Playing with black armbands and heavy hearts, the Rangers roughed up All-Star left-hander Gio Gonzalez and beat the A’s 8-5 on Friday night.
The Rangers started this one in torrid fashion, going deep three times in the first and second innings off a pitcher who had surrendered just six homers in 109 innings for the season. Mike Napoli, Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler did the damage, as the Rangers scored seven runs between the two frames.
Gonzalez bounced back to throw two scoreless innings from there, but he was removed after four, making it his shortest outing of the season. Only three of the seven runs he gave up were earned.
Napoli ended up collecting two doubles to go along with his grand slam in the first.
Josh Hamilton, back in left field after the nightmare 24 hours earlier, finished the game with a single and a run scored in five at-bats.
C.J. Wilson picked up the win for Texas, though it wasn’t one of his better outings. He gave up four of Oakland’s runs while working seven innings. Closer Neftali Feliz allowed a single run in the ninth to make it 8-5.
The weather in Cleveland is not that great at the moment. It’s cold, windy, there’s drizzle and the chance for heavier rain increases as the night wears on. At the moment Game 2 of the World Series is still scheduled to kick off at 7:08PM Eastern Time, however. So bundle up.
And maybe hunker down. Because this game is going to go nine innings no matter what. Maybe not tonight, but eventually.
That’s because, you may recall, ever since that rainy, snowy mix forced the suspension in the sixth inning of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series between the Phillies and the Rays, Major League Baseball has held that all playoff games will be played in their entirety. There will be no six-inning, rain-shortened affairs.
The last word from MLB was that they would reassess the weather just before starting pitchers began to warm up this evening. If things still look about the same then, the game will proceed as scheduled. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, they’ll suspend the game and pick it up where it leaves off tomorrow.
A man named Ken Kostal of Marblehead, Ohio was just trying to get home from Los Angeles yesterday morning. He looked over and saw former Indians great Kenny Lofton in the boarding area, trying to fly standby to Cleveland. Why was Lofton trying to get to Cleveland? To throw out the first pitch in last night’s Game 1 of the World Series, of course.
Kostal gave up his seat to Lofton and Lofton made it to Cleveland in time. But don’t weep for Kostal. He got more than a ticket on the next flight and some federally-mandated bonus cash. The Indians just announced that they are giving Kostal tickets for Game 6, if necessary. In addition, United Airlines is giving Kostal 62,200 miles for his use on a future flight. Why 62,200? Because Lofton had 622 career stolen bases.
That’s pretty dang sweet. And now Kostal is probably rooting for the Tribe to drop a couple of games so he can go to the World Series on the house.