Monday newsletter time: A big exhale and a possible spark as Rangers walk off Twins
(AP photo/LM Otero)
ARLINGTON — Adolis Garcia was paralyzed by relief.
He had struck out four times Sunday afternoon before getting a ninth-inning fastball that wasn’t as high as the ones he had been chasing all game. He knew as soon as he hit it that it would clear the left-field wall and win the game for the Rangers.
But he had to exhale before he flipped his bat, untucked his jersey and rounded the bases as the hero in a 6-5 walk-off victory over the Twins that ended a three-game slide and might have given the Rangers the jump-start they need ahead of a critical three-game series against the Astros.
Mitch Garver did most of the damage for the Rangers, homering twice on a 4-for-4 game against his old team. Rookie left-hander Cody Bradford tossed a scoreless ninth inning after the Rangers had missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the eighth.
Garcia’s post-contact emotions were also representative of the rest of the team. They all know what’s ahead and that they have to start winning again.
“This is one we really needed,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s one of the biggest homers we’ve had all year.”
The win moved the Rangers into a tie for second place with the Astros in the American League West, one game behind the Mariners. The Astros were swept over weekend at home by the Yankees.
Things can turn that fast in baseball, and the Rangers hope their win helps them turn the corner.
“It has to,” Garver said. “We’ve got a big series coming up here.”
Late-night minors news
Wyatt Langford homered and doubled Sunday night in his final game for High A Hickory.
That’s right: The 2023 first-round pick (fourth overall, Florida) is on his way to Double A Frisco.
Langford leaves Hickory after batting .333 with five home runs and a 1.097 OPS in 87 at-bats. He also leaves behind shortstop Sebastian Walcott, the 17-year-old from the Bahamas who collected a double Sunday in his High A debut.
Langford is expected to play tonight at Riders Field, where he will join Jack Leiter after a strong outing Sunday.
The right-hander, making his second appearance since coming off the developmental list, allowed one run in three innings. He allowed three hits and one walk while striking out seven.
The Rangers still haven’t made clear what it is Leiter was working on or if he will pitch in the Arizona Fall League or winter ball somewhere, but the early results from his time off the field have been encouraging.
Angels’ awful week
Those who enjoy watching train wrecks must be loving what they’re seeing from the Angels.
On Tuesday, word quickly spread about the Angels’ plans to put six players on waivers, including three they had just acquired at the trade deadline. One of the trades cost the Angels their No. 2 and No. 3 prospect.
Their punt on the playoffs followed news earlier in the month that Shohei Ohtani has a torn UCL in his elbow and Mike Trout had to return to the injured list.
On Thursday, the Guardians claimed pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Matt Moore, and the Reds added outfielder Hunter Renfroe. The Mariners added right-hander Dominic Leone.
On Friday, Trout said that he plans to speak with club officials about the direction of the franchise, which no one expects will be able to re-sign Ohtani. Trout didn’t seem pleased.
On Sunday, they lost 10-6 at Oakland as the embarrassingly bad A’s completed a three-game sweep.
Oh, the humanity.
Happy Labor Day. For those who have the day off, enjoy it. Spend some free time catching up on the latest from Rangers Today. There’s news on the big-league team and what’s going on in the minors. There’s a new podcast episode, too, and you can access it all for only $5.99 a month or $60 a year. Here’s our latest content, in case you missed it.
Friday on the Farm: Fun in Frisco
Rangers notes: Medical updates (and Walcott)
The Sunday Read: September fun?
We’ve all been there. Enjoy.
If you gotta go you gotta go.. 😂 pic.twitter.com/zo5RpuSP58
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) September 3, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org