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Monday newsletter time: Rangers’ offense finally backing rotation

(Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)

 

The Rangers opened Sunday’s game with four straight singles. Adolis Garcia slugged a home run in the sixth inning, and the Rangers scored two more in the ninth.

That was good for six runs, the day after the Rangers turned 13 hits into seven runs.

Corey Seager has a hit in 15 straight games. Garcia snapped an 0-for-19 skid with his first-inning RBI single after hitting only .165 in May. Marcus Semien reached base six times in the two games after taking a day off to rest a compressed nerve.

The Rangers’ offense, maligned for much of the season, might have shown signs Saturday and Sunday in Miami that it is back on track.

The Rangers won Sunday, 6-0, to take the three-game series against the Marlins, who won the Friday opener. The Rangers responded by winning the final two games by a combined score of 13-0.

The pitching, obviously, was very good, as it has been much of the season. The missing element has been run support.

With Seager now in the swing of things, the next shoe to drop is Garcia.

Nathaniel Lowe getting hot would help, too. He was out of the starting lineup Saturday and Sunday against a pair of left-handed starters. Wyatt Langford has been hitting balls hard, with mixed results, but looks like he might be turning into more of the hitter he was in spring training than in April.

Granted, the production came against the worst team in the National League, and it covered only two games. Dating to the May 26 win at Minnesota, though, the Rangers have scored more than four runs four times. They hadn’t scored more than four runs in 14 straight games entering the Twins finale.

Instead of Saturday and Sunday being the start of something at the plate, maybe it was a continuation of a positive trend.

Heaney’s turn

Left-hander Andrew Heaney struck out seven in six scoreless innings Sunday, the day after Michael Lorenzen tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings. Jose Ureña struggled Friday but otherwise has pitched well as a starter, and Dane Dunning and Nathan Eovaldi were decent in the two-game sweep last week against the Diamondbacks.

For all the concerns about the rotation entering the season, the starters continue to defy preseason odds and carry the club.

Heaney has made 11 starts covering 56 1/3 innings. He has 53 strikeouts and 14 walks. The numbers look pretty good, and his contributions have been welcomed.

Heaney, by the way, has been credited with two of the Rangers’ past five wins. One of those was in relief of Eovaldi.

That’s worth mentioning because down in Round Rock, right-hander Johnny Cueto can now exercise the out on his Triple A contract. He might be pitching well enough to convince the Rangers to promote him to the major leagues.

If that happens and Cueto is added to the rotation, it shouldn’t be at the expense of Heaney. Ureña started the season in the bullpen and should be the odd man out.

Now, Jon Gray might not be far away from returning from a groin injury. Max Scherzer is moving the right way again, and Tyler Mahle is progressing nicely.

Cueto or no Cueto, multiple starters are heading to the bullpen. Maybe at that point Heaney is moved into a relief role. Until then, the Rangers need him every fifth day.

 

ICYMI …

Rangers Today spent Friday and much of Saturday at Dell Diamond, where we filmed our latest episode of the Rangers Today Baseball Podcast and then tried to gin up some news. Triple A Round Rock and the Nolan Ryan Foundation have been great partners with us the past two years and were very gracious hosts. We look forward to a return trip soon.

Friday’s work at the ballpark was fairly time-consuming, so Friday on the Farm was delayed. It’s one of the links below to our latest content, in case you missed it.

The Sunday Read: Brock Burke speaks (and other notes)

Friday on the Farm: Turning things around

Johnny Cueto hopeful

Marcus Semien rests

Josh Jung swings

Doggy video!

Me, when my daughter wants to practice volleyball at my son’s baseball game. Enjoy.

Watch today’s video here.

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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