Rangers Squeak Past Athletics in Finale

Rangers Athletics
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Rangers 5, Athletics 2

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Apr 23) — The Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics by a final score of 5–2 on Sunday. A two-run homer by Robbie Grossman was key in the Rangers’ offense on this rainy afternoon in Arlington. With this win, they managed to win the three-game series, bringing their 2023 record to 14–7. From here, they travel north to Great American Ballpark for three against the Cincinnati Reds. The first game in that series is on Monday at 6:40 pm Eastern. Left-hander Nick Lodolo (2–1, 4.98 ERA) will take the mound in the opener for the Reds. Meanwhile, righty Nathan Eovaldi (2–2, 5.40 ERA) is set to start for the Rangers.

Grossman Goes Yard

Sunday’s game stayed in a scoreless tie until the bottom of the second. Rangers designated hitter Robbie Grossman broke the seal with a three-run home run to left-center. The Rangers stretched their lead over the Athletics to 4–0 in the bottom of the fourth, once again by the hand of Grossman. This time he hit a sacrifice fly to center that brought Leody Taveras in to score. Their final run came on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth by Sam Moll that Taveras trotted home on.

Athletics starter Kyle Muller surrendered four of the Rangers’ five runs. Muller pitched five innings and took the loss for Oakland. He is now 0–2 with an ERA of 7.23 on the year. The Athletics made things interesting in the top of the fifth. A two-run blast to left by catcher Shea Langeliers cut the Rangers’ lead to 4–2. Jordan Diaz, who reached on throwing error by shortstop Ezequiel Duran, scored on the play. Originally, the error was ruled a single earlier in the inning, but the ruling was changed two innings later. Those two runs were the entire offense on the afternoon for the Athletics.

Jacob deGrom’s Day

Right-hander Jacob deGrom got the start for the Rangers on Sunday. deGrom earned the win (now 2-0) in his fifth start of the season (6 IP, 3 H, 2 R–1 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO, 1 HR, 80 pitches/57 strikes). He tied his season high by striking out 11 batters (2x, also 4/5 against the Baltimore Orioles) on only 80 pitches. It marked the 12th instance since pitches were first tracked in 1988 of a major league pitcher tallying 11+ SO on 80-or-fewer pitches (the last was Domingo Germán of the New York Yankees, 11 SO/78 pitches on 4/15/23 against the Minnesota Twins).

It was the second time deGrom has pulled the trick in his career (also 12 SO/76 pitches on 8/7/22 against the Atlanta Braves while with the New York Mets) and he is the second Ranger to accomplish the feat, joining Matt Perisho on 10/3/99 against the Los Angeles Angels (12 SO/78 pitches). Today’s outing was his 60th career game with 10+ strikeouts. This ties him with Rube Waddell for 15th-most by any pitcher in the Modern Era (b. 1901). The only active major league pitchers with more career games of 10+ strikeouts are Max Scherzer (110), Chris Sale (79), Justin Verlander (72), and Clayton Kershaw (68).

Additional Notes

Ezequiel Duran registered a career/game-high 112.8 mph exit velocity on his fifth-inning single. It is the highest exit velocity produced by a Ranger in 2023. Josh Jung went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Sunday to snap his career-best 10-game hitting streak. Jonah Heim (1-for-4) has reached base safely via hit or walk in a career-high 12 consecutive games (beg. April 8). It is the longest on-base streak by a Rangers batter this season.

Leody Taveras matched his career/season high with three hits (4x, last 4/19/23 against the Kansas City Royals), all of which were singles. He has gone 7-for-15 (.467) over his last four games, raising his season BA from .105 to .265, per Statcast. Taveras has posted exit velocities of 95.0+ mph on 9 of his last 15 batted balls dating back to April 18.

Postgame Comments

When asked about deGrom’s outing, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said “He was really good. He was Jacob with the great fastball. His slider was working for him, and the command was there for him today. He made one mistake and left a pitch up on the home run (to Shea Langeliers), but he had six solid innings, and he was on top of his game. So, he has shown that he is healthy, and that is good news for us.”

Bochy also discussed the Rangers offense in this one by saying, “We couldn’t quite get in sync in the first inning, but Robbie (Grossman) came through with the three-run homer, and of course the fourth run on the sac fly was huge. Jacob deGrom also gave his thoughts on the game. He was asked how he felt physically, to which he replied “I felt good. I came out of my last start a little early as a precaution, but today was really good. That was a huge plus.”


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