Rangers Squeeze Out Win over Diamondbacks

Rangers Diamondbacks
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Rangers 6, Diamondbacks 4

ARLINGTON, Tex. (May 2) — The Texas Rangers managed to pull off a tight win in their series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks by a score of 6–4 on Tuesday. The Rangers’ big hit of the night was a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth off the bat of Ezequiel Duran. This victory runs the Rangers’ winning streak to four games, and makes them 4–1 on their current home stand. The finale in this short two-game series is set for Wednesday afternoon at 1:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Brandon Pfaadt will be making his major league debut as he takes the ball for the Diamondbacks. The Rangers will send lefty Andrew Heaney (4.38 ERA) to the mound in the finale.

Diamondbacks Score Early

Diamondbacks Second baseman Ketel Marte put them on top 1–0 with his fourth homer of the year in the top of the first. Later in the inning, first baseman Christian Walker scored on a single to left by right fielder Dominic Fletcher. In the top of the second, Marte drove in Geraldo Perdomo with a sacrifice fly to center to make it 3–1 Diamondbacks. The score became 4–1 in the Diamondbacks’ favor thanks to a solo home run to right center by Walker.

Rangers Fight Back

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The Rangers’ bats didn’t stay silent for long. They managed to get on the board in the bottom of the first. A single to left by Nathaniel Lowe plated Marcus Semien. The score was now 2–1 in favor of the Diamondbacks. Semien, meanwhile, was responsible for the Rangers’ second run as he brought home Ezequiel Duran with a single to left. Next up was Rangers center fielder Travis Jankowski. Jankowski singled to center to allow Robbie Grossman to score. Fast forward to the bottom of the sixth. The Rangers took a 5–4 lead thanks to a two-run shot to center by Duran. They were able to add an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. This occurred on a wild pitch by Kevin Ginkel that Bubba Thompson was able to sprint home on.

Pitching Notes

Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen took a no decision after leaving the game with a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning (ND, 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R-ER, 6 SO, 94 pitches/59 strikes). He lost his 28-scoreless-inning streak in the bottom of the 1st inning. He allowed a leadoff double to Marcus Semien, and then an RBI single to Nathaniel Lowe. Gallen had previously won all four of his starts dating back to April 10 (all shutouts by the Diamondbacks), improving to a 4-1 record on the season. It is the first time that he hasn’t struck out at least seven batters in a game since April 4 against the San Diego Padres. The Diamondbacks now own a 4–2 record when Gallen starts.

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Rangers right-hander Jon Gray kept the Rangers within striking distance after struggling early. He did not factor into the decision of Tuesday’s win (ND, 5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 4 R-ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR, 90 pitches/61 strikes). Gray allowed runs in each of his first three innings (2-1st, 1-2nd, 1-3rd), including the pair of solo home runs by Ketel Marte and Christian Walker. He held the Diamondbacks scoreless after Walker’s homer, retiring 10 of the final 12 batters he faced.

Quite a Streak

Rangers designated hitter Robbie Grossman extended his hit streak to 12 straight games with a hard-hit single (106.2 mph EV) in the fifth. It marks the longest hit streak by a Rangers batter this season. The streak surpasses an 11-game streak by Nathaniel Lowe from April 4-16. Grossman has batted .357 (15-for-42) over the duration of the streak to raise his season BA from .135 to .253.

Postgame Comments

In his postgame media session, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was asked about the relentlessness of his offense. He replied by saying “For us to come back from a four-run deficit against a really good pitcher in (Zac) Gallen, that was huge. They were relentless in trying to make that comeback. We just had really good at-bats. You look at what (Ezequiel) Duran did, and you see that he had a huge night, plus Jonny (Gray) hung in there. It was just really fun to see.”

Bochy elaborated more on Gray’s outing by saying “I think more than anything, he was locating better. He made some mistakes up in the zone. They took advantage of it, but he didn’t cave in. He kept battling out there, and that’s what you want. There he was in the sixth inning, still pitching. It was good for them to keep these guys at bay, and give us a chance to win.”

More Coverage:

Rangers Rally to Defeat Diamondbacks by Diamondbacks Beat Writer Evan Thompson

 

 

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