Chi-Chi Gonzalez rebounded nicely from a rough start to his start, Mitch Moreland went 4-4 with a HR (17) and 4 RBI, and the Rangers escape their 6-game road trip with a 2-4 record.
Gonzalez allowed 5 runs in 5.2 innings -- 4 in the bottom of the 2nd -- on 5 hits, walking 5 while striking out 4. Over his last 4 big league starts dating back to June 23rd, Chi-Chi is sitting at a K/BB ratio of 9/12, with 4 HRs allowed in 19 frames. His ERA over that span is 9.47.
The game looked pretty hopeless at the outset; trailing 4-0 with a struggling rookie on the mound, with an offense that -- aside the 8 runs it scored in the 11th inning in Seattle over the weekend -- had scored a total of 11 runs in its previous 49 innings, I was about ready to pack it in and get ready for Tampa this weekend.
Then, Mitch Moreland happened. Against Ervin Santana in the top of the 4th, he bopped an upper-deck HR to cut the lead in half. The next inning, down by one with two outs and two runners on, Mitch smacked a go-ahead double off the wall in right-center to make it 5-4 Texas.
That lead stood until the bottom of the 6th when, after Chi-Chi allowed his second walk of the inning, was removed for Keone Kela. Aaron Hicks proceeded to single in the game-tying run, and the game was even at 5-5 until Elvis Andrus hit the game-winning sac fly in the top of the 8th.
As an aside, I think it's worth mentioning that during the offseason last year, there was some short-lived speculation about whether or not Moreland would be non-tendered from the roster. Luckily he wasn't, and Mitch has rewarded the organization with his most productive season to date, generating a .295/.335/.511 (131 wRC+) triple slash line while being a +2 WAR first baseman.
Shawn Tolleson closed out the contest with a perfect 9th, sending the Rangers to 56-57 as they go home to play the Rays. On the season Tolleson has a 56/12 K/BB ratio in 51. IP. Dude has been dynamite for Texas in 2015.