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Monday newsletter time: Eovaldi feels better, but results elusive in Rangers’ loss

(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

 

HOUSTON — Baseball, it has been send countless times, is a funny game.

Not ha-ha funny, but funny in the way that it toys with a player.

Take Rangers right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who wasn’t particularly happy with two of his first three starts of the season despite allowing only two runs in each of them.

He gave up five Sunday in an 8-5 loss to the Astros and thought he pitched much better than his final line over six innings would indicate.

“Overall, I felt really good today,” Eovaldi said. “I thought I made some really good pitches, and they were able to have good at-bats. I felt I made some tough pitches.”

Jose Altuve hit two solo home runs against Eovaldi, including one off the foul pole in left field, and the Astros scored three times in the fourth on balls that were more well-placed than hard-hit. That included a double by Victor Caratini, who poked a grounder down the left-field line with third baseman Josh Smith shifted into the shortstop hole.

Yerry Rodriguez wasn’t very good in the seventh, when the Astros scored three more times to take an 8-2 lead. He was optioned after the game.

Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer in the ninth, which manager Bruce Bochy saw as an indication that the Rangers’ bats might be coming alive in time for their four-game series at Detroit.

“We’re a little up and down,” Bochy said. “I’m not worried about this offense. I’m not worried at all.”

Moving parts

Left-hander Cody Bradford landed on the injured list Sunday morning, which means Michael Lorenzen will be activated from the IL and start tonight. Cole Winn was recalled from Triple A Round Rock and made his MLB debut after the Astros took a comfortable lead.

All of that came after Brock Burke punched something and broke his right/non-pitching hand, which led to Austin Pruitt getting promoted and Justin Foscue going on the 60-day IL.

Josh Sborz is also on the IL along with Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe, in addition to Max Scherzer, Jacob de Grom and Taylor Mahle.

The Rodriguez move will become official today to make room for Lorenzen, and the Rangers might reach into the minors again this week for a spot starter. Jack Leiter is a candidate.

“This early in the season, it seems like we’ve been dealing with a lot,” Bochy said.

Winn is the fourth Rangers player to make his MLB debut this season, which is just more than two weeks old. Wyatt Langford was first on Opening Day, followed by Foscue on April 5 and Davis Wendzel last week.

That’s a pretty big number but also a good sign that the Rangers have quality depth in the farm system.

ICYMI …

Not a great week for the Rangers, who lost consecutive series to the A’s and the Astros. Including the loss last Monday, the Rangers went 2-5. Yeesh. They are dealing with a bit of an injury bug and a rotating door in the bullpen. Now, they get to go do Detroit. Rangers Today will have coverage, just as we’ve had coverage all season. It’s time for you to subscribe for full access. Here’s our latest content, in case you missed it.

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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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