The Texas Rangers team many had written off continues to overachieve in the month of April.
The Rangers finished off their second straight series win on Sunday, clinching a 5-1 week that included a series sweep over Los Angeles at home. The club improved its record to 12-8 on the year, just 1.5 games back of first-place Seattle.
The Week that was:
Apr. 15: Rangers 12, Angels 7.
The Rundown: On Jackie Robinson Day, perhaps the day of most pageantry in Major League Baseball’s regular season, Texas came to play. They trailed 3-0 after one, but 8 runs after the fifth inning did just enough to buoy a four-ER performance from starter Shelby Miller.
Apr. 16: Rangers 5, Angels 0.
The Rundown: It was no minor feat: Texas lefty and de facto ace Mike Minor spun a true gem in Tuesday’s win. The Rangers’ offense gave him five runs of support- but he only needed one. He threw only 103 pitches. It was the first complete game shutout by a Texas pitcher since A.J. Griffin recorded on in May 2017. Joey Gallo went deep for his second homer in as many days.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) April 17, 2019
Apr. 17: Rangers 5, Angels 4.
The Rundown: Unsung heroes ran wild in the third game of the series. Texas starter Lance Lynn pitched well into the sixth, while Shin Soo-Choo and Triple-A call up Danny Santana came through with clutch hits in a four-run fifth. Chris Martin and Jose Leclerc struggled late out of the bullpen- but did enough to clinch the sweep.
Apr. 19: Astros 7, Rangers 2.
The Rundown: It was ugly from the start on Friday night. In the first game of the series, the potency of visiting Houston’s offense was on display. The Astros put up a touchdown early, and established a 7-0 lead they’d never relinquish. Gallo softened the blow with his third homer of the week.
Apr. 20: Rangers 9, Astros 4.
The Rundown: Texas got off to a dream start with a five-run first inning off of former All-Star and Houston righty Gerrit Cole, and never looked back. Gallo hit his fourth homer of the week to pace the Rangers offense, and a three-hit performance from Santana also stood out.
Apr. 21: Rangers 11, Astros 10.
The Rundown: Another great start. Texas raced out to a 10-1 lead, but on a day where the ball was flying out of Globe Life Park, that wasn’t enough. The two teams combined for 8 home runs, and the Texas bullpen did everything it could to blow the game. Closer Jose Leclerc again struggled after giving up a leadoff home run to George Springer in the ninth, but in the Rangers held it together for the sixth win in seven games.
The Week Ahead:
Monday-Wednesday: at Oakland.
Apr. 22, 9:07 CT, FSSW: TEX LHP Mike Minor (2-1, 2.60 ERA) vs. OAK RHP Chris Bassitt (1st start).
Apr. 23, 9:07 CT, FSSW: TEX RHP Lance Lynn (2-1, 4.44 ERA) vs. OAK RHP Frankie Montas (3-1, 2.70 ERA).
Apr. 24: 2:37 CT, FSSW: TEX LHP Drew Smyly (0-2, 7.80 ERA) vs. OAK RHP Aaron Brooks (2-2, 5.32 ERA).
The skinny: Texas has shown the ability to handle its division opponents so far this season. That has to continue in this series for the Rangers to stay above .500. Texas drew a weaker portion of Oakland’s rotation, so the offense should be able to match whatever damage A’s slugger Khris Davis (already 10? homers on the year) will do against the Rangers pitching staff. He’s already hit four(?) homers this year off of Texas pitching.
Thursday-Sunday: at Seattle.
Apr. 25, 9:10 CT, FSSW: TEX RHP Adrian Sampson (0-1, 5.50 ERA) vs. SEA LHP Marco Gonzales (4-0, 3.32 ERA).
Apr. 26, 9:10 CT, FSSW: TEX RHP Shelby Miller (1-1, 7.63 ERA) vs. SEA LHP Yusei Kikuchi (1-1, 4.68 ERA).
Apr. 27, 8:10 CT, FSSW: TBD vs. TBD
Apr. 28, 3:10 CT, FSSW: TBD vs. TBD
The skinny: Seattle raced out to an unexpected 13-2 start, but has relatively cooled off to a 16-8 clip entering Sunday. They shocked the baseball world by hitting at least one home run in an MLB-record 20 straight games to open the season. The Rangers won’t be surprised by Seattle’s approach- but they need to score early and often to match the Mariners’ strength in another early-season intra-divisional battle.
They said it:
Joey Gallo on his RBI single Sunday: “It was an Easter miracle. All the balls that get taken away from the shift, he’s just helping me out, saying here’s a free one, and I appreciate it.”
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