a first-pitch fastball up to (Chris) Gimenez and today the ball was flying. Then he made a mistake to (Alex) Liddi. Other than that, I thought he did extremely well,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He’s growing leaps and bounds, getting better each time he takes the ball.”
Holland has won five consecutive decisions over his past six starts and is 10-1 with a 2.77 ERA over his past 15 starts.
Wilson will start the playoff opener and Holland will be part of the four-man postseason rotation, though Washington isn’t ready to say in which slot.
Kinsler had a leadoff walk in the fifth before stealing second and third, extending his team record to 28 consecutive successful attempts. That streak ended when he was caught stealing to end the sixth after a pitchout.
Two days after Craig Gentry’s(notes) inside-the-park home run for Texas, German sprinted around the bases and scored for a 6-3 lead while fireworks were shot off as they are for homers at Rangers Ballpark. But the official scorer gave German a sacrifice fly and charged Robinson with a rare four-base error.
“That’s a ball he has to catch,” manager Eric Wedge said. “It looked like he picked his head up to throw home or to third base.”
Kinsler’s two-run shot in the third off rookie left-hander Charlie Furbush(notes) (4-10) snapped a 1-all tie and put Texas ahead to stay before Mike Napoli(notes) added an RBI single later in the inning. It was the 31st homer for Kinsler, equaling a career high for the Rangers’ leadoff hitter.
Beltre led off the second with his 30th homer, hitting the ninth pitch he got onto the hill in center. It was his 10th homer in his past 13 games.
Furbush allowed six runs, five earned, and six hits over 4 1-3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.
NOTES: Texas finished 15-4 against Seattle. … The only Rangers player with more September homers than Beltre was Alex Rodriguez(notes), who had 11 in 2001. … Beltre’s only other 30-homer season was 2004, when he had 48 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. … Wilson (16-7) makes his last scheduled start of the regular season Monday night against the Angels. Washington said Wilson will throw “maybe three innings.” … Seattle LHP Jason Vargas(notes) goes for his career-high 10th victory Monday at home against Oakland. … Seattle finished 28-50 on the road. The Mariners got three extra games at home when Florida had to play its three-game “home” series in Seattle because of a scheduling conflict.