Hank Blalock Saves Frankie Francisco's Ass/Texas Rangers' Season

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The Rangers tip-toed perilously close to a lost season last night. Instead, they wound up jumping all over a won game.

I know we're only two days into July, but coughing up a 7-1 lead and losing to the AL West division leaders last night might have been a kick to the crotch the Rangers never recovered from.

It came thiiiiiiiis close to happening.

Closer Frankie Francisco - maybe it's time for C.J. Wilson to get the role? - walked two Angels and surrendered a game-tying, three-run homer to Juan Rivera with two outs in the 9th, before Hank Blalock bailed him out with a game-winning, two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the inning for a goose-bumpy, feel-goody 9-7 victory.

The win - by far Texas' most important and dramatic of the season - pulled the Rangers within a 1/2 game of Anaheim and keeps them on our front sports burner through July 4.

Just when you thought the Rangers were dead after being shut down by Kevin Correia, Chad Gaudin and Sean O'Sullivan, they up and score 18 runs the last two nights against the Angels' Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver.

Doesn't make sense. But after taking two of three from the Angels, the Rangers - now 5-1 against Anaheim this season - are making us pay attention.

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