Rangers right-hander Bartolo Colon was credited with his fifth win of the season on Saturday as the Rangers steamrolled the White Sox 13-4 for the series win. He held on through five innings, including a wobbly second inning that saw the White Sox climb to an early 2-0 lead, and finished the evening with two strikeouts and three runs on seven hits and two walks.
On any other day, Colon might have gotten the hook after his missteps in the second, but club manager Jeff Bannister recognized the unique milestone awaiting the veteran righty if the team pulled off a win.
“If he’s got an opportunity to put the ‘W’ behind his name, then [we’ll] make sure that he gets that,” Bannister told reporters after the game. “Obviously, we want to win every game we possibly can, but in situations like this, for him, and the overall history, and his impact on the game, and impact on himself, and just what it means for the game of baseball.”
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Rangers put on a hitting clinic, either. Joey Gallo put the team on the board with his 20th home run of the year, followed by a three-run double from Robinson Chirinos that gave them a 3-2 lead in the fifth. They continued to build on that lead with a Ryan Rua solo shot and Omar Narvaez throwing error in the fifth and seventh, respectively, culminating in a seven-run spread in the eighth that bumped them up to a cushy nine-run advantage.
With the win, Colon tied former MLB pitcher Dennis Martinez for the most pitcher wins by a Latin American player, with 245. It took him just 21 years to accomplish what Martinez did in 23, though he still has to notch another win to stand alone in that category. He should have plenty more opportunities to do so: The 45-year-old hurler is 5-5 in 15 starts with a 4.76 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 5.4 SO/9 through 92 2/3 innings in 2018 so far.