Arlington, TX: The Texas Rangers lost ugly on Tuesday night in Arlington. Kolby Allard was terrible for the second night in a row, earning him another trip to Round Rock, this time probably for good.
Before the game Chris Woodward told us that Allard had been sent down. Other corresponding moves: Joe Barlow to the IL with a blister, Jonathan Hernandez rehab assignment extended.
A.J. Alexy and Josh Sborz called up to the Majors. When asked why Alexy, Woody told us that it was because he could pitch multiple innings if needed.
The Rangers began with a bang with a five run first inning. Walks were an issue for Blackburn in the early going. The Rangers definitely took advantage, scoring five times in the first frame.
After the first inning, Blackburn retired 11 in a row, putting up zeros for the next five straight innings. Jon Gray was just as good, allowing one hit while striking out 9 through the first seven innings of the contest.
He used his slider more than he had in any other start. According to stat cast Gray threw 46 sliders. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News asked Gray if he felt like he had used it more that at any other time.
“Yeah, I think so. Tonight I think we abused it, yeah” Gray told us after the game.
Gray is the second pitcher in Rangers history with seven or more innings with 1 hit, at least 9 k’s and no walks. The other was Yu Darvish against Houston in his near perfect game in April of 2013.
So, this game was all about the pitching. If you are a fan of well pitched games, this was the game for you. It wasn’t till the 8th inning that the Rangers got their 4th hit off the bat of Nathaniel Lowe, but no runs came from it.
Matt Bush pitched a scoreless 8th, and LeClerc gave up a lead off homer to Skye Bolt and a two out homer to Laureano, then hit a batter and gave up a double. The Rangers brought in Garett Richards to finish the game up and one pitch later the Rangers had the 5-2 victory.
After the game, Chris Woodward talked about Gray to the media.
“I went back and looked to see if anything was hit hard, and nothing was…[Gray} had five punch outs in the first two innings…it was a really good performance by him.”
The Rangers took the series from the A’s and start a new series against the Mariners tomorrow.