Rangers Fall to Padres in Fourth of July Matinee

Rangers Padres
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Padres 3, Rangers 1

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Jul 4) — The Texas Rangers didn’t see any fireworks on Thursday afternoon, as they lost their Fourth of July series finale to the San Diego Padres, 3–1. The Padres sealed the victory on a solo home run by Jurickson Profar. Meanwhile, this game gives the Rangers their third consecutive series loss. They will try to get back on track as they play host to the Tampa Bay Rays for three games starting on Friday evening, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field. The Rays have yet to announce a starting pitcher for that game, while the Rangers will send right-hander Michael Lorenzen (4–4, 3.40 ERA) to the mound.

As for the Padres, they will head back to San Diego for a three-game set against the 2023 National League Champion Arizona Diamondbacks, also starting on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm Pacific at Petco Park. Both teams have yet to announce their starting pitchers for that game.

Low Scoring Affair

Both teams traded zeroes for the first three innings. The Padres broke the ice in the top of the fourth against right-hander Max Scherzer. Profar led off the frame with a single to left. Two batters later, he advanced to second on a 6–3 groundout by Manny Machado. Profar then moved to third on a wild pitch from Scherzer to Padres DH Donovan Solanowho doubled to left to score Profar.

The Padres stretched their lead to 2–0 in the top of the sixth. Profar scored his second run of the afternoon on a solo home run to right, his 12th of the season.

The Rangers cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth against Padres righty Michael King. After Josh Smith flied to center to lead off the inning, Corey Seager lined a sharp double to center. Nathaniel Lowe followed with a walk, which led Padres manager Mike Shildt to bring in reliever Jeremiah Estrada. Adolis Garcia flied to right, bringing up Wyatt Langford, who drove in Seager with a single to left. Langford has now hit safely in six straight games.

The Padres scored again in the top of the seventh. Solano led off with a double to left. He scampered to third on Scherzer’s second wild pitch of the afternoon. Scherzer then got David Peralta to ground to Seager at short before being lifted for Jose Urena by manager Bruce Bochy. On deck was Ha-Seong Kim, who drove in Solano with a sacrifice fly to left.

What Went Right for the Padres

The Padres got a big day out of Jurickson Profar. He had a single as well as two runs scored to go along with his round-tripper. Despite the series outcome, many Ranger fans in attendance this week were pleased to see him play in Arlington again. Profar was a fan favorite when he played for the Rangers from 2012-18. Many were saddened when he was acquired by the Oakland Athletics in a three-team deal that also involved the Rays in December of 2018.

What Went Wrong for the Padres

The main thing that went wrong for the Padres in this game, and the series for that matter, was that Wyatt Langford was a part of it. He drove in the Rangers’ only run in this game. He also prevented the Padres from scoring two additional runs when he robbed Kim of a two-run homer with a tremendous catch at the wall in left in the top of the second. The runner on base at the time was Machado, who led off by drawing a free pass. Two innings later, Langford showed off his arm after fielding a single through the left side of the infield from Peralta. Solano — who had previously reached on an RBI double off Scherzer — took off trying to score from second. He also tripled in the series opener on Tuesday.

Scherzday Blues

Rangers starter Max Scherzer took the loss despite producing a quality start in his third outing since returning from a season-opening stint on the 60-day Injured List. He now owns a record of 1–2 with an ERA of 2.70. His final line was 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R-ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 90 pitches/61 strikes. He generated a season-high 11 swing-and-miss strikes, according to Statcast, over 6 1/3 frames. It was his longest outing since August 26, 2023 against the Minnesota Twins, where he turned in seven innings. Scherzer exited with the Rangers trailing, 2–1, with one on and one out in the top of the seventh, and was charged with an additional run after Urena allowed the inherited runner to score on a sac fly.

King Me

Padres righty Michael King earned his seventh win of the season with 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball. The rest of his line was 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K, 92 pitches/60 strikes. His record now sits at 7–5 with an ERA of 3.51. King scattered four baserunners over the first five innings before running into trouble in the fifth. After allowing consecutive baserunners to reach with one out in the fifth, King gave way to Estrada, who allowed one of the inherited runners to score on the Langford RBI single. The inning concluded with the Padres still ahead, 2–1, putting King in position to earn the win. He has gone 6–2 with a 2.74 ERA over 11 games, 10 of them starts. After tossing a scoreless ninth in which he walked one and struck out one, right-hander Robert Suarez earned his 22nd save of the season.

Postgame Comments

After the game, Bochy was asked if he thought Langford’s defensive skills were underrated. “I don’t know how he’s rated to tell you the truth there,” Bochy said of Langford’s defense. “ But he’s got good speed, good arm strength, it’s accurate. It’s only gotten better too. He was doing a lot of DHing there earlier, but now that he’s getting everyday duty in left field, I think he’s shown what he can do, and eventually, he is going to be a really good, a great all-around player. It’s only gonna get better with him.”

Scherzer also showed his appreciation for Langford after the game. “It’s awesome,” Scherzer said. “Especially when Wyatt goes out there and catches it to rob the homer like that, the way he did it. It pumps everybody up, and you want to continue to make plays. They’re making great plays out there. Defensively, we’re doing some good things. That’s encouraging to see great defense. It doesn’t matter what team you’re on, you’re always hitting kind of ebbs and flows throughout the season. When you play great defense, it always gives your team a chance to win.”


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