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Monday newsletter time: Road trip ends with a win, and doesn’t look as bad as it might feel

(AP photo/Mark J. Terrill)

 

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Believe it or not, the Rangers have had worse road trips than the 11-gamer they wrapped up Sunday, and in recent memory, too.

Winless road trips, even.

Yet, their 5-6 record rates as a disappointment because it could have been so much better, especially with too many games decided late as foes rallied against a faltering bullpen.

But, all things considered, 5-6 isn’t all that bad after taking 3 of 4 games against the Angels.

Ezequiel Duran cleared the bases with a one-out ninth-inning double, snapping a deadlock and sending the Rangers to a 5-2 victory. Brock Burke tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Dane Dunning, who tossed six innings, and Jonathan Hernandez closed out the victory with a 1-2-3 ninth despite getting hit by a broken bat.

The Rangers needed that one, after the Angels scored five runs Saturday in the eighth and rallied for a 9-7 victory.

The bullpen did its job in the finale, and Dunning did his after righting the ship following two so-so innings to open the game. There were some costly defensive miscues on the road trip, but the bullpen has put a target manager Chris Woodward’s back. Those doing the targeting can’t be convinced that the manager isn’t throwing the pitches, nor has he been left with very good options for many games.

When he has good options, good things tend to happen. That was the case Thursday and Friday, and again Sunday.

And the road trip ended up being not quite as bad as it seemed to be heading.

Looking forward

The Rangers will be playing at home tonight for the first time in more than two weeks, and the schedule isn’t really giving them the break it looked like it would six weeks ago.

Baltimore is first up on the seven-game homestand, and the Orioles are a .500 team after losing games Saturday and Sunday. They swept three from the Rangers in early July, with each game decided by one run.

Chicago follows for four games, and the White Sox are starting to get healthy and make some noise. They have climbed above .500 at 51-50, and they are a better team on the road than at home.

But the Rangers will have their top two pitchers, Jon Gray and Martin Perez, pitching Monday and Wednesday. That should help get the homestand started on the right note.

Things will be happening off the field.

The deadline to sign draftees is today. The Rangers have done the heavy lifting there, with their first 10 selections signed.

The trade deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday. News could come at any moment, though it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Rangers didn’t do anything significant.

First-round pick Kumar Rocker will be introduced at a Thursday news conference, and fourth-rounder Brock Porter will be introduced Friday.

Also, don’t forget to become a paid subscriber to Rangers Today for only $5.99 a month, $35 for six months or $60 for the year. It’s a bargain.

And while you’re subscribing to things, hop over to our YouTube channel. It’s free.

ICYMI …

Getting home was an adventure. My original 6:51 p.m. flight from Santa Ana was canceled just before lunch. No problem. There was flight from Ontario at 2:40 p.m. I had to miss the game, but, hey, I needed to get home Sunday night. Well, that flight was canceled. Flight No. 3 was from Ontario to Phoenix, and it was delayed with an already tight connection window. So, I spent the night in Phoenix, wrote this, and tried to catch up on other stuff. Speaking of catching up, here’s the latest from Rangers Today in case you missed it.

The Sunday Read: Best guess at some trade deadline possibilities

Friday on the Farm: Teen stars fueling Arizona Complex League team

Rangers farm report: Davis Wendzel on his way back

T.R.’s Memoirs: These are the biggest Rangers deadline deals

Doggy video!

That feeling when your flight gets canceled, your second flight gets canceled and you miss your connection.  Enjoy. See you Tuesday.

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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