Rangers Take Series Opener from Guardians

Rangers Guardians
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Rangers 12, Guardians 4

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Jul 14) — The Texas Rangers made a nice comeback in their series opener against the Cleveland Guardians, winning on Friday, 12–4. Home runs by Nathaniel Lowe and Corey Seager were just a couple of highlights in a very satisfying win for the Rangers. There were plenty of smiles to go around as the Rangers were able to start the second half of the season on the right foot. It will be a quick turnaround, as the second game of this series will be on Saturday afternoon at 3:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Gavin Williams (1–1, 4.01 ERA) will get the ball for the Guardians. The Rangers will counter with lefty Andrew Heaney (5–6, 4.71 ERA).

Rangers Tee Off

The Guardians got on the board first in the top of the third. A two-run home run to right by Bo Naylor gave them a 2–0 lead. Myles Straw contributed earlier in the inning with an infield single to short. Four batters later, Josh Naylor — Bo’s brother — launched his own two-run homer to right. It scored Amed Rosario in the process.

The Rangers answered back in the bottom of the fourth. Lowe sent one over the wall in center to cut into the Guardians’ lead, which now stood at 4–1. Moments later, Adolis Garcia scored on a sharp single to center by Travis Jankowski. The Rangers crept closer in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the lead to one run on a single to right by Jonah Heim that drove in Lowe.

They tied it up in the bottom of the seventh. Marcus Semien crossed the plate on a double to center by Seager. Minutes later, the Rangers took a 5–4 lead on a single to left by Garcia that scored Seager. They soon stretched the lead to 7–4 on a double to left by Heim that drove in Lowe and Garcia. Another run came in the seventh. Heim scored on a single to right by Leody Taveras. It could’ve been 9–4 on a tag play, but Jankowski was ruled out at home on the play. The Rangers challenged, but the call stood. A home run by Seager in the bottom of the eighth made it 9–4 Rangers. Garcia and Heim later joined the party with a two-run blast and solo shot, respectively, to make it 12–4.

Gray Goes Six Innings

Rangers right-hander Jon Gray exited trailing 4–3 after completing six innings. He avoided suffering his fourth loss in as many starts when Seager produced his game-tying RBI double in the seventh. Gray’s line on the evening was 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R-ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 88 pitches/54 strikes. All four runs that he allowed came on the pair of two-run home runs by Bo and Josh Naylor in the third inning. Gray held the Guardians to a 1-for-10 mark with one walk after the end of that frame. Brock Burke came on in relief of Gray in the seventh. Burke tossed one inning. He gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out one. Burke got the winning decision.

Guardians starter Aaron Civale pitched five innings on Friday. He gave up two runs, both earned, on five hits. One of those hits was a home run. He walked one and struck out two. Lefty Sam Hentges came on in relief in the sixth but failed to record an out. He gave up three earned runs on two hits. He also issued one free pass and took the loss for the Guardians. His record is now 1–1 with an ERA of 5.40. The Guardians pitching staff allowed seven more runs on the night. One was given up by Eli Morgan, two were given up by Enyel De Los Santos, and the last four were surrendered by Cody Morris in the bottom of the eighth.

Brothers Gotta Hug

The Naylor brothers’ pair of two-run homers marked the first time a pair of brothers have homered in same game since the duo of Kyle Seager and Corey Seager on August 17, 2020. Kyle was with the Seattle Mariners, and Corey was with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Friday marked the first time both were on the same team since B.J. Upton and Justin Upton with the Atlanta Braves on September 27, 2014. Before Friday, the Guardians had never had a pair of brothers each hit a home run in the same game. Additionally, the Naylors are the sixth pair of brothers (ninth instance) since 1900 to homer in the same inning. The last time it happened was on April 23, 2013 when the Upton brothers both went deep in the same frame.

Postgame Comments

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was all smiles in his postgame media session. When asked what he saw from his team on Friday, he said, “It was a great game and a great comeback. You get down four runs and battle back. It’s always good when something like that happens. The guys in the other dugout were putting pressure on us early. Their starter threw really well. We just kept chipping away. It was a big day by our whole lineup. The guys all did such a great job. They did a nice job hitting with runners in scoring position. It was more like it has been for us in the past, and it felt really good. We couldn’t ask for a better start to the second half of the season.”

Bochy was also asked about Jon Gray’s performance in this one. He replied with, “He made a couple of mistakes with those two home runs, but the velocity on his fastball was good. His changeup was also working for him. A lot of folks expect these guys to throw strike after strike and get out after out. But, it doesn’t work like that. These guys are humans, not machines. A lot of times, it’s important to let them fight their own battles.”

 

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