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Wednesday newsletter time: Adolis Garcia lifts Rangers to fifth straight win

(Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

 

Adolis Garcia banged up a finger on his right hand last week while trying to dive in safely to home plate.

The finger can be an issue when throwing, as was the case Tuesday during batting practice. But he can swing the bat, so he became the designated hitter rather than the right fielder.

He then produced the game’s key hit, an eight-inning opposite-field solo homer that lifted the Rangers to their fifth straight victory, 5-4 over the Angels. The Rangers go for a second straight series sweep tonight.

“We need him,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “He carried us at times last night, so if we get him going it’s going to be even more fun.”

Garcia’s struggles at the plate are well chronicled. It was his fourth home run in the past 18 games, which doesn’t sound great but is a marked improvement. He’s still hitting only .215, but he leads the Rangers with 32 extra-base hits and is tied for the team lead with 17 homers.

Josh Smith also homered, in the first inning after trying to bunt for a hit on the first two pitches of his at-bat. Marcus Semien, Smith and Wyatt Langford drove in a run apiece in a three-run fourth inning.

Max Scherzer posted a quality start, though it wasn’t as quality as he would have liked. Two weeks ago it wouldn’t have been good enough, but the offense is clicked as well as it has all season and, for once, had the starter’s back.

Garcia had the Rangers’ back in the eighth.

Scherzer’s busy night

Scherzer worked into the seventh inning, which historically has meant good things for his team.

And, in the end, that was the case for the Rangers.

But the three-time Cy Young winner wasn’t at his best in his fourth start of the season, though he pitched well to everyone not named Logan O’Hoppe. The Angels catcher hit solo homers in his first two at-bats and roped a single in his third, and he did it on three pitches.

Scherzer was charged with four runs (three earned) in 6 2/3 innings. He allowed eight hits but didn’t issue any walks and struck out six. He did all of that on a season-high 95 pitches, and that might be the biggest stat of all considering his offseason back surgery and his recent nerve issue.

He also liked the 70 strikes he threw.

“I felt like I was even stronger today,” Scherzer said. “I think it, overall, was a good outing, and a step forward as I continue to get stronger and get built back up. You just want the ball.”

He left with two on, yielding to Jose Leclerc for the biggest out of the game. Leclerc walked Anthony Rendon to load the bases but got Nolan Schanuel to ground to first to end the threat.

Garcia connected moments later.

David Robertson worked a perfect eighth inning, and All-Star Kirby Yates buttoned things up in the ninth.

Mahle solid again

As of Sunday morning, right-hander Tyler Mahle was headed to Reno to pitch for Triple A Round Rock on his rehab assignment. Hurricane Beryl was threatening to dump too much rain on the Metroplex for Mahle to risk pitching for Double A Frisco.

But forecasts change, and the Tuesday outlook cleared up completely. So, Mahle ended up making his second rehab outing with Frisco after all. It was much like the first: very good.

Mahle tossed two scoreless innings on one hit with two strikeouts at Riders Field and needed only 32 pitches/23 strikes to do it. That was actually more than his rehab debut last week at Round Rock, where he tossed two scoreless frames on only 19 pitches.

He was fortunate to not have to go to Reno, which sits at 4,300 feet. The ball flies there. Just ask Round Rock right-hander Owen White.

He started an afternoon game and allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in four innings. Among those hits was only one homer and three doubles. Yikes.

The teams combined for 36 hits in the 14-10 Reno win. Rangers prospects Dustin Harris and Justin Foscue each went 5 for 5.

 

Rangers Today update

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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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