Eovaldi Goes Seven as Rangers Blank Padres

Rangers Padres
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Rangers 7, Padres 0

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Jul 2) — The Texas Rangers used a dominant pitching performance from Nathan Eovaldi combined with a two-homer night by Nathaniel Lowe to beat the San Diego Padres, 7–0, on Tuesday night. Eovaldi and reliever Jonathan Hernandez neutralized the Padres’ normally potent offense, limiting the Friars to two baserunners all night. It was a great way to start their final home stand before the All-Star Break. With this victory, the Rangers have started a modest two-game winning streak, which they will look to add to in the middle game of this series on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. Right-hander Adam Mazur (1–2, 7.25 ERA) will take the mound for the Padres, while the Rangers will counter with righty Jon Gray (3–4, 3.77 ERA).

Little High, Big Lowe

The Rangers broke into the run column in the bottom of the second against Padres starter Dylan Cease. After Marcus Semien struck out to lead off the inning, Josh Smith ripped a single to center. Lowe followed with a two-run blast to right, his fifth of the year, and his third in the past week. They extended their lead to 3–0 later in the inning. A double to center by Jonah Heim got things started. Two batters later, Heim scored on another double to center by Leody Taveras. The Rangers added two more insurance runs an inning later. Smith led off with a walk. For the second time in as many innings and plate appearances, Lowe drove Smith in with a two-run shot. This one went to left-center. It marked the fifth multi-homer game of Lowe’s career, and the third multi-dinger game for the Rangers this season. The crowd of 33,965 went wild as Lowe’s homers coincided with his 2023 Gold Glove bobblehead night.

The Rangers tallied another run in the bottom of the fourth. A leadoff double to left by Taveras set the table. Jonathan Ornelas moved him over to third with a sacrifice bunt back to Cease. Up next was Semien, who drove in Taveras with a single to left.

The Rangers extended their lead to 7–0 in the bottom of the sixth against Padres reliever Austin Davis. After issuing a free pass to Taveras to start the inning, Davis surrendered an RBI double to Ornelas to give the Rangers their touchdown. It was a special at-bat for Ornelas, as it marked his first career extra-base hit and run batted in.

What Went Right for the Rangers

It’s always a good night at the ballpark when your offense or defense is working for you. When both sides are clicking on all cylinders, that gives everyone in your dugout an energy boost. Lowe’s two home runs were key in this win as well as the RBI base hits by Taveras and Ornelas. Their pitching staff also stepped up as starter Nathan Eovaldi tossed seven scoreless innings and reliever Jonathan Hernandez threw two scoreless frames.

What Went Wrong for the Rangers

The baserunner bug hit the Rangers again (sarcasm) on Tuesday. Eovaldi and Hernandez allowed two men combined to reach base. Both hurlers surrendered one hit apiece and gave their bullpen an extra night off.

Eovaldi Goes Seven

Eovaldi earned the win after tossing a season high-tying seven scoreless frames. He now owns a record of 5–3 with an ERA of 3.15. His line on the evening was 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 92 pitches/61 strikes. The lone hit he allowed was a two-out single by nine-hole hitter Bryce Johnson in the top of the third. Eovaldi retired each of the final 13 batters he faced to close his outing.

He became the eighth pitcher in Rangers history to permit one or zero baserunners in a start of seven-plus innings, and the first since Jon Gray on July 13, 2022 against the Oakland Athletics. Gray pitched seven innings and allowed one hit in that outing. Eovaldi has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his nine starts at Globe Life Field this season, the longest such season-opening span ever by a Rangers pitcher in Arlington. The second-longest streak was by Kyle Gibson over eight starts in 2021.

Cease (Back) Fire

Padres righty Dylan Cease shouldered his seventh loss of the season Tuesday after he allowed six runs, all earned, on eight hits over 3 2/3 innings. The rest of his line was 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 84 pitches/49 strikes. Cease permitted the pair of long balls to Lowe and has now yielded 11 home runs over his last 10 starts since May 14. This comes after surrendering two home runs across his first eight starts. Cease’s record now sits at 7–7 with an ERA of 4.24.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Bruce Bochy was all smiles as he praised Nathaniel Lowe’s performance. “He’s been swinging the bat well coming into tonight’s game and it’s obvious he sees the ball pretty good right now,” said Bochy. “It’s good to see a guy that’s one of our core players come around. … Nate’s a good hitter. He’s got big power. You guys have seen it. I’ve seen it and it’s all about getting your timing on the fastball and the changeup, which he hit out tonight. He’s a good hitter. When good hitters get hot, you see a lot of good things. I think that’s what you’re seeing with Nate.”

Bochy was also asked about his offense possibly turning a corner in the coming weeks. “You look at where they’re at now and it’s not quite where they normally are,” Bochy said of the lineup. “You have to think, well, they are going to get to where the numbers are normally. That’s what we have to feel good about. This is just one game here on this home stand. But it’s a good start. And as I said, we faced a really good pitcher tonight in Cease. So to see those at-bats, that’s really encouraging.”



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