Mets Trounce Rangers with 22 Hits in Series Opener

Rangers Mets
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Mets 14, Rangers 2

ARLINGTON, Tex. (June 17) — The Texas Rangers‘ bats went silent once again, as they lost to the New York Mets, 14–2, on Monday. A four-hit performance by Francisco Lindor propelled the Mets to the one-sided win in front of a crowd of 32,590. The Rangers will try to redeem themselves on Tuesday evening after surrendering a season-high 22 hits in this one. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Luis Severino (4–2, 3.12 ERA) will get the ball for the Mets, while Michael Lorenzen (4–3, 2.86) will toe the rubber for the Rangers.

Plenty of Singles

The Mets scored early and often on Monday against righty Jon Gray. A leadoff single to right by Lindor got the ball rolling. He must have seen a weak spot in Gray’s delivery because he was seen talking to on-deck hitter Brandon Nimmo on his way back to the bench, perhaps telling him to take advantage of it. The rest of the lineup pounced on Gray going forward. After Nimmo flied to right, Gray gave up back-to-back singles to J.D. Martinez and Pete AlonsoLindor scored on the single to right hit by Alonso.

Rangers Caught Off Guard

The Mets piled on in the top of the second. Gray surrendered three more singles to Mark Vientos, Jeff McNeil, and once again, Lindor, who plated Vientos with his second knock. Up next was Nimmo, who brought in McNeil with a single to left, giving the Mets a 3–0 lead. Alonso drove in Lindor for the second time with a single to left. On deck was DJ Stewart, who proceeded to blast one over the wall in right to make it 7–0 Mets.

The Rangers got in the run column in the bottom of the third against Mets lefty David Peterson. Marcus Semien drew a walk after Leody Taveras struck out swinging to lead off the inning. Two batters later, Robbie Grossman hit a two-run homer, his first of the year, to left.

Even More Singles

The Mets added on in the top of the fourth. For the third time in as many plate appearances, Lindor singled, this time to right. Due up was Nimmo, who put two more on the board with his eighth home run of the season. It was a wall-scraper to right. This led manager Bruce Bochy to bring in Jonathan Hernandez to relieve Gray.

The Mets scored three more runs in the top of the fifth off Hernandez. After Vientos flied to right to lead things off, Francisco Alvarez singled to center. McNeil followed that up by drawing a free pass. That brought Lindor to the plate. He collected his fourth hit of the night with a double to right, scoring Alvarez along the way, making it 10–2 Mets.

Nimmo kept the line moving by plating McNeil with a sharp single to right. The Mets scored their next run in the top of the sixth. Singles by Stewart and Vientos forced the Rangers to bring in Cole Winn to relieve Hernandez. Alvarez stepped to the plate and hit yet another single to left to bring home Stewart.

They scored again in the top of the eighth. Winn hit Tyrone Taylor, who came in as a defensive replacement in left. Vientos moved him to third with a double to left. Taylor crossed the plate moments later thanks to a single to center by Alvarez. Vientos was driven in by McNeil, who grounded into a 4–6 force out. The Rangers brought in their backup catcher, Andrew Knizner, to pitch. He did well, getting Jose Iglesias, who was brought in to play shortstop earlier, to ground out to second.

What Went Right for the Mets

It’s easy to forget that singles can be as effective as home runs at certain times. To the average fan, singles aren’t very exciting, so they often go unnoticed, but they were hard to miss on Monday. The Mets hit a couple of homers in this game. As a team, however, they recorded 22 hits on Monday. More than half of them were  singles. Their pitching staff also did their part by allowing only two runs.

What Went Wrong for the Mets

The only mole hill the Mets encountered was the two-run shot that Grossman hit in the third inning. For a moment, it looked like the Rangers might put something together, but the Mets had other ideas.

Gray Skies

Rangers starter Jon Gray allowed a career-high-tying nine runs over three innings, as he was saddled with his third loss of the campaign. The nine runs snapped a string of 10 consecutive starts in which he’d permitted two or fewer earned runs, the third-longest streak in franchise history. It was undone by the six-run second inning that was underscored by a three-run home run by Stewart.  Gray later allowed the two-run shot to Nimmo, marking the first time that he allowed multiple dingers in a game since September 20, 2023 against the Boston Red Sox, where he gave up two homers. He has still only allowed five home runs this season, with left-handed hitters accounting for four of those long balls. Gray’s record for 2024 is now 2–3 with an ERA of 3.31.

Peterson’s Evening

Mets starter David Peterson earned the win after allowing two runs, both earned, over six frames in Monday’s blowout victory. His final line was 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R-ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 100 pitches/62 strikes. It marked his second quality start of the season. He has gone 3–0 with a 3.97 ERA across four starts in 2024.

Postgame Comments

An even-keeled Bochy got straight to the point in his postgame media session. “We’ll keep working.” he said. “We’ll get this figured out here.” Bochy also pointed out that they were up against a very good pitcher in Peterson. “He had a game plan,” he said, “and did a pretty good job against us.” Bochy also noted that Gray “could have” been tipping his pitches, and they’ll work with him to figure out what went wrong.

 

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