Tuesday newsletter time: Tony Beasley’s first game as Rangers interim manager is an elusive one-run win
(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)
ARLINGTON — The Tony Beasley era started Monday night with a win … a one-run win.
If that isn’t a kick right in Chris Woodward’s gut.
The Rangers delivered a 2-1 victory to Beasley in his first game as a big-league manager, as Marcus Semien homered, Bubba Thompson drove in a run, and Glenn Otto overcame six walks to allow one run in six innings.
The victory lifted the Rangers’ record in one-run games this season to a still-terrible 7-24. They did just enough.
“It was nerve-racking,” said Beasley, who was named interim manager after Woodward was fired Monday. “But we persevered and got it done.”
The one-run losses were a big topic before the game, when the Rangers discussed Woodward’s dismissal after a 51-63 start to the season. Too often other teams have made the plays needed in the narrowest of wins, and too often the Rangers haven’t made them.
Beasley didn’t have any magical pixie dust in the dugout. It helps that the Rangers were playing Oakland, the worst team in the American League and second-worst in the majors (Washington is worse).
Defense saved the day, with infielders Semien and Josh Smith making nice plays. Thompson in left field and center fielder Leody Taveras were also instrumental in the Rangers’ third straight victory.
Thompson was first. He raced in and slid to snare a Tony Kemp popup in the third inning, just as shortstop Corey Seager was getting out of the way. It was the first out in a frame in which Nick Allen homered for the A’s and Otto walked two batters.
Taveras made his running, leaping grab at the center-field wall to end the seventh, taking a two-out extra-base hit away from Cal Stevenson.
“I felt like that was huge for us tonight,” Beasley said. “In a ballgame like that, you’ve got to keep guys out of scoring position.”
The Rangers have tabbed right-hander Kohei Arihara to make his first start of the season Tuesday in the spot formerly occupied by Spencer Howard, who is on the injured list with a right shoulder impingement.
Arihara, who was signed before the 2021 season to be in the rotation, has been at Triple A Round Rock all season and has delivered his best pitching of late. He has shaved nearly a run off his ERA, to 4.88 in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, since July 13.
He has walked only seven batters in his past 10 starts. The Rangers walked nine Monday.
“Too many walks,” Beasley said. “That’s something that will be addressed.”
The Rangers are paying Arihara $2.6 million this season.
New first hit
Thompson beat out a bunt hit Aug. 4 for his first career hit in the third at-bat of his first career game.
Nine days later, he actually was awarded with a new first career hit.
The league office overturned an official scorer’s decision, turning an error into an infield hit during Thompson’s second career at-bat.
“I heard that,” Thompson said. “I’ll take any hit I can get.”
He’s been delivering of late. He collected an RBI on Saturday on a bunt play, delivered a two-run single Sunday and broke a 1-1 tie Monday with an opposite-field single.
Thompson has a modest three-game hit streak that has lifted his average to .229 after only 10 games.
Notice they didn’t say the S-word to Charlie. Enjoy. See you Wednesday.
Good boy sits to any word that starts with “S” ..🦮🐾😅 pic.twitter.com/hlJSBwaba0
— 𝕐o̴g̴ (@Yoda4ever) August 13, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org