Rangers Drop Series Opener to Twins

Rangers Twins
(Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

Twins 5, Rangers 1

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Sep 1) — The Texas Rangers opened their homestand on a sour note, losing 5–1 to the Minnesota Twins Friday. Corey Seager broke the seal with a solo home run, but other than that, there really wasn’t much for Rangers fans to write home about in this one. The Rangers will try to even this three-game series on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Left-hander Jordan Montgomery (8–10, 3.19 ERA) will get the mound for the Rangers. Lefty Dallas Keuchel (1–1, 3.50 ERA) will take the mound for the Twins.

Seager Breaks Scoreless Tie

Things were moving along at a brisk pace as both teams traded zeroes for the first three and a half innings. Seager put a stop to that, however, in the bottom of the fourth. With Joe Ryan on the mound for the Twins, Seager stepped in and sent one into the seats in right to give the Rangers a 1–0 lead.

The Twins responded by taking a 3–1 lead in the top of the seventh. With Brock Burke on in relief of Max Scherzer, Jordan Luplow hit a two-run shot to right. Carlos Correa, who singled earlier in the frame, was the man on base at the time. Two batters later, a solo homer to right by Christian Vazquez gave the Twins their third run of the evening.

The Twins added two more in the top of the eighth. A two-run homer to right by Jorge Polanco off reliever Josh Sborz made it 5–1. Ryan Jeffers doubled just prior to represent the Twins’ fourth run of the night.

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Strong Effort by Scherzer

Max Scherzer took a no-decision for his effort on Friday despite pitching well. Scherzer retired 18 of 21 batters faced over six scoreless frames. His final line was 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 88 pitches/53 strikes. He exited with the Rangers leading 1–0 after the sixth but was removed from the decision after Burke surrendered the go-ahead two-run homer by Luplow in the seventh. Friday marked Scherzer’s 65th career appearance with six-plus scoreless innings, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry (64) for the 19th-most such outings in baseball’s Modern Era. Scherzer has gone 3–1 with a 2.21 ERA, 47 strikeouts, 12 walks, and a .150 opposing batting average in six starts with the Rangers this season. Burke took the losing decision for the Rangers, bringing his record to 5–3 with an ERA of 3.64.

Ryan, meanwhile, notched his 10th win of 2023 on Friday while making his 24th start of the season. It was his 13th start on the road. His line was 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R-ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 74 pitches/53 strikes. The 10 wins mark his second straight season with 10 or more wins. (Ryan recorded 13 wins in 2022.) It was his second start since returning from his rehab assignment and being reinstated from the 15-day IL on August 26, and both starts have been against the Rangers. Friday marked the second time in Ryan’s career that he has faced the same opponent in consecutive starts. The homer he allowed to Seager in the fourth inning makes it nine straight starts where he has allowed a long ball. He has allowed 19 total, dating back to June 27 against the Atlanta Braves.

Postgame Comments

There was a look of sadness on the face of Rangers manager Bruce Bochy. It was evident that he felt bad for Scherzer, and for his team as a whole. Bochy was asked if there was anything that he saw from Scherzer that went into the decision to remove him from the game. He said, “He did his job. Where we were, and where he was set us up for (Brock) Burke inning-wise. Unfortunately, Burke left a couple of fastballs in the danger zone, and it didn’t work out for us. As for Max, each start is different. He got us to where we needed to be, and we couldn’t capitalize.”

 

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