The Rangers and Mariners concluded a quick two-game series on Wednesday. For both teams, it became a question mark on what the rosters would look like at the end of a long day of speculation. As the three o’clock hour passed, both sides became ready for the ballgame, and it turned into a see-saw affair.
Seattle struck first in the opening inning with a Tim Beckham RBI single. Beckham later left the ballgame with oblique tightness on a throw in the bottom of the first. In that inning, the Rangers strung together four hits against Mariners’ starter Wade LeBlanc. Texas took a 2-1 lead thanks to a Hunter Pence RBI single and a bloop RBI double by Rougned Odor. Both teams traded runs on home runs in the second inning. Austin Nola, older brother of Phillies All-Star Aaron Nola, went deep followed by Shin-Soo Choo for Texas.
Seattle added three runs thanks to an RBI infield hit by Mallex Smith and a two-run bases-loaded single by JP Crawford. However, Willie Calhoun launched a shot to right field to answer and regain the lead for the Rangers. In the seventh inning, Logan Forsythe added two runs with a single up the middle, scoring Calhoun and Odor. Jeff Mathis added himself to the RBI parade with an RBI single in the seventh as well, padding the Rangers lead to four. The Mariners cut into that lead on a Keon Broxton two run home run off Rangers reliever Rafael Montero.
After the game, I asked Woody about the growth and maturity of Willie Calhoun. “He’s pretty dangerous with the bat in his hand. You talk to him about hitting, there’s so much growth in his understanding on how to hit. Now he’s starting to handle at-bats and difficult at-bats and runners in scoring position. It’s really cool to see the growth from him and anytime he steps into the batters box he’s pretty dangerous.”
Did he Willie just do that?
Yes, yes he did. pic.twitter.com/vd7u7jFZ1P
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) August 1, 2019
Throughout the last six games, the Rangers offense came alive. The main reason was consistency and stringing together multiple hits, something the Rangers didn’t do in their eight-game skid earlier this month. On Wednesday, the Rangers strung four or more hits in three separate frames.
I asked Chris Woodward before the game if a different approach triggered the consistency. “It’s been better; it’s been a lot better. I don’t think it was a lack of anything; I think at times, (it’s) just baseball. We had a lot of guys struggling at the same time. Sometimes they have to play their way out of it, and there was a lot of conversations with our staff, me, with everybody to collectively figured it out. I was proud of the way we competed together [in the Oakland series], a lot of two-out hits, [and] those are the things that are championship-worthy, and now we need to get the consistency in the other at-bats where we constantly pressure the other team.”
Wednesday night’s outing was another struggling start for Mike Minor. Minor pitched five innings but allowed seven hits, five runs, and three walks. Also, Mike threw 103 pitches in his five-inning outing. In five July starts, Minor allowed twenty runs in twenty-seven and a third innings pitched. In sixteen previous starts, Minor allowed twenty-four earned runs. The question looms if it’s a bad month or if teams figured Minor out which could result in the lack of contact to trade Mike.
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) August 1, 2019
Danny Santana continued his tear on Wednesday with three knocks. Because of his versatility, there are talks of Danny Santana could play at third base to increase playing time for next year. “He’s been working; It’s likely to see a little more significant work there. It’s a really hard position to play once in a while,” Woody said. Santana at third base is a thought that is seeping into the minds, and he could soon have plenty of opportunities during games with the upcoming release of Asdrubal Cabrera
Hunter Pence was back in the lineup on Wednesday after missing Tuesday and Sunday’s games. There was speculation if Pence got dealt. However, Pence remains a Rangers and responded to if he’ll stay a Ranger after this season. “Right now, I’m trying to enjoy this year and play as good as I can right now.” Pence said, “I don’t really look that far ahead. I just want to give my best every game and go out and play to improve and win.”
The Ranges stay home after a Thursday off-day to battle the Detroit Tigers for a three-game weekend series. Lance Lynn takes the hill for Texas and will counter Tigers rookie, Tyler Alexander. First pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.
After the game, the Rangers announced that both Tim Federowicz and Asdrubal Cabrera were designated for assignment. According to the club, they will call up Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino.
Kinet-Falefa will play 3B along with Forsythe and Santana. Jose Trevino will be called up to split catching duties with Mathis. IKF catching experiment not technically over, but sounds like he’s more INF than C now
— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) August 1, 2019
Joey Gallo was in the clubhouse prior to Wednesday’s game. He met with the media and discussed how he’s feeling after the surgery and his timetable to come back. Gallo said he hopes to play this season. The Rangers placed Joey Gallo on the 10 day injured list after he had surgery in removing the hamate bone in his right hand. He says he still feels numb on the finger tips and it still bothers him, but once the scar heals, he should be good to go.
— Alex Plinck (@aplinckTX) July 31, 2019
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