The Texas Rangers came back home Monday night and came away with a 7-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians. They were fresh off a winning road trip that saw them split a series with the Boston Red Sox and winning a series in Cincinnati against the Reds. They went 4-3 and that was considered a success based on their recent road performances. This was also a night when it was announced that Hunter Pence was placed on the IL with a right groin strain. Willie Calhoun was activated from the IL to take his place.
The major factor was starting pitcher Lance Lynn. Lynn tossed seven innings and allowed one run on six hits. He also struck out nine with no walks. He has continued to be the “Yin” to Mike Minor’s “Yang” as both pitchers have proven to be the stalwarts in the Rangers’ starting rotation.
The offense came through once again as well. First baseman Ronald Guzman broke an 0-for-17 streak in the third inning with a double. He later scored on a double by Shin-Soo Choo who was the DH. Elvis Andrus also got out of a slump, he had been 0-for-10, with a double that scored two runs in the fifth. Danny Santana also had a home run and went 2-for-4 with two RBI and got the Gatorade bath after the game.
After the game Texas manager Chris Woodward praised Lance Lynn and the command and control of his fastball that Lynn heavily relied on. Lance now has eight straight quality starts and also has eight wins before the all-star break. Those eight wins are the most for a Rangers’ pitcher since Cole Hamels had eight in 2016. Lynn said later that the quality starts weren’t as important as giving the team a chance to win.
The Rangers have improved to 39-33 on the season while Cleveland fell to 37-34. Adrian Sampson (5-3, 4.21 ERA) gets the start for Texas on Tuesday night against the Indians Zach Plesac (1-2, 2.92 ERA). This is game two of a four game series. There’s no Joey Gallo. There’s no Hunter Pence. However, the bench players have been coming through in big ways and that is a testament to this team, their unity, and the play under manager Chris Woodward.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the cheap seats!