For the third time in four games, the Rangers won on a walk-off against the Los Angeles Angels. It was Hunter Pence who delivered the walk-off single on Wednesday night. It was the first series win for the Rangers since 8/2-8/4 when they swept the Detroit Tigers in Arlington.
Jonathan Hernandez, the #12 prospect in the Rangers system, made his major league debut when he replaced Locke St. John in the 7th inning. Hernandez pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings and picked up his first major league win.
Hernandez was able to share that special moment with his dad after the game. “When I was 13 or 14 years old, he told me when you pitch your first inning I will be there in the first row.” That moment happened. “It was amazing. It was a dream come true. He was there and he was rooting for me,” Hernandez said.
In 2019, Rangers ace Mike Minor was 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in three games against the Angels. That trend did not continue Wednesday as Minor gave up 7 runs(6 earned) over 5 2/3 innings.
Willie Calhoun gave the Rangers an early 1-0 lead with his 13th home-run of the season in the bottom of the 2nd. Solak followed with his first career double and scored from third after a Delino Deshields double with two outs to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
In the 4th, the Angels cut the Rangers 2-0 lead in half after back to back doubles by Albert Pujols and Brian Goodwin. The Angels would tie the game after an RBI ground out by Wilfredo Tovar.
The Rangers would quickly retake a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 4th after Solaks second double of the night. Delino would drive in Solak for the 2nd time to take the lead 4-2.
Minor found trouble again in the 5th. David Fletcher and Mike Trout singled to lead off the inning. Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun both struck out before Albert Pujols hit a two run, two out single off the right field wall to tie the game 4-4. The play was reviewed to see if the ball cleared the right field wall but the call was confirmed and it remained a single.
A wild series of events saw the Angels take a 6-4 lead in the 6th. Justin Upton hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-4 and a second run would score after a throwing error by Danny Santana attempting to throw Fletcher out at home.
The Angels took a 7-4 lead after Trout score on a Calhoun single.
The Rangers bats would go silent after a Jeff Mathis single chased Angels’ starter Patrick Sandoval in the 4th. The Rangers would not have another base-runner until Mathis (walk) and Elvis (single) reached in the 7th inning.
After striking out in his first three at bats, Hunter Pence drove both home with a two out, two run single to make the score 7-6.
Shin-Soo Choo tied the game at 7 with two outs in the 8th with an RBI single bringing home Solak.
Elvis started the 9th with a lead off single and advanced all the way to third base after two wild pitches and eventually scored the winning run on Hunter’s single.
As the Rangers head into a tough September schedule, Woodward is determined to preach winning to the young guys coming in, “I don’t care how young you are, I don’t care how old you are. We want to win. We want to teach these guys from the second they step in this clubhouse we are coming with the intent to win.”
Notes from the game
Before the game, Woodward mentioned that he will work Nick Solak in at second base and will also get him some work at the corner spots in the infield and outfield over the last month of the season to see what that looks like for him.
Woodward said that Wednesday’s day off for Rougned Odor was already planned before Solak was recalled.
Woodward said that the Rangers have talked about the idea of a six man rotation in September, which will take away one start from Minor and Lynn with the focus on keeping both healthy the last month of the season. However, regarding Lynn, he said that he will allow Lynn to chase 20 wins if the opportunity presents itself.
Locke St. John was recalled before Wednesdays game and Isiah Kiner-Falefa was optioned to Frisco Wednesday to play in that game and then he will go to Nashville Thursday. Kiner-Falefa will mostly work at shortstop and third base.
Ariel Jurado, Lance Lynn, Kolby Allard and Brock Burke will start during the Rangers four game series in Chicago.
There are only 16 games left at Globe Life Park for the Rangers.
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