Theme of the night: Comebacks abound from Rangers, Giants, Cardinals

Comebacks were the theme of the night, with the Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals all pulling out highly improbable wins. The three share the common bond of being teams that need all the wins that they can get in their respective playoff pushes.

Rangers find a way

The Rangers trailed the Colorado Rockies and their hard-throwing closer, Carlos Estevez, 3-1 in the ninth inning on the road, but scored three times to win.

Comebacks are nothing new for the Rangers. They’ve won five games in which they trailed entering the ninth inning this season, most in the majors. Their 34 comeback wins overall also lead the majors.

Mitch Moreland had the go-ahead hit for the Rangers and that’s not surprising given how hot he has hit of late. He hitting .424 (14-for-33) with eight RBIs in his past 11 games. The tying hit also came from a hot hitter – Elvis Andrus is hitting .337 in his past 27 games.

Marlins can’t get the strikes they need (especially against Crawford)

The Marlins had a 5-1 lead through sixth innings against the NL West-leading Giants, but couldn’t hold it, as the Giants won in 14 innings on Brandon Crawford’s seventh hit of the game.

Crawford tied the NL record hits in a game, a mark shared by Wilbert Robinson (1892 Orioles) and Rennie Stennett (1975 Pirates).

The neat thing for Crawford is that he attributed the offensive breakout he had in 2015 to his frequent talks with Barry Bonds (a player he grew up idolizing), then had the seven-hit game against the team for which Bonds coaches (one day after the anniversary of Bonds’ 756th home run).

Crawford’s seven hits were one more than he had in his previous nine starts combined (6-for-35). He had more hits on Monday than three teams did.

The Giants’ initial rally was the product of some amazing hitting. They began the seventh inning with six straight two-strike hits, the most consecutive two-strike hits by a team in an inning this season.

The Giants entered the day with a .187 batting average in two-strike situations, third-highest in the NL. They beat the Marlins at their own game. The Marlins entered ranked second in the majors at .206.

Down four runs, one out from defeat, no problem

Through Sunday night, teams trailing by at least four runs with two outs in the ninth inning or later had lost 2,807 consecutive games. The Cardinals put an end to that with their victory over the Reds.

The Cardinals have specialized in the walk-off hit by pitch. Yadier Molina’s was the third for the Cardinals in the past three seasons. All other major-league teams have two such wins in that span. Molina was hit with a pitch with the bases loaded for the second time in his career. The other instance was in 2008.

The Cardinals had been held scoreless for the first eight innings and it looked like Cody Reed (who entered with a 7.30 ERA) was about to get his first major-league win. But it was not to be for him.