Brewers Sneak Past Rangers in Series Opener

Rangers Brewers
(Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

Brewers 9, Rangers 8

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Aug 18) — The Texas Rangers made a valiant comeback bid in the ninth but ultimately lost a tough one to the Milwaukee Brewers, 9–8, Friday night at Globe Life Field. Home runs by Nathaniel Lowe and Mitch Garver created a spark, but it wasn’t bright enough to take the series opener from the Brewers. The Rangers, however, were assisted by the Seattle Mariners earlier in the evening when they beat the Houston Astros, 2–0. This means that the Rangers’ 2.5 game lead in the AL West is still intact. With a quick turnaround on Saturday, the Rangers will have a chance to redeem themselves. First pitch in the middle game is scheduled for 3:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Freddy Peralta (9–8, 4.08 ERA) will get the ball for the Brewers. Dane Dunning (9–4, 3.10 ERA) will start for the Rangers.

Brewers Score First

The Brewers got on the board first in the top of the third off Rangers lefty Andrew Heaney. Christian Yelich scored on a double to center by William Contreras. Contreras scored moments later on a double to left by Mark Canha. One batter later, Willy Adames plated Canha with a single to left.

The Rangers fought back in the bottom of the fourth off Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff. After a walk to Corey Seager, Lowe blasted one to left-center to cut the Brewers’ lead to 3–2. Later in the inning, the Rangers tied it 3–3 on a solo homer to left by Garver.

Fast forward to the bottom of the sixth. Adolis Garcia gave the Rangers a 4–3 lead by driving in Seager with a single to left. Seager reached base on a double to center earlier in the frame.

The Brewers regained the lead in the top of the seventh off Rangers reliever Josh Sborz. After a walk to Yelich and a single to right by Contreras, Carlos Santana sent one over the wall in left for a three-run home run.

So Close

The Brewers added on in the top of the eighth off Brock Burke, who recorded the last two outs of the top of the seventh on a double-play groundout. Contreras plated Brice Turang and Tyrone Taylor with a single to center. Turang and Taylor reached on an intentional walk and a double to left, respectively, earlier in the inning.

Later in the inning, the Brewers stretched it to 9–4. Canha grounded into a 6–4 force out that scored Yelich.

It seemed as if the Rangers couldn’t buy any offense on this hot night in Arlington. But they made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth off lefty Andrew Chafin. Garver scored on a double to left by Robbie Grossman. Grossman later crossed home on a double to right by Ezequiel Duran. Travis Jankowski plated Duran with a double to left. Jankowski advanced to third on a wild pitch by Brewers closer Devin Williams. Lastly, Marcus Semien grounded to third to score Jankowski.

Short Evening for Heaney

Heaney did not factor into the decision after allowing three runs, all earned, over 3 2/3 innings. His line on the evening was 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R-ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 84 pitches/55 strikes. Heaney has logged a total of five innings over his last two starts but is still 2–0 with a 2.16 ERA and 19 strikeouts against five walks over four starts in August. He has made a team-high 24 starts this season, the second-most of his 10-year major league career. He made 30 starts in 2018 with the Los Angeles Angels. The Brewers’ other six runs, as mentioned earlier, were given up by Josh Sborz and Brock Burke. Sborz took the loss, bringing his record to 5–5 with an ERA of 4.50.

Woodruff also took a no-decision in his fifth start of the season. His line was 5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 4 R-ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 92 pitches/63 strikes. He owns a 2–1 record with a 2.89 ERA in those five starts, with a 1–0 record and a 3.57 ERA in three starts on the road. Friday marked his first career appearance against the Rangers. He has allowed a home run in three consecutive starts and at least one dinger in four of his starts this season. The Rangers’ four additional runs were given up by former Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Andrew Chafin and Devin Williams, who earned his 29th save of the season. Elvis Peguero got the win, bringing his record to 3–4 with an ERA of 3.86.

Postgame Comments

A somewhat flustered Bruce Bochy spoke to members of the media after the game. When asked about the late rally, he said, “There was a lot of fight there at the end. They did a great job getting in a position to bring the tying run to the plate, but it just didn’t work out for us tonight. The guys over in the other dugout a better team than people give them credit for, and we had to tip our caps to them tonight.” Bochy was also asked about Heaney’s outing. “It was just bad luck. He was a little under the weather on our last road trip in San Francisco, but that has passed. I think it was just an off night for them. It happens to all of us, no matter what profession or walk of life you’re in.”

 

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