Arlington, Texas – The Texas Rangers took on the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night, Memorial day with a new third baseman: Josh Smith. At AAA Round Rock in 2022 Smith was hitting .273/.382/.422 with 4 home runs and 29 RBI.
In the first inning of the contest, Eli White saved a 3 run homer with a fantastic catch in center field.
“Honestly that play was one of the best I’ve ever seen” Woody said after the game to the media. “I thought he jumped up too early, but this guy just kept rising.”
The next inning, after the first Major League hit from Josh Smith, White drove a ball deep to center to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead early.
Jonah Heim added another in the 3rd to give the Rangers a 5-1 lead. Drew Rasmussen’s night finished early on just 67 pitches for Tampa Bay. He gave up 5 runs on 5 hits through 3 innings,
Glenn Otto allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings pitched. One of the runs was unearned.
The Rangers put the game out of reach in the sixth inning, adding 4 more runs to make it 9-2. Matt Moore tried to make it interesting in the 7th inning by giving up 3 runs without recording an out.
Dennis Santana was next to come in and try to stop the bleeding. He did just that retiring all three batters he faced. Santana has been one of the most impressive bullpen arms of 2022 so far.
Matt Bush came in for the 8th dealing and looked impressive himself. He shut down the Rays for the 8th, and Joe Barlow came in to close things down in the ninth. The Rangers won 9-5.
“(Josh Smith is) a stone cold killer, man” Woody said of the Rangers third baseman. “After his first hit, he just kind of taps the first baseman calmly, not even smiling…he smiled in the dugout obviously and kind of let it all out”
Josh Smith tied a Rangers debut record with a three hit night. He is the first to do it since Nomar Mazara and the first player to accomplish that feat in Globe Life Field, Rangers or visiting team.
The Texas Rangers take on the Tampa Bay Rays again tomorrow evening at Globe Life Field. The Rangers send Martin Perez (3-2, 1.60 ERA) to the mound as the team tries once again to get to the .500 mark.