Rangers Squeak Out Series Win against Reds

Rangers Reds
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Rangers 4, Reds 3

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Apr 28) — The Texas Rangers notched another series victory as they beat the Cincinnati Reds, 4–3, on Sunday afternoon in front of a crowd of 37,008. A dramatic inside-the-park home run by Wyatt Langford in the first inning helped seal the deal for the Rangers. After a quick off day, the Rangers will play host to the Washington Nationals for three games starting on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Jon Gray (0–1, 2.92 ERA) will take the hill for the Rangers, and the Nationals have yet to announce their starting pitcher for that contest.

Get Langford Some Oxygen

For the first time in ages, the Rangers scored first on Sunday, doing so in the bottom of the first. Reds starter Andrew Abbott gave up a single to right to Nathaniel Lowe. The next batter was Adolis Garcia, who blasted a solo home run to left to give the Rangers a 2–0 lead. It was his eighth dinger of the year. Jonah Heim followed Garcia’s bomb with a single to center. On deck was Langford, who plated Heim with an inside-the-park home run to right. It was the first homer of Langford’s major league career.

He is the fourth player in Rangers history (beg. 1972) to hit an inside-the-park home run for his first career major league home run. The others are Josh Smith on July 11, 2022 against the Oakland Athletics, Craig Gentry on September 23, 2011 against the Seattle Mariners, and Marc Sagmoen on April 17, 1997 against the Kansas City Royals. According to Elias, Langford is the first player in the last 30 years to have his first career hit be an infield single and first career home run be an inside-the-parker.

Reds Rally

The Reds, meanwhile, got on the board in the top of the sixth off right-hander Dane Dunning. Catcher Luke Maile doubled to left to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Maile scored on a single to right by Will Benson and a fielding error by Garcia in right. Benson advanced to second on said error. This led Rangers manager Bruce Bochy to bring in Josh Sborz to relieve Dunning. The first batter Sborz faced was Elly De La Cruz, who singled to right and stole second. An infield single by Spencer Steer and a error by Corey Seager allowed De La Cruz and Benson to score.

What Went Right for the Rangers

The home runs by Garcia and Langford were a good start. For the second day in a row, the bullpen tossed three scoreless innings. Their only blemish was the unearned run that came when Sborz was on the mound in the top of the sixth.

What Went Wrong for the Rangers

The errors by Garcia and Seager were the only things that hurt the Rangers on Sunday afternoon. They were most likely mental errors. The Rangers are in the middle of a lengthy nine-game home stand, and when you play that many games with only one off day to speak of, you’re going to start feeling the effects both physically and mentally.

10 Strikeout Day for Dunning

Dunning earned the win after allowing two runs, one earned, with 10 strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings. His record is now 3–2 with an ERA of 4.13. With this outing, he ties lefty Cody Bradford for the club lead in victories. He will most likely pass Bradford in that category, as Bradford is currently on the IL with a rib injury and won’t be back for at least a month. Dunning recorded the first 10-strikeout game by a Rangers pitcher in 2024, registering double-digit K’s for the fifth time in his career. Kirby Yates pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his fifth save of the year.

Tough Loss for Abbott

Abbott suffered the loss after surrendering a season-high four runs, all earned, over 5 1/3 innings. His final line was 5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R-ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 85 pitches/56 strikes. Abbott surrendered all four runs on the home runs by García and Langford in the bottom of the first. He recorded a season-high seven strikeouts. Abbott is now 1–3 with 3.27 ERA, 27 strikeouts, and 11 walks across six starts in 2024.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Bochy reflected on Dunning’s afternoon. “He had really good command”, Bochy said. “You saw it. He didn’t walk anybody and fanned 10. It’s very hard to ask more out of your pitcher than his best effort, and that’s what Dane gave us today. When he powers through the strike zone like he did with all his pitches, he’s a different guy. Everything was working. Good slider, good fastball, good changeup and he threw strikes with all of them. He really earned that win.” On Langford’s home run, he said “I don’t know what the odds are of a first home run being an inside-the-parker, but I’m sure he’s glad to have it out of the way. Good for him. All the guys were so happy for him when he got back to the dugout. I’m sure he’ll remember that the rest of his life.”

After Bochy left, Dunning took his seat and held court with the media. “Like I usually say, I really have to give credit to Jonah (Heim) for what happened out there today. You guys already mentioned the 10 strikeouts, and you really need the support of your catcher when you do that. It’s the same thing when you pitch to contact. You need to have the support of your defenders.”

 

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