GameS 10, 11
8 inn., gm 1
All the weight was on the pitchers' shoulders as the Rangers and Royals met up for the final time during the regular season with a doubleheader tilt at Centerville high school.
Joe Becker took the mound for game one in search of career win No. 50. The Royals jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the first on Chris Flaherty's 2-run home run. But the Rangers answered in the bottom of the inning. Nick Gilmore walked and stole second and scored on Rob Pederson's double. With Joe Becker running for Pederson, Becker stole third and scored on a throwing error from the catcher to tie the game.
The Royals regained the advantage in the second as Eric Jameson smacked a two-run single. Pederson led off the third with a hit. With Gilmore running, he stole second and went to third, as Ian Huss' grounder was thrown away. As Huss drew the pitcher's attention on an early steal attempt, Gilmore scampered home for the third run. Pederson also led off the fifth with a hit. And as Gilmore replaced Pederson on the basepaths again, he stole second and third and scored on Huss' sac fly to the game at 4-4.
The Royals found new life as Ryan Callison's moonshot solo homer in the top of the sixth gave the lead back to the Royals. With the bottom of the 7th in hand, Huss started the comeback with a single and a stolen base. But with two outs, Chris Pluta placed a perfect single to left to score Huss with the tying run to force extra innings.
After Becker got through the top of the 8th unscathed, the storybook script was about to be penned. Chris Ridl started the bottom of the 8th with a clean single to left. What happened next is how legends are made.....Joe Becker, already pitching 8 innings, decided to take things into his own hands and tattooed an Evan Koogler fast ball into the left field parking lot for a stunning walk-off 2-run home run!
And in recording his first ever home run, Becker earned himself career win No. 50!
Game two had the makings of another nail-biter. Super-sub Ian Huss was called upon to start on the hill and was impressive over 5 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits. The Royals again jumped out first with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second on RBIs from John Ramsey and Dakota Reumann.
The Rangers chipped away, just like they did in the first game. In the top of the third, Chris Jones reached on an error and stole second. Nick Gilmore then followed with an RBI double. Huss, doing what pitchers did best on the day, homered to lead off the top of the fourth inning to tie the game at 2-2. In the fifth, Chris Ridl led off with a single and stole second. Joe Becker then singled him home to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
Huss ran into a little trouble in the bottom of the fifth as he loaded the bases with one out, but got Chris Flaherty to hit into an ending-inning double play to kill their rally.
The Rangers had their opportunity to really put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth as Huss, Brandon Marshall and Chris Pluta singled in succession. But Royals pitcher Tyler Eaton got a popup, strikeout and flyout to strand all the runners.
This proved to be crucial as the Royals rallied in the bottom of the sixth off of Joe Becker to score twice to take a 4-3 lead. And the Rangers went out 1-2-3 in the 7th.
Offensive highlights: Rob Pederson 3-for-7, double, RBI; Nick Gilmore 2-for-6, 3 runs, RBI, double, 7 SB; Ian Huss 3-for-6, 2 runs, 2 RBI, HR, 2 SB; Chris Ridl 3-for-7, 2 runs, SB; Joe Becker 2-for-7, 2 runs, 3 RBI, HR, SB; Brandon Marshal 4-for-7, double, 2 SB
Historical Notes: Joe Becker earned his 50th career win. Nick Gilmore set a Rangers single-game record with 6 stolen bases. Eric Becker is 3 RBIs shy of 100 in league play. Jonmarc Lippincott is 2 walks shy of 300 in league play. Rangers franchise win total sits at 395.