Extra Bases: Youth is served for Rangers
Outfielders Leonys Martin and Engel Beltre sparked the Rangers' offense, scoring all three runs to help Yu Darvish win for the first time in eight starts.
That set up a suicide squeeze for shortstop Elvis Andrus. The Rangers scored two runs on the play as Beltre slid into home plate and had a collision with Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco to score the first run. Latos' throw home was wild for an error, hitting Beltre in the head and allowing Martin to score for a 2-0 lead.
"We wanted to get something started for the team," Beltre said. "The bunt is part of my game. I want to use my speed."
|Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news, including Yu Darvish bringing back his fastball.
Martin had another hit in the seventh inning, extending his team-high hitting streak to 14 games. He also promptly stole second base, his 13th consecutive successful steal attempt. He later scored on Nelson Cruz's RBI single for a 3-0 lead, a run that turned out to be the game-winning run.
But young players do make mistakes. Third baseman Adrian Beltre did provide a teaching moment for the other Beltre after the top of the eighth.
A throw by Engel Beltre from the outfield missed the cutoff man, allowing the tying run to move into scoring position. The Rangers were fortunate to keep the Reds from tying the game as relievers Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor got out of the inning.
The older Beltre pointed to second base to remind his teammate where the throw should go. He also pulled him aside with Martin and Jurickson Profar to remind them of the importance of hitting the cutoff man.
"It's not something you want to do," the older Beltre said. "We were just talking about the play. The young guys are learning."
Ogando stepping up: Right-hander Alexi Ogando (shoulder inflammation) will throw a live bullpen session Wednesday as he gets closer to going on a rehab assignment. Meanwhile, right-hander Colby Lewis (pronator surgery rehab) will throw a bullpen Tuesday.
Nathan rolling: Closer Joe Nathan strengthened his All-Star case Sunday, converting his 27th save out of 28 chances. He has a streak of 7 1/3 scoreless innings.
Series winners: The Rangers have won four consecutive series and improved to 6-2 in rubber games with Sunday's win over the Reds.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.