The Rangers released another pitcher on Friday. Pedro Astacio became the 2nd starter in the last 10 weeks to be cut loose by Buck Showalter. The Ryan Drese departure earlier in the month seemed to be more of a personality issue than a talent move and Drese made his statement on that Wednesday, shutting out the Angels on 2 hits in his first start after being picked up off waivers by the Washington Nationals. Astacio had been eratic of late with more ups and downs than a rollercoaster. With his ERA a tad over 6 after his last outing, Buck decided it was time for Pedro to go. Lefty C.J. Wilson will take Astacio's place in the rotation, one that now consists of the stellar Kenny Rogers, Chan "mister run support" Ho Park, upstart Chris Young, Ricardo Rodriguez and Wilson.
Speaking of the Nationals, they streak their way into The Ballpark for this weekend's series taking 2 of 3 from the Angels and having won 12 of their last 13. The Rangers took Friday's game 8-1 on the strength of another pitching gem by Kenny Rogers and the usual home run ball from their potent offensive lineup. On the mound tonight was Drese's replacement, Ricardo Rodriguez, who went a strong 5 innings last Sunday in his first start after being called up from Oklahoma City. He looked pretty sharp tonight, giving up just 3 runs in 7+ innings. Rodriguez made his Ranger debut last summer and was throwing heat passed hitters for 5 games including a complete game shutout until a come-backer hit him on the elbow, shattering it. Kameron Loe, another promising youngster in his first major league stint, relieved Rodriguez, shutting things down for the final 6 outs of a 7-4 Rangers win. An interesting footnote for tonight's game is that all the runs were scored via home runs... not a complete surprise when the Rangers play.