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Rangers 8, Padres 6: Injuries galore in slugfest

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres had every opportunity to win this game, but even if they had, it would have been a pyrrhic victory. Yonder Alonso, Derek Norris, and Shawn Kelley all left the field with injuries tonight, and when three of your players get hurt, you've lost no matter what it says on the scoreboard. Kelley's right forearm injury is likely the most serious of the three, but all three will be unavailable for at least the next couple of days.

The Rangers got off to an early lead when Prince Fielder followed Shin-Soo Choo's one-out single with a bomb to dead-center, putting Texas up 2-0 in the first. They added onto that in the third when Delino DeShields led off with a single and scored on a Choo double. But the Pads finally answered back in the bottom half of the inning when Yangervis Solarte started a two-out rally. His single brought up Brett Wallace, who pinch hit for Alonso after the starting first baseman left the game with lower back tightness. Wallace knocked out the first of his three singles, and scored the first of his three runs when Matt Kemp hit a two-run double. Wallace and Kemp combined again in the fifth to give the Friars their only lead of the game, as Wallace singled ahead of Kemp's 434 foot missile to the visitor's bullpen.

The Rangers tied the game on a sacrifice fly in the sixth, but it was the seventh when things got really ugly. Marc Rzepczynski retired the first two batters, but Pat Murphy pulled him when he gave up a single to Fielder. Shawn Kelley had an even worse go of things. Adrian Beltre hit another single, and then both runners advanced on a passed ball. Kelley intentionally walked Rougned Odor to load the bases and bring up Elvis Andrus. Andrus knocked a single into right field. With the runners going on contact, Fielder was sure to score, but Kemp's cannon had a pretty good chance to catch Beltre, so he fired. His throw was perfect, and Norris applied a perfect tag... but Beltre slid right into his glove, knocking the ball out and leaving Norris lying on the ground in pain. Meanwhile, Odor ran home to make it 7-4. After a trainer walked Norris into the clubhouse, Kelley threw one warmup pitch to Austin Hedges and left the mound in tears. Murphy went to Kevin Quackenbush, who promptly let Andrus steal home.

But let's back up a couple minutes and a couple injuries to that play at the plate. There's a relatively new rule that governs how a runner can make contact with a catcher. It's Rule 7.13(1), more commonly known as the Posey Rule. The bit that concerns us here says:

A runner attempting to score may not [...] initiate an avoidable collision. [...] If the runner slides into
the plate in an appropriate manner, he shall not be adjudged to have violated Rule 7.13.


A slide shall be deemed appropriate, in the case of a feet first slide, if the runner's buttocks and legs should hit the ground before contact with the catcher.

If you watch the replay, you can pretty clearly see that Beltre's backside is nowhere near the ground when he hits Norris, and his left leg is pretty clearly in midair at the time of contact. Beltre should have been out, and the top of the seventh should have ended with Texas up by a single run.

Why does that matter? Because the Padres put up two runs in the bottom of the ninth. Solarte led off with a single, and then Wallace and Kemp drew back to back walks to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Justin Upton struck out, but Jedd Gyorko picked up his first hit of the night to score Solarte. A sac fly by Hedges scored another (which would have given the good guys a walkoff win in the alternate universe where Beltre was called out in the seventh). A homer by Cory Spangenberg would have been good for a victory, but he got Petcoed in center field to end the 3 hour and 40 minute marathon.

Ian Kennedy takes the mound in tomorrow's rubber match. First pitch is at 7:10 PM.

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