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Wednesday newsletter time: Rangers’ offense no-shows again vs. Tigers

(Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports)

 

ARLINGTON — Just when it looks like the Rangers’ offense might be coming to life, that it is no longer the missing link in the club’s attempt to defend its World Series title, the mirage fades away.

“It’s hard to explain why,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

After two productive games Saturday and Sunday and a streak of five wins in six games, the Rangers have scored one run apiece in back-to-back home losses to the Tigers.

The Rangers fell Tuesday 3-1, collecting only five hits after losing 2-1 in the opener. Corey Seager didn’t have any of them, snapping his hitting streak at 16 games. He did draw a walk to extend his on-base streak to 27 games.

The lone run scored with two outs in the ninth when the Tigers let an Ezequiel Duran blooper fall for an RBI single.

“We were lucky to get one run,” Bochy said.

He applauded catcher Jonah Heim, who put down a bunt to beat an infield shift to open the sixth inning. When a team isn’t scoring, it needs to do whatever it can to get on base. Nathaniel Lowe reached twice against right-handed pitchers, but  Bochy pinch hit for him in the ninth inning against Tigers left-hander Tyler Holton.

Robbie Grossman bounced out.

Though Bochy missed the game Monday to tend to a personal matter, he said he watched and was frustrated by what he saw. The Rangers at least had some chances Monday. They didn’t generate but one or two Tuesday.

The Tigers did all of their damage against Dane Dunning, who allowed only four hits in five innings. The problem was that two of them were home runs — a two-run shot in the second by Zach McKinstry and a solo shot in the fifth by Riley Greene.

When the offense isn’t scoring, three runs feel like a dozen.

“He gave us a chance to win,” Bochy said. “You ought to be allowed to give up three.

“The bats were just quiet.”

On the injury front

Right-hander Jon Gray (groin) will throw a bullpen session today, and if all goes well, he could come off the injured list Sunday to make a start against the Giants.

Bochy didn’t want to etch that in stone, as Nathan Eovaldi could also make that start. He would also be available Saturday on normal rest.

Gray said that he simulated two innings Monday in a bullpen session, took pitchers fielding practice, and that all went well.

“It felt really good moving around,” he said. “It was a busy day, but it was fun.”

Max Scherzer hopes the next step in his return to the Rangers rotation is a rehab assignment after he threw 40 pitches of live batting practice Tuesday. The nerve issue in his thumb had calmed down, though he continues to be weary of it as he deals with it for the first time in his career.

Right-hander Tyler Mahle is scheduled to face hitters today for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery more than a year ago. He will do that four times before going on a rehab assignment.

If all goes according to plan, he will return after the All-Star break.

Also, Josh Sborz will throw his first bullpen session since landing on the injured list early last month for the second time this season because of a bothersome rotator cuff.

Beltre, Young skippers

Tickets are now available for All-Star Saturday, which includes the annual Futures Game for top prospects across the minor leagues. The game will have a heavy Rangers presence.

Rangers Hall of Famers Adrian Beltre and Michael Young were selected as managers for the game, with Beltre landing the American League team. The Rangers will likely have two players in the game.

Beltre and Young appeared on MLB Network, which made the announcement. Beltre has been part of the Futures Game the past two years as a hitting coach and bench coach.

“Michael’s a rookie doing this,” he said. “I’ve done two of these already. It’s my first time managing and probably my last.”

Young coached last year in the World Baseball Classic, so it’s not like he’s foreign to being a coach. But he said he has no plans to be a coach for his “day job,” which currently is serving as a special assistant to general manager Chris Young.

“The more I get away from the game, the more time I want for my family,” Young said.

Beltre will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame the weekend after the Futures Game. He’s still not looking forward to his speech, but he’s getting it ready.

“I think I’m about 70 percent done,” he said. “I’m going to ask MLB to put subtitles on the screen so people know what I’m saying.”

Win a Seager-Garcia ball

Rangers Today has a new partner, Autograph.io, and the company co-founded by Tom Brady wants to give one Rangers fan a Corey Seager-Adolis Garcia autographed World Series ball.

Here’s what you need to do to enter the drawing: Download the free Autograph app using this link. Make sure you’re using the code: RANGERSTODAY to sign up. Once in the Rangers community on the app, click on a podcast episode and a story to earn enough coins to activate your entry.

Each story or podcast click earns points not only for this promotion but for others, as well. For instance, I used 20 coins to enter a drawing for an MLB jersey that, undoubtedly, will go do my son should I win.

Yes, Autograph is paying me to promote their item. However, I wouldn’t have agreed to their offer if I didn’t feel good about the company and the employees I’ve interacted with. It’s not a scam. It’s a handy app to get Rangers news (and Mavs, Cowboys and TCU) in one place.

Give it shot.

Doggy video!

Someone needs to let him in. 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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