On this date in Texas Rangers history, the Rangers turned the fifth triple play in franchise history.
On May 20, 2009, the Rangers were in Detroit to face the Tigers. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison on the hill, the Tigers’ Brandon Inge double to lead off the inning. After that, Ryan Raburn drew a walk to put Tigers at first base and second base.
Up came a former Rangers catcher, Gerald Laird, who had played for the Rangers from 2003-08 before joining the Tigers. Laird hit a line drive right at Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler for the first out. Then, Kinsler flipped the ball to shortstop Elvis Andrus so the Rangers could force out Inge, who failed to tag up at second base. Finally, Andrus chased down Raburn between first and second for the third out.
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At the time, it was a big triple play. The Rangers were already down 1-0, and the triple play allowed them to exit the inning without giving up any runs. Then, in the top of the fifth, the Rangers tied the game with a single run. But the tie was short-lived. The Tigers scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. While the Rangers tried to chip away, they still ended up losing, 5-3.
The Rangers finished that season 87-75 under manager Ron Washington, finishing second in the American League West. The season was a prelude to the greatness to come in 2010 and 2011.
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