Rangers Edge Marlins in Middle Game

Rangers Marlins
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Rangers 9, Marlins 8

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Aug 5) — The Texas Rangers ran their winning streak to five games, as they beat the Miami Marlins, 9–8, on Saturday afternoon. Another multi-RBI day for Corey Seager was one of the difference makers for manager Bruce Bochy‘s bunch in this one. With this win and the Houston Astros‘ loss to the New York Yankees earlier in the day, the first-place Rangers now hold a 2.5 game lead over their intrastate rivals. The Rangers will have an opportunity to secure their second consecutive three-game sweep in the finale Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Sandy Alcantara (4–9, 4.21 ERA) will get the start for the Marlins. Lefty Andrew Heaney (8–6, 4.36 ERA) will get the ball for the Rangers in the Sunday matinee.

Marlins Make a Splash

The game remained in a scoreless tie until the top of the third. A double to center by Jorge Soler drove in Joey Wendle and Luis Arraez, both of whom reached on singles earlier in the inning. Moments later, Soler scored on an infield single by Jazz Chisholm Jr. Chisholm left the game at the end of the inning due to hamstring tightness. In the top of the fourth, Jon Berti crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to center by Wendle.

Arraez made it 5–0 Marlins by plating Jesus Sanchez with a double to left. The Rangers’ bats came to life in the bottom of the fourth. After a walk to Adolis Garcia and a single by Josh Jung, Robbie Grossman belted a three-run homer to right-center. This cut the Marlins’ lead to 5–3. Seager tied things up in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run shot to right-center, his 18th homer of the year.

More RBI for Seager

It also added two RBI to Seager’s recent total, giving him 60 ribbies in his last 59 games. Later in the frame, Jung deposited one into the seats in left with Garcia on base after his second walk of the afternoon, giving the Rangers a 7–5 lead. The Marlins got one back in the top of the sixth on a solo homer to center by Nick Fortes. The Rangers added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. After drawing a walk, Seager raced home on a double to center by Nathaniel Lowe.

Later, Lowe drove in the Rangers’ ninth and final run of the afternoon, plating Leody Taveras on a double to left. While many thought this would seal the deal for the Rangers, the Marlins had different ideas. With Soler on base via the walk, Jake Burger hit one over the wall in center to make it 9–8. It was certainly a game of inches on Saturday.

Well-Rested

Rangers right-hander Jon Gray earned his seventh win of the season while pitching on 11 days rest. The last time he pitched was on July 24 against the Astros. His final line on the afternoon was 5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R-3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 77 pitches/54 strikes. Gray snapped a streak of eight straight winless starts, as this was his first victory since June 2 against the Seattle Mariners. His record was 0–4 in those eight starts, and his overall record now stands at 7–5 with an ERA of 3.72. The Marlins’ other three runs were given up by Brock Burke and Will Smith. Despite giving up the Marlins’ last two runs, Smith nailed down his 20th save of the season.

Marlins starter George Soriano allowed three earned runs in three innings in his first major league start on Saturday. It marked the seventh time in his first 12 appearances to pitch at least three innings. His four strikeouts on Saturday marked the second-most in his career. On July 21 he had eight strikeouts against the Colorado Rockies. Lefty Ryan Weathers came in to pitch in the fifth inning. He threw 3 2/3 innings and gave up six runs, all earned, on six hits. Weathers walked four, struck out five, and gave up two home runs. He took the loss in his outing, bringing his record to 1–7 with an ERA of 6.89.

Postgame Comments

After some confusion as to why the interview room was a little emptier than usual (nobody really knew why), Bochy gave his thoughts on the game. He was asked about the Rangers’ ability to win at Globe Life Field. Bochy said, “Early in the season, they responded to adversity really well. We had a little lull before the All-Star Break, but they’ve been doing such a great job in the second half. We were down five runs today, and we had our work cut out for us.

“Their guy threw really well, but you need somebody to come through with a big hit. Robbie Grossman did that for us with his three-run homer. He got us back in the game. Josh (Jung) and (Corey) Seager each had long balls, and it really came together for us, even though it wasn’t exactly pretty at the end when they cut the lead to one, but we’re a resilient group, and we held on, and tomorrow we’ll try to make it six in a row.”

 

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