Rangers' Pains Now Will Bear Gains Later

Cliff Lee received a trigger-point injection for the knot in his back. Josh Hamilton got a shot of jelly in his knee.

And to this, Texas Rangers fans, I say "rejoice."

Better now than later.

The Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals, 4-3, to extend their lead in the AL West to 9.5 games and reduce their magic number to 21. Barring an epic collapse, this thing is over feels comfortable.

In the bigger picture, Texas needs to be healthy in early October, not early September. If the Rangers have to lose a game or two now to earn a player at full strength later, so be it. 

Hamilton is expected to play Friday night in Minnesota. Lee will make his next start Tuesday in Toronto. If they miss a week, no biggie. The Rangers are going nowhere in the playoffs without them.

The good news: Help is on the way. Like right now.

Ian Kinsler is back Friday, as is Dustin Nippert. And Scott Feldman can come off the disabled list on Monday. And then, of course, there are the September call-ups.

How much better are the Rangers with their full, healthy lineup? Last night Nelson Cruz had a two-run single and two game-saving catches in the ninth. Remember Brandon Boggs in right field?


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