Alex Rios made quite the impression in his first game as a Ranger, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a game-tying RBI triple in the eighth inning, as the Rangers defeated the Astros 5-4. The Rangers acquired Rios yesterday for Leury Garcia, a 22-year-old infield prospect who made his Major League debut earlier this season after spending most of the year with Triple-A Round Rock.
In 465 plate appearances with the White Sox, Rios posted a .749 OPS with 12 home runs and 26 stolen bases. Rios is earning $12.5 million this year and will earn another $12.5 million next year. In 2015, the Rangers will have a $13.5 million club option with a $1 million option as Rios finishes out the seven-year, $69.835 million contract extension he signed with the Blue Jays in April 2008.
The Athletics narrowly lost to the Blue Jays this afternoon, so the Rangers take a one-game first place lead in the AL West. The Rangers have a very easy schedule through August, as they face the Astros five more times, the Brewers for a two-game interleague set, the Mariners six times, the White Sox three times, and the Twins for a three-game set which bleeds into September.
The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.
The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.
Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.
Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.
Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.