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Friday newsletter time: Rangers surrender another late lead in seventh straight loss

(AP photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

 

 

The past week has felt a lot like 2021 and 2022.

The good news for the Rangers is they are still in first place in the American League West despite losing their seventh straight game.

Now for the bad news.

The Rangers allowed five home runs, three by starter Andrew Heaney and the back-breaker by Will Smith in the eighth en route to a 7-5 loss to the Twins. The first four Minnesota long balls solo homers, while the last was a two-run homer by pinch-hitter Ryan Jeffers.

Smith found himself in a bit of a jam after Josh Sborz quickly allowed the tying run through two batters.

“Sborzy struggled, and that’s really where it started,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

In fairness to Sborz, it started with Heaney. He was better than his past two outings, but he still¬† couldn’t get out of the fifth. Chris Stratton pitched well over the next 1 2/3 innings, allowing the other solo homer. Jose Leclerc tossed a scoreless seventh.

Might as well try him in the eighth. It can’t get much worse.

The Rangers hit three home runs, including a leadoff shot by Marcus Semien. It should come as no surprise that Corey Seager hit one, but it might be a surprise that Leody Taveras did. He has an extra-base hit in three straight games.

The indispensable Travis Jankowski had a two-run single.

They’ll be back at it tonight, though maybe not Sborz and Smith.

Ohtani shocker

Shohei Ohtani has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and won’t pitch again this season. He is reportedly weighing whether to have Tommy John surgery for the second time since coming to the Angels from Japan.

It would be surprising if he doesn’t have it soon, in order to make sure he has enough time to get ready for the start of the 2024 regular season as a hitter only. There’s no reason for him to keep playing for the disappointing Angels.

The injury comes in his walk year to free agency, and the record deal he was on the verge of receiving has been, at best, delayed another season.

What does his deal look like? I was of the opinion that it was never going to be the 10-year, $500 million pact nearly everyone was prediction. My thinking was he wasn’t going to be a two-way player forever and would get a shorter-term megadeal.

He might be looking at a one-year deal now, which puts many more teams in play. Among them is the Rangers, but all teams love a one-year deal.

It’s going to be an interesting offseason. In a way it will be a disappointing offseason with the massive contract for a two-way player no longer available.

Card of the Week

The best pitcher going right now for the Rangers is Jordan Montgomery, the big left-hander acquired from St. Louis along with Stratton.

Montgomery has delivered a quality start in all four of his Rangers outings, with the next scheduled for Sunday in the finale at Target Field. He tossed eight scoreless innings Monday but took a no-decision after an eventual loss in 11 innings.

He wasn’t particularly wordy afterward, but it was easy to see that all he cares about is winning. He said he would have rather given up six runs and the team win than toss eight scoreless in a Rangers loss.

Rangers Today approves, and Montgomery has earned the honor of being the Card of the Week. It’s his 2014 Bowman Chrome 1st Bowman.

His outing Monday was only the second time his career he had gone past seven innings, which is a surprising statistic. It’s probably what kept the Rangers from letting him try for a complete game, though Aroldis Chapman wasn’t a bad option.

It just didn’t go very well for Chapman.

There’s a lot of that going around lately.

 

Don’t forget DIFD

Tickets remain available for the evening/auction portion of the Do It For Durrett Doubleheader tonight at Texas Rangers Golf Club in Arlington. Get them here.

The silent auction is available without even leaving your home at 32auctions. The benefits of going to the event is the live auction, including a Hall of Fame Experience for next year at Globe Life Field, and some late-arriving donations that we did not put on the auction site.

If you’re tied up today and still want to help, circle North Texas Giving Day on your calendar for Sept. 21.

Doggy video!

Me anywhere on that drive from Salida, Kan., to Denver. Enjoy.

Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com

Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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