Mets Edge Rangers in Middle Game

Rangers Mets
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Mets 7, Rangers 6

ARLINGTON, Tex. (June 18) — It was another tough night under the roof in Arlington on Tuesday, as the Texas Rangers fell to the New York Mets, 7–6, marking their 40th loss of the season. A solo home run by Brandon Nimmo was among the highlights in this come-from-behind victory for the Metropolitans. As for the Rangers, they’ll try to avoid yet another sweep in their home ballpark on Wednesday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. It will be a duel of lefties as Sean Manaea (4–3, 4.11 ERA) will take to hill for the Mets, while Andrew Heaney (2–8, 4.19 ERA) will get the ball for the Rangers.

Back and Forth

The Mets broke the seal in the top of the second against Rangers starter Michael Lorenzen. He got Pete Alonso and Starling Marte on back-to-back groundouts, bringing Mark Vientos to the dish. The latter sent his sixth home run of the year over the wall in left to give the Mets a 1–0 lead.

The Rangers knotted things up in the bottom of the third off Luis Severino. Ezequiel Duran got things started with an infield single to third. Two batters later, Severino issued a free pass to Marcus Semien. A wild pitch allowed Duran to move to third and Semien to second. On deck was Corey Seager, who hit a weak grounder to Alonso at first, allowing Duran to score while sending Seager back to the bench.

Things stayed quiet until the top of the fifth. Back-to-back singles by Vientos and Francisco Alvarez got things started. A 3–6 force out grounded into by Jeff McNeil advanced Vientos to third. Due up was Harrison Bader, who plated Vientos with a groundout to Semien at second.

Smith and Langford Go Deep

The Rangers tied it back up in the bottom of the fifth. Duran led off with another single, this one went to center. Leody Taveras made it two consecutive singles to center. After Semien lined to Francisco Lindor at shortstop, Seager drove in Duran with a single to left. That brought Josh Smith to the plate, and he gave the Rangers a 5–2 lead with a blast to right-center, his fifth of the season. Two batters later, Wyatt Langford made it 6–2 with a solo shot to left-center. This marked Langford’s second homer in the majors, and the first to go over the wall. His first major-league dinger was of the inside-the-park variety, and it came on April 28 against the Cincinnati Reds at Globe Life Field.

Things Get Interesting

The Mets cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth thanks to to a solo bomb to right-center by Nimmo. They made it 6–4 in the top of the seventh off Rangers reliever Jose Leclerc. Vientos and Alvarez both singled to left before McNeil struck out swinging. DJ Stewart drew a walk after entering the game as a pinch-hitter for Bader. This led Rangers manager Bruce Bochy to bring in David Robertson to relieve Leclerc. Up next was Lindor, who grounded into a force out fielded by Seager, who threw it to Semien at second to get Stewart. This allowed Vientos to cross the plate.

The Mets tied it 6–6 in the top of the eighth. J.D. Martinez struck out swinging to open the frame. Alonso and Marte hit back-to-back singles to bring up Vientos, who also struck out swinging. On deck was Alvarez who scored Alonso and Marte with a sharp double to center. Much to the disgust of the crowd, the Mets grabbed a 7–6 lead off Rangers closer Kirby Yates in the top of the ninth. After Nimmo reached on a walk, Martinez got on base via catcher’s interference by Jonah Heim after the Mets challenged what was initially called a foul ball. Up next was Alonso, who doubled to left, allowing Nimmo to score.

What Went Right for the Mets

For the second night in a row, the Mets did all of the little, and sometimes overlooked, things needed to win. They were able to come back from a four-run deficit to win by a narrow margin. Once again they had several singles from their lineup as well as the homer by Nimmo. They also had a little bit of luck with the catcher’s interference play by Heim. That was a rare mental mistake from him. You could possibly chalk that up to exhaustion on Heim’s part as he just returned from the Major League Baseball Paternity List after the birth of his third child.

What Went Wrong for the Mets

At one point, the Mets trailed the Rangers, 6–2. The big blow came from the home runs by Smith and Langford. They also gave up several RBI base hits and groundouts.

More Tough Luck for Lorenzen

Rangers starter Michael Lorenzen did not factor into the decision despite producing his team-leading eighth quality start of the season. His final line was 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R-ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 82 pitches/52 strikes. Lorenzen exited after the sixth inning with his team leading 6–3, but was removed from the decision after Alvarez’s game-tying two-run double in the eighth. Two of the three runs allowed came on the solo homers by Vientos and Nimmo. Lorenzen’s 10 home runs allowed in 2024 are second-most among Rangers pitchers. Lorenzen has tallied quality starts in six of his last seven outings, compiling a 2–1 record and 1.88 ERA over that span to drop his season ERA figure from 4.66 to 3.00.

Yates took the loss after surrendering the lead in the ninth. His record now sits at 3–1 with an ERA of 1.07.

Severino’s Evening

Mets starter Luis Severino permitted a season-high six earned runs, including the two homers, his most since July 30, 2023 against the Baltimore Orioles, where he gave up nine earned runs. Severino took a no-decision after the Mets tied the game in the eighth. Tuesday marked the first time in his career that he allowed six-plus earned runs in a start of 6 1/3 innings or longer, as the last Met to turn the trick was Jon Niese on July 8, 2012 against the Chicago Cubs (7 IP, 7 H). Severino is 4–3 on the season with a 3.52 ERA over 84 1/3 IP.

Lucky Sevens

After tossing a spotless eighth inning with one strikeout, right-hander Reed Garrett earned his seventh victory of the season. That brings his 2024 record to 7–2 with an ERA of 3.03. Edwin Diaz pitched around a leadoff single by Heim in the ninth to notch his seventh save of the season.

Passing of a Legend

After the game, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy talked briefly about the game, and he also reflected on his long-time friendship with San Francisco Giants Legend and Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday at the age of 93. As for the game, he said, “Tough one. No getting around it, we let that one get away. We had our guys set up. … These are games that I like my chances. It just got away.”

Reflecting on Mays, he said, “I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with that man. Of course, what a legend he is. Could be the best, greatest player of all time, that’s how good he was. This game allows you to meet some tremendous players and people. I got to spend a lot of time with Willie in my tenure up there in San Francisco. Sad day, sad day.”

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