Published January 13, 2015
Mitch Moreland and David Murphy each homered to help the Texas Rangers snap out of their recent funk with a 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Rangers had lost a season-high three straight games after dropping Monday's split doubleheader to the Diamondbacks in Arizona. After both clubs had a day off Tuesday, this interleague split-venue series shifted to Rangers Ballpark on Wednesday, but the contest was postponed due to unplayable field conditions caused by rain.
Texas didn't display any rust as they scored in four straight innings from the second en route to building a 9-0 lead Thursday afternoon.
The Diamondbacks fought back with five runs over the sixth and seventh innings, then placed two men on base in the ninth. Robbie Ross, however, got Cliff Pennington, an injury replacement, to ground into a game-ending double play.
The first six Texas runs were given up by Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy (2-4), who had been stellar over his last three starts. The right-hander allowed just one run over 24 innings during that span, but the Rangers knocked him out of the game with two outs in the third, his shortest outing of the season.
A.J. Pierzynski put Texas on the board by sending an outside pitch from McCarthy down the left-field line for a double to score Nelson Cruz. Cruz had opened the second with a line drive over head of center fielder A.J. Pollock, who misjudged the ball. Pierzynski eventually came home on a two-out single by Leonys Martin.
Moreland's two-run homer high off the right-field foul pole highlighted a four-run third. The blast plated Cruz, who singled home Adrian Beltre after the latter smacked an RBI double off the left-field wall.
Murphy launched a solo shot to right field off Josh Collmenter in the fourth, and Elvis Andrus knocked in a pair with a bases-loaded single in the next frame.
The Diamondbacks were finally able to get to Texas starter Justin Grimm (5-3) in the sixth. Arizona strung together four straight one-out hits, with Paul Goldschmidt scoring on a Martin Prado single. Martin then misplayed a Miguel Montero base hit to center, allowing a second run to score, and Prado crossed the plate on a Jason Kubel groundout.
"He threw the ball well," Texas manager Ron Washington said about Grimm. "He wasn't in a whole lot of trouble, but when it looked like they were trying to mount something, he was able to make pitches and get out it. In that sixth inning, they just strung some hits together and put some runs on the board. But other than that, he certainly was throwing the ball extremely well out there."
Michael Kirkman relieved Grimm in the seventh and permitted RBI singles to Goldschmidt and Prado. Neal Cotts struck out Montero with men on the corners to shut down the Arizona rally.
"They have a really good bullpen. They have a bunch of good left-handed pitchers and it's tough to face guys like that, especially when you've never seen them before," Montero said.
Arizona third baseman Eric Chavez left in the first inning with a strained right oblique ... Goldschmidt, who finished 4-for-5, has now hit in eight straight interleague games ... Grimm gave up eight hits while winning his third consecutive start ... McCarthy, who allowed nine hits, pitched for the Rangers from 2007-09, going 13-15 with a 4.68 ERA in 44 starts and one relief appearance ... The Diamondbacks fell to 4-11 all-time at Texas ... Jurickson Profar had three of the Rangers' 15 hits ... Each club was 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position.