Rangers Blank Mariners in Middle Game

Rangers Mariners
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Rangers 2, Mariners 0

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Sep 23) — The Texas Rangers nailed down the series win against the Seattle Mariners, winning 2–0 on Saturday evening. RBI singles by Mitch Garver and Jonah Heim were the difference makers in the middle game. With this win, and a 3–2 win by the Kansas City Royals over the Houston Astros, the Rangers stretch their lead in the AL West to 1.5 games. The finale of this three-game series is on Sunday afternoon with first pitch set for 1:35 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Bryan Woo (4–4, 3.90 ERA) will get the ball for the Mariners, and Nathan Eovaldi (11–4, 3.05 ERA) will take the hill for the Rangers.

Garver and Heim Deliver

The Rangers scored first in the bottom of the second on Saturday. Garcia doubled to left off Mariners starter Logan Gilbert to bring up Garver. He ripped a single down the right field line.  This allowed Garcia to score. The Rangers added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth. After a groundout by Josh Jung, Garcia drew a walk and stole second. He quickly scored his second run of the evening thanks to a single to left by Heim. Both run-scoring hits came with two outs.

These RBI base hits prove even more crucial in a game with no home runs to speak of. The ability to string hits together often gets lost in the shuffle when you have numerous guys on your team that can send it over the wall on a regular basis. These base hits by Garcia, Garver, and Heim went a long way in providing some breathing room between the Rangers and Astros.

Montgomery Stays Hot

Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery fired seven scoreless innings for the second time in three starts. His line on the evening was 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 102 pitches/65 strikes. He earned the win to improve his record to 10–11 with an ERA of 3.25. This particular victory marked a milestone for Montgomery, as it cements his first career 10-win season in the books. He is 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA over his last three starts. That span has lowered his season ERA from 3.62 to 3.25, as he is the third Rangers pitcher this season to post seven-plus innings with one or zero runs allowed in three straight starts. He has allowed one run in 21 innings over his past three outings.

Montgomery has gone 4–2 with a 2.92 ERA in his 10 starts with the Rangers since being acquired via trade with the St. Louis Cardinals on July 30. Saturday’s outing lifted his season innings total to 182 2/3, the highest of his career (previously 178 1/3 IP in 2022). His 161 strikeouts in ’23 are one shy of tying his career high (162 in 2022). Aroldis Chapman picked up his sixth save after recording the final two outs of the game. On the other side, Gilbert fell one out shy of a quality start. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, both earned. Gilbert took his seventh loss, bringing his record to 13–7 with an ERA of 3.75. He has taken losses in back-to-back starts after an eight-game winning streak, receiving a total of one run of support in those last two outings.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy went over what he saw in Montgomery’s start. He said, “He did a fantastic job, and he threw a lot of quality strikes. It’s been so much fun to watch, and he’s been on a tear lately. All four pitches were working as well as he needed them to. His command and tempo were really good out there as well. He threw seven solid innings, and he probably worked a little harder than he planned, but things worked out. It was a great effort, and we needed it. Their guy was throwing well too. It was a well-pitched game on both sides. Good things happened in that game, and it all starts with Monty.”

Bochy was also asked about the bullpen’s performance. He said, “It always helps when your starter goes seven. I tried to stay away from Chappy (Aroldis Chapman). He pitched the previous two days. I was hoping to get him some rest, but we needed him, and he showed up.”

 

 

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