Rangers Trounce Rockies in Middle Game

Rangers Rockies
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Rangers 11, Rockies 5

ARLINGTON, Tex. (May 20) — The Texas Rangers beat the Colorado Rockies in convincing fashion on Saturday, 11–5. Their offensive spark was heightened by home runs from Ezequiel Duran and Corey Seager. With this victory, the Rangers claim the three-game series and also held the Houston Astros at bay in the AL West standings. The Rangers now stand at 28–17 and hold a two-game lead over the Astros for first place in the West. The finale of this series is Sunday at 1:35 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Connor Seabold (1–0, 5.14 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Rockies. Lefty Andrew Heaney (2–3, 4.71 ERA) will take the hill for the Rangers.

Early Offensive Outburst

The Rangers scored right away in the bottom of the first. Nathaniel Lowe reached base on an infield single that plated Marcus Semien. A few moments later, a passed ball by Rockies catcher Elias Diaz sent Lowe trotting toward home plate. Robbie Grossman, batting at the time of the passed ball, drove Adolis Garcia home with a sacrifice fly to right. Next up was Ezequiel Duran. Duran proceeded to hit a single to center. Josh Jung scored on the play.

Lowe singled again in the bottom of the second, bringing home Corey Seager. The score was now 5–0 in favor of the Rangers. A batter later, Garcia reached on a fielder’s choice and an error by third baseman Ryan McMahon. Seager was able to score on the play. Later in the inning, both Lowe and Garcia scored on a Grossman single to make it 8–0 Rangers.

Rockies Fight Back

The Rockies appeared to be outmatched early in this contest. However, they answered back in the bottom of the fourth. Harold Castro singled to center, sending McMahon home. The Rangers got that run back in the bottom of the fifth on a solo shot to left-center by Duran. In the bottom of the sixth, Seager announced his presence with a two-run blast to center to give the Rangers an 11–1 lead over the Rockies.

The Rockies were able to get four more runs. Run number one was on a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth by Randal Grichuk that plated former Ranger Jurickson Profar. Michael Toglia scored on a Mike Moustakas single to right before Diaz scored on a double by Harold Castro. The Rockies scored their final run of the afternoon in the top of the ninth, when Charlie Blackmon scored on an infield single by Brenton Doyle.

Pitching Notes

Rangers starter Jon Gray spun five innings of one-run ball to earn his fourth win of the season (W, 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R-ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 93 pitches/63 strikes). Gray overcame a 27-pitch first inning in which he allowed each of the first three batters to reach base (2B-1B-BB). He escaped the no outs, bases-loaded jam by retiring each of the next three batters in order (F9-K-F8). The lone run he allowed came on the fourth-inning single by Castro. This snapped Gray’s career-best 17-inning scoreless streak dating to May 8. It marked the second-longest scoreless streak by a Ranger in ’23 (29 2/3, Nathan Eovaldi from April 24 to May 17).

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland took his fifth loss of the season in his 10th start (2 IP, 9 H, 8 R-5 ER, 56 pitches/40 strikes) and now owns a 4–5 record. It was his shortest outing of the season and only his second where he didn’t last at least five innings (also 2 2/3 IP, April 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates).

Postgame Comments

The first thing Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was asked was for his thoughts on Gray’s first-inning jam. He said, “Jon had great poise out there. You get bases loaded, nobody out, you hope to get out of that with just one run. He ended up putting a zero up there. He had great stuff. They had some pretty good at-bats early, but Jon settled down, and worked hard in that first inning.”

The next question for Bochy was how he felt about the Rangers’ offense. He responded with, “Everything clicked throughout the lineup. It was fun to watch. These guys are all doing something. It’s a deep lineup, and it’s contagious.”

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