Rangers Lose to Twins as Slide Continues

Rangers Twins
(Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

Twins 9, Rangers 7 (10 innings)

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Sep 2) — The Texas Rangers lost the middle game in their series with the Minnesota Twins, 9–7, in extras Saturday night. The Rangers showed several sparks of offense, but the most significant spark was a two-run dinger by Adolis Garcia. With this loss, the Rangers’ slide continues as they have now lost 13 of their last 18 games. They now sit in third place in the AL West, three games behind the Seattle Mariners and one game behind the Houston Astros. The Rangers will try to avoid the sweep in the finale on Sunday afternoon, with first pitched scheduled for 1:35 pm Central at Globe Life Field. The Twins will send righty Kenta Maeda (3–7, 4.69 ERA) to the mound in that game. The Rangers will counter with right-hander Jon Gray (8–7, 3.79 ERA).

Blast by Garcia

The Rangers scored first in their half of the first. Marcus Semien led off the inning with a double to right off Twins starter Dallas Keuchel. After groundouts by Corey Seager and Nathaniel Lowe, Garcia stepped up to the plate. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Garcia hit a wall-scraper to left to give the Rangers a 2–0 lead. They extended their lead to 4–0 in the bottom of the second. Robbie Grossman reached on a double to left. It was originally thought to be a home run by the Rangers. After they challenged, it was determined to be a double that just missed the yellow line, and the original call stood. Moments later, a wild pitch to Ezequiel Duran by Keuchel advanced Grossman to third. On deck was Sam Huff, who hit a two-run homer to left. The Twins chipped away in the top of the third.

Rangers Make Things Interesting

They cut the Rangers’ lead to 4–1 on a solo homer by Donovan Solano off Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery. They made it 4–2 in the top of the fourth on a single to left by Ryan Jeffers that scored Jordan Luplow. Luplow singled to center earlier in the frame. After a walk to Matt Wallner, Michael A. Taylor plated Jeffers and Kyle Farmer on a double to left. Farmer reached on a walk earlier in the inning. Before the Rangers had a chance to catch their breath, the Twins took a 6–4 lead on a single by Solano that drove in Wallner and Taylor. This alarming turn of events forced the Rangers to bring in Chris Stratton from the bullpen to relieve Montgomery.

The Rangers tied in the bottom of the eighth. With Emilio Pagan on the mound for the Twins, Robbie Grossman hit a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Nathaniel Lowe to score. It remained tied 6–6 at the end of nine innings. The Twins took a 7–6 lead in the top of the tenth when Jorge Polanco scored on a single by Carlos Correa off Aroldis Chapman. Moments later, Royce Lewis scored on a single to right by Max Kepler. This led Rangers manager Bruce Bochy to replace Chapman with Cody Bradford. Correa scored the Twins’ final run of the evening. He was driven in on a sacrifice fly to left by Jeffers.

Short Evening for Both Starters

Montgomery did not factor into the decision despite allowing six runs (all earned) and exiting with Texas trailing, 6–4, in the fourth inning. His line on the evening was 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R-ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 68 pitches/41 strikes. Montgomery avoided the loss after Grossman leveled the score on his sac fly in the eighth. The 3 2/3-inning outing was his shortest of ‘23, as his last start of fewer than four innings came on July 26, 2022 against the New York Mets as a member of the New York Yankees. Montgomery faced 19 Twins hitters, but did not record a strikeout, and this was the second of his 136 career appearances in which he failed to punch out a single batter.

Chapman took the loss after pitching two-thirds of an inning. He gave up three runs, two earned, on two hits. Chapman also walked one and struck out one. Meanwhile, Keuchel allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings. This came after entering the day with a scoreless streak of 11 1/3 innings. Keuchel entered the bottom of the fourth with a 6–4 lead, but allowed the first two batters to reach on a walk and single. After pitching a scoreless ninth inning, Brent Headrick got the win for the Twins. He is now 3–0 with an ERA of 5.91. Jhoan Duran earned the save for the Twins, his 24th of the year.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Bochy reflected on Montgomery’s start. “He’s been throwing so well, but in that [fourth] inning, things started to unravel there and walks became involved,” Bochy said of Montgomery. “We were trying to get him out of that inning. It was early in the ballgame, but we had to go get him. He’s been throwing so well, and hey, it happens. The bullpen actually did a good job today to give us a chance to come back.”

Bochy also gave his thoughts on Chapman’s evening. “He went out there and just lost a little bit there, too.” Bochy said of Chapman. “He’s one of our guys, our eighth-, ninth-inning guys. That’s the guy we wanted out there. … [The rest of the bullpen] did a really good job. They passed the baton on very well. These are the guys that got us here, and like I said, they all threw well. Chapman had a couple of days off, and he said he was good to go. He felt fine and just kind of lost it there a little bit.”

 

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