Rangers manager Ron Washington is not on the hot seat

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Via MLB.com’s Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan:

Manager Ron Washington said he has no fears about his job. General manager Jon Daniels said Washington should have no concerns about his job.

Daniels said he “fully expects” Washington to be back as manager next season.

Sullivan’s story was published before Texas routed the Rays 7-1 on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.

The Rangers have been in a free fall over the past couple of weeks and are suddenly fighting for their lives in the chaotic American League Wild Card race, but Washington has a 602-520 record since taking over as manager in 2007 and he guided the club to back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011.

Maybe the story changes if the Rangers miss the playoffs. And maybe that point was already obvious.

But for now Washington looks pretty safe.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.