When surging Texas goes for a three-game sweep of the visiting Chicago White Sox on Sunday at Globe Life Park in Arlington Youth Derrick Nnadi Jersey , Texas, Cole Hamels, the pitcher the Rangers expected to be their bell cow in this season of rebuilding, will be on the mound.|
It remains to be seen how much longer Hamels (4-6, with a 3.61 ERA) stays in that position. He could, instead, be a huge piece to the puzzle in a trade that would net more prospects for a team in dire need of them.
The White Sox will send right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (3-5, 3.73 ERA) to the mound in the series finale.
The Rangers beat Chicago 13-4 on Saturday behind five solid innings from the ageless Bartolo Colon, a three-run double from Robinson Chirinos, a home run from Joey Gallo and a seven-run eighth inning.
Texas was without designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo on Saturday as he battles right quad soreness and was given the night off.
Choo said his upper quad has been bothering him over the past 10 days, but he’s played through it well enough to extend his streak of reaching base to 41 straight games, tops in the Major Leagues this season. It’s also tied with Toby Harrah (1985) for the third-longest single-season streak in club history.
“I felt like it was an opportunity to get him off his legs, give him a day,” manager Jeff Banister told mlb.com about Choo’s absence from the starting lineup. “He’s played through it for a while.”
Choo underwent an MRI at his own request on Saturday and said afterward he does not believe the injury is serious.
“I know I have the streak going on, but my body and staying healthy is more important,” Choo said. “And winning games is more important than records. I don’t want to make it worse. I don’t think it’s serious.”
Chicago is another team building from the ground up but already has its second baseman of the future, Yoan Moncada, on the field as an everyday player. Moncada, who was acquired from Boston as part of the trade that sent Chris Sale to the Red Sox Youth Dorian O'Daniel Jersey , has struggled through the first half of the season, hitting just .225 after batting .231 in 54 games last season.
He also has a team-high 13 errors at second base.
“I did not expect to have as many tough, difficult moments as I’ve been having,” Moncada told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’ve learned that this is a process, it’s something young guys have to get used to. You can’t get frustrated at any point. If you keep your faith in what you do, you’re going to be good.”
Lopez will make his 17th start of the season, 10th on the road and second against the Rangers this season when he takes the hill on Sunday. He is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA over his past three road starts. His last time out, on June 26, Lopez earned the win versus Minnesota, allowing four runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings in an 8-4 Chi-Sox victory.
Lopez is receiving a 3.45 run support average this season, the ninth-lowest in the AL. He will be making his third career start against the Rangers and second at Globe Life Park.
Lopez garnered the win in his last start against Texas on May 20 in Chicago, pitching eight scoreless innings.
Hamels will also make his 17th start of the season and leads all Texas starters in ERA (3.61), starts (16), innings (97 1/3), and strikeouts (97). He has gone 3-2 with a 3.28 ERA in his nine starts since May 5 to lower his ERA from 4.08 to 3.61.
Hamels will be working on five days’ rest and last worked and took a no-decision in the Rangers’ 7-4 win on Monday at home against San Diego. He allowed a season-high nine hits in that game, exiting after trailing 4-1 in the sixth, ending a streak of eight straight starts six-plus or more innings pitched.
Hamels has gone 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox, recording quality starts in three of those four outings.
Blake Bortles never had a game like this.Not in college. Not in high school. Not in peewee football. Not even in the backyard against family and friends.
Bortles put together one decent drive all day, doing as much with his legs as his arm Youth Albert Wilson Jersey , and the defensive-minded Jacksonville Jaguars eked out an ugly and sometimes unwatchable 10-3 victory against the Buffalo Bills in an AFC wild-card game Sunday.
Bortles became the second starting quarterback in the past 25 years to win a playoff game with more rushing yards (88) than passing (87). Atlanta’s Michael Vick also did it against the St. Louis Rams in the 2004 playoffs.
