Rangers Blank Guardians in Middle Game

Rangers Guardians
(Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

Rangers 2, Guardians 0

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Jul 15) — The Texas Rangers won their second game in a row against the Cleveland Guardians on Saturday, 2–0. Fans that are partial to the long ball will have wait another day at least to see one from either of these clubs. All the scoring in Saturday’s contest was done on the ground. The Rangers have the chance to sweep the Guardians in the final game of this three-game set on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Tanner Bibee (5–2, 3.34 ERA) will get the ball for the Guardians. Meanwhile, lefty Martin Perez (7–3, 4.81 ERA) will take the mound for the Rangers.

Rangers Offense

After scoring 12 runs on Friday night against the Guardians, the Rangers were a little quieter at the plate on Saturday afternoon. They jumped out to a 1–0 lead in the bottom of the first. Marcus Semien scored on a 6–4 force out grounded into by Adolis Garcia. Their second run came one inning later on a sacrifice fly in foul territory by Semien. Jonah Heim raced home on the play.

Good Effort by Heaney

Rangers lefty Andrew Heaney earned the win after tossing 5 1/3 scoreless frames in his first start since the All-Star Break. His record now sits at 6–6 with an ERA of 4.43. His line on the afternoon was 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 87 pitches/56 strikes. Saturday marked his longest scoreless outing of the season. The only scoreless start in his career that lasted longer came on April 17, 2022 against the Cincinnati Reds. He was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time. In that start, he went six scoreless innings.

On Saturday, Heaney exited with runners on first and third with one out in the sixth. He was spared from any damage after Grant Anderson induced an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play to the first batter he faced. Heaney cut his season ERA from 4.71 to 4.43. He has gone 6-5 with a 3.86 ERA over his last 17 starts since surrendering 7 R-ER over 2 2/3 IP in his Rangers debut on April 4 against the Baltimore Orioles. Guardians starter Gavin Williams allowed two runs across five innings and issued a season-high four walks to Rangers batters. The 23-year old escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second frame and managed to retire nine of the next 10 batters he faced. He took the loss in this one, bringing his record to 1–2, with an ERA of 3.94.

Chapman’s First Save as a Ranger

Aroldis Chapman retired three of the four batters he faced. He struck out two in the ninth inning to secure his third save of the season and first as a Ranger. Chapman struck out Myles Straw for the game’s final out. He hurled a 102.5 mph sinker past the Guardians outfielder for the third strike. According to Baseball Savant, it was the fastest pitch ever thrown by a Rangers pitcher in the Statcast Era. It surpassed the previous high of 101.8 mph by Emmanuel Clase — who, coincidentally, is now on the Guardians — on September 14, 2019 against the Oakland Athletics.

Postgame Comments

After a quick compliment on the Ferdinand Magellan-esque shirt of Bally Sports Southwest Reporter Emily Jones, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy gave his thoughts on the effort that his pitching staff gave. “Everybody did a great job. Andrew (Heaney) bounced back nicely. He’s had a string of rough starts, so it was important for him to get the outs that he needed. The command was there for him, and I thought he handled himself nicely out there. The fastball and slider were working for him. He was also able to mix in the occasional changeup. When Andrew got in a jam, Grant (Anderson) came in and shut the door. When you get two runs, you need good pitching. It was a pleasure to watch.

Andrew Heaney also reflected on his start on Saturday. He said, “I was very anxious to get back out there. My last few starts leading up to the All-Star Break weren’t that great. It just felt good to start the second half on a good note. My command was good. There were just a couple of mechanical issues that I’m going to have to work on. I talked to Mike (Maddux) over the break, and he helped me break down my last three or four starts, and we’re going to tweak the game plan a little bit.”

 

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