After a 6-3 road trip which included stops in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Detroit, the Rangers were back at the Globe on Friday to kick off a six-game homestand which began with a three-game set against the division rival Seattle Mariners.
Friday night would include an elite pitching matchup as Seattle would throw their ace Luis Castillo and he would be countered by Jon Gray, who was looking to carry his May success into June. Gray is 4-0 in his last four starts with a 1.00 ERA.
That matchup would translate to a good ole fashion pitcher dual through the first five innings. Both starters pitched five scoreless innings allowing just two hits each.
After the game, manager Bruce Bochy said:
“We thought this would be a low-scoring game, and it would be good you’d have to scratch and claw for runs, and that was the case.”
The Rangers looked like they had a golden opportunity to score in the bottom of the 5th when both Robbie Grossman and Sandy Leon singled and advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch with just one out. However, two pop-outs from Leody Taveras and Sandy Leon would strand them on base, leaving us scoreless through five.
However, Texas wouldn’t waste long after that to get on the board. Back to Back singles from Marcus Semien and Corey Seager put runners on the corners with no one out, and the very next batter was Nathaniel Lowe, who lifted a sac fly into left to put the Rangers up 1-0 in the 6th.
Jon Gray dazzled tonight, going 7 scoreless innings allowing just 2 hits, one walk, and striking out 5. Bochy said:
“I saw a guy that was on top of his game, really good stuff, good fastball, good command of it, good slider, stayed in control and attacked the hitters like you’d want him to.”
With the Rangers up 1-0, Grant Anderson would be first out of the pen, making his Rangers home debut.
Anderson would go on to throw a scoreless 8th inning and put the Rangers just three outs away from yet another win.
When speaking about Grant Anderson, Bruce Bochy said:
“Well, you look at what he did last game; that was a high-leverage situation even though it was earlier in the game…
The first time you meet this kid and see he’s loaded with confidence reminds me of [ Ezequiel] Duran a little bit, has no fear, and that’s why he was out there.”
In the bottom half of the 8th, the Rangers would get a huge insurance run on an RBI double from Corey Seager to put Texas up 2-0 heading into the 9th.
Will Smith would come in and earn the save to give the Rangers a win on the first of this six-game homestand.
The Rangers being able to win this close game was quite impressive; Bruce Bochy said:
“You know what, this is big too; we have to win these tight ball games.”
Texas now sits at 36-20 on the year! The phenomenal start for the Rangers continues.
Texas will be back at it tomorrow at 3:05 from the Globe as Andrew Heaney is set to take the ball for the Rangers.