”That’s usually not ideal for a quarterback,” Bortles said.
It was enough to help the third-seeded Jaguars (11-6) get to the next round against No. 2 seed Pittsburgh.
The sixth-seeded Bills (9-8) will head home after ending the longest, current playoff drought in North American professional sports.
”We had bigger goals,” Buffalo linebacker Preston Brown said. ”Once we got in the dance, we didn’t want to be one and done. We didn’t want to treat this like a bowl game, go down to Florida and everybody relaxes. We wanted to move on.
”This really stings to lose in this way when you hold them to 10 points. We just didn’t find a way to hold them to zero points to win the game.”
Bortles was a big reason Jacksonville won its first playoff game since January 2008. He was big reason it was so close, too.
This was far from a passing clinic. It was more like a painful exercise in overcoming poor passing.
Bortles made up for it with his scrambling ability. He had several long runs, with the highlight coming in the fourth quarter when he fumbled a shotgun snap, picked it up and outran two defenders for an 18-yard gain.
The play prompted a Bills assistant to slam his clipboard to the ground, which left Bortles smiling as he flipped the ball to an official.
”We weren’t sharp. We made some bad plays and did some stupid stuff,” Bortles said. ”But we found a way to win, and that’s all that matters.”
He completed 12 of 23 passes for 87 yards, with a touchdown. His TD pass to backup tight end Ben Koyack late in the third quarter was his best throw of the game. It also was a gutsy call on fourth-and-goal from the 1.
Bortles did the rest on the ground, picking up first downs and helping Jacksonville win its first playoff game at home since the 1999 season.
”He found a way,” cornerback Aaron Colvin said. ”You’ve got to find a way. Whatever it takes, we’ve got to get to these goals we talked about. All this work we put in in the offseason is for moments like this. For him to find a way and do it with his legs, I have the utmost respect for him.”
The Bills had plenty of chances down the stretch, but a huge penalty against tight end Charles Clay, a dropped pass by Zay Jones and then a tackle that knocked quarterback Tyrod Taylor out of the game ended any threat of a comeback.
Taylor’s helmet slammed hard against the ground after getting thrown down by Dante Fowler Jr. He had to be helped off the field Youth Daniel Kilgore Jersey , forcing backup Nathan Peterman into the game with 1:27 remaining.
All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey tipped and then intercepted Peterman’s third pass, and the Jaguars ran out the clock.
”I don’t care what people call it, we got a playoff win,” Ramsey said. ”We’re going to come to work for another week while other teams are sitting home.”
The Bills finished with 263 yards, 119 of those coming from hobbled running back LeSean McCoy (ankle). The Jags had a measly 230 yards, the team’s third-fewest total of the season. Leonard Fournette ran 21 times for 57 yards.
Trailing 10-3 with about six minutes to play, the Bills looked as if they picked up a first down on an 11-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to Clay. Jacksonville players standing on the sideline pointed to Clay’s feet, and coach Doug Marrone threw the challenge flag. Officials overturned the completion, saying Clay was out of bounds and setting up a third-and-10 play from the Jacksonville 48-yard line. Linebacker Myles Jack sacked Taylor on the next play, forcing a punt.
Bills: Safety Micah Hyde left the game in the third quarter and was being evaluated for a concussion. Cornerback Tre’Davious White went to the locker room in the fourth to be treated for cramps. Safety Colt Anderson injured his right shoulder in the fourth trying to make a diving interception.
Jaguars: Linebacker Paul Posluszny (hip) left, tried to return and then headed to the locker room. He did not return. Receiver/punt returner Jaydon Mickens (hamstring) also left the game.
The Jaguars will play at second-seeded Pittsburgh next Sunday, a rematch from Week 5. Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions, and Jacksonville won 30-9. The Steelers have won 10 of 11 since, the lone loss coming against New England.
”I’m sure they’re thinking that game was a fluke,” Ramsey said.