Game 30 // Eighth Inning, Detroit // Pink-Power Rangers

TOP OF THE EIGHTH: RANGERS 7 (0) – 2 TIGERS

 

Upton at the wall. His hands on the chainlink fence between green padding sections, pressed up against @tigers @tigers @tigers printed in white lowercase letters, ringing the outfield at Comerica Park in a long, single-file row. He’s standing on the dirt warning track like a boat run aground, with his #8 jersey number and name printed in pink. It’s Mother’s Day.

Off the bat of first-pitch-swinging Delino DeShields Jr., trotting to first base 380-plus feet away, the ball bounces, then rolls—onto the wide, horizontal “Motor City” platform, shooting up into the hands of a fan leaning over the receded second wall, like a skee-ball roll at an arcade, a jackpot flood of tokens pouring out of the machine.

It’s the final blow of a seven-run inning from the Rangers, erasing a two-run lead and any early-season hope that the AL Central might once again be won by the Tigers.

A minute earlier, it was Justin Upton at the wall again—leaping up onto the padding, his arms draped around the yellow edge of the wall, watching a tie-breaking grand slam take a dent out of the bullpen mound dirt. Bobby Thompson Wilson was at the plate, against the team that traded him a week earlier, admiring his hit with Beltre, Moreland and Andrus rolling on homeward to make it 6-2.

So it was Upton, up up and away onto the wall, on back-to-back hits, the last line of a defense gone mad with the sight of a pitcher melting down.

Before that, it was a hit batter from Mark Lowe, loading the bases.

Before that: an intentional walk.

Before that: a sacrifice fly, RBI, to tie.

Before that: a single from Adrian Beltre, a line-drive scorched to center, bringing home Rougned Odor.

And before that: a single, and another single, the lead-off hit.

The Rangers were on the ropes, taking punches, staring at a loss. Then they stretched, flexed, came awake, and went to battle on those ropes. They went in and then out of a scuffle holding the ropes, fraying and slicing and tying a lasso out of the ropes, wrangling the Tigers into those ropes, binding and wrapping them up.

They rope-a-doped their way back into this one, moreso even than they needed. Seven runs in the eighth, almost with one or two more. Winning 8-3 in the end.

It was seven pink pairs of baseball cleats and seven pink pairs of socks, batted in by seven pink bats against one sad, blue Mark Lowe.

Is this a sign? Some uniform change might just need to be in the works, to push this Texas team from second place into first. Something different, something pink. Something with power. Something built for the Rangers.

 

Previously:

7th Inning: TEX vs. BAL

3rd Inning: COL vs. ARZ

8th Inning: SFG vs. LAD

6th Inning: LAD vs. MIA

5th Inning: HOU vs. BOS

7th Inning: BAL vs. BOS

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