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Rangers rally to top Brewers

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers offense had been dormant heading into the seventh inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.

The Rangers had sent just three across the plate in 16 innings and appeared to be heading to a two-game sweep at the hands of the Brewers.

However, Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler provided pivotal hits with the bases loaded that turned a two-run deficit into a 5-4 victory for the Rangers.

"We didn't try to do too much," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "They only thing is we were trying to make sure we got something up in the zone and Elvis put a good swing on a pitch in the zone and so did Kinsler."

A lead-off single and back-to-back walks brought Andrus to the plate. The shortstop sent a single into center field to plate a run and Kinsler completed the comeback with a two-run single to left.

The Rangers (70-51) won for the ninth time in 10 games. They secured a split of the four-game season series with Milwaukee, the first meeting between the clubs since 2010.

Andrus and Kinsler combined for four of Texas' seven hits on the night, knocking in a pair of runs each.

"That's the way we've been playing lately," Washington said. "We have some guys that are capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark, but when they're not doing it, we have to do it other ways."

The Brewers (52-68) ended a nine-game road trip with a 5-4 record. They return home Thursday to face the Cincinnati Reds at the start of a seven-game homestand.

Milwaukee starter Tyler Thornburg completed six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) and five hits, departing with a 4-2 lead. However, the bullpen left him with a no-decision, as Michael Gonzalez and John Axford combined to give up three earned runs in the seventh.

"They have been doing such a great job and when they don't its surprising," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of his bullpen. "We walked the bases loaded and that is tough to do when you are up a couple of runs. These guys are not perfect and those things happen."

Texas starter Matt Garza was picked up by his offense and avoided just his second loss in a home start this season. Garza pitched 5 2/3 innings, ending a stretch of 10 consecutive games in which he completed six. He gave up four runs on eight hits.

"I am happy that we pulled it out," Garza said. "It doesn't matter when we get the win. We are trying to get to October so any win is awesome. It is a real confidence booster for a starter and any pitcher when we win a game like tonight."

Jason Frasor (4-2) threw a scoreless seventh inning for the win. Tanner Scheppers blanked the Brewers in the eighth, and Joe Nathan earned his 36th save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Leonys Martin made up for a hitless night at the plate with two crucial plays to help his pitchers out.

Martin threw out Jean Segura in the first and Carlos Gomez in the fifth to bring his team-high total in assists to 10.

"I'd just stop running on him," Garza said. "It's not even worth it anymore. It's nice having an automatic arm out there and having someone like that reassures that these guys are in it just like you are."

Martin's 10 assists are tied for the most in the American League.

Juan Francisco provided the majority of Milwaukee's offense, driving in all four runs in his second multi-homer game of the season -- the first coming as a member of the Atlanta Braves.

Texas, which went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position the night before, capitalized on its opportunities early in the game.

Adrian Beltre followed up Kinsler's two-out double off the wall with a single to shallow right field that opened up scoring in the first.

After Francisco tied the game up with a solo homer in the second, Andrus snapped a 0-for-13 skid with a hard-hit single up the middle to score David Murphy and give Texas a 2-1 advantage.

However, Francisco answered the Texas run with his second shot of the game. This time with two runners on, the first basemen sent the first pitch of the at-bat to right for a three-run homer to give Milwaukee a 4-2 lead.

NOTES: The Brewers and Rangers were delayed for a second consecutive night due to rain, this time when a 37-minute delay halted the start of the Wednesday's game. ... Texas RHP Alexi Ogando underwent a CT scan on his right shoulder after complaining about soreness following his Tuesday start. The Rangers said they would not know the results until Thursday. ... Texas' 70-51 record is the third-best mark in club history after 121 games.
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