Tuesday Newsletter time: Now batting second for the Rangers … Adolis Garcia?
(AP photo/Michael Ainsworth)
ARLINGTON — Adolis Garcia is juggling the idea of being selective at the plate while also maintaining his aggressiveness.
It’s a very fine line he and some other Texas Rangers hitters have been asked to toe by the new hitting coaches.
The Rangers, though, saw an opportunity Monday for Garcia to be aggressive after a game in which they were shutout on four hits.
They wanted Garcia higher in the lineup against left-hander Framber Valdez to open a four-game series against the Houston Astros. It was a favorable matchup for Garcia, and the Rangers liked the idea of having Garcia put pressure on Valdez early with an aggressive approach.
“The identity of the team needs to be to attack,” manager Chris Woodward said.
So, Garcia batted second between leadoff man Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. The move didn’t pay off against Valdez, but that trio was in the middle of the Rangers’ two-run seventh inning that gave them their first lead and Garcia delivered in a big way in eighth en route to a 6-2 victory.
Houston led 2-1 after six. Willie Calhoun came off the bench in the seventh with a leadoff double, went to third on a Kole Calhoun flyball to right field and scored as Semien singled through a drawn-in infield. Garcia followed with a single and, after Semien went to third on a wild pitch, Seager lined a single to right field for a 3-2 lead.
The Rangers piled on in the eighth. The lefty-hitting Nathaniel Lowe and Calhoun singled against left-hander Parker Mushinski, and Semien took a two-out walk from right-hander Ronel Blanco to load the bases.
That brought up Garcia, who lined a double to right field and cleared the bases.
Dane Dunning allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings, and one of the runs should not have scored.
Nick Solak couldn’t secure a popup in shallow left field, with the ball hitting off his glove as he stumbled/dived/fell after a long run, and a runner scored on what was ruled a hit.
The takeaway, though, is that Dunning nearly completed six good innings. His start follows five solid innings Friday from Glenn Otto and six scoreless Saturday from Martin Perez in what registers as the Rangers’ only quality start of the season.
The starters are getting built up after the shortened spring and getting their stuff dialed in more. They are also getting a longer leash to work out of trouble because they aren’t tiring in the third and fourth inning.
Dunning, in particular, needed a solid outing. Taylor Hearn needs one Tuesday.
They are still developing young pitchers, not established major-leaguers. They have to produce.
“We have options,” Woodward said. “There are expectations they have to be good.”
The industrious John Moore has four tickets for Saturday’s game at Globe Life Field — Section 138, Row 5 — and wants to give them away. We came up with two ways to do this:
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What else should we have expected from a dog this smart? Enjoy. See you Tuesday.
Dog knew jumping the last level was a waste of energy…🐕🐾😅 pic.twitter.com/vCgbNeSRRy
— 𝕐o̴g̴ (@Yoda4ever) April 23, 2022
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com