Coming into Monday Night’s series opener between the Rangers and the Tigers, we knew we had a good pitching matchup.

Nathan Eovaldi got the start for the Rangers in his second start since coming off the IL with a groin injury. For the Tigers, it was Tarik Skubol who was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball this season. He came in with a 7-1 record and just a 2.01 ERA.

Marcus Semien started things quickly, blasting a leadoff home run into the corner in left field to put the Rangers up 1-0. The Tigers got that run back quickly as nine-hole hitter Jake Rogers connected for a solo shot of his own to tie the game at one side.

However, after that, we saw the advertised pitcher’s duel coming in.

Despite being limited to just 71 pitches, Nathan Eovaldi put up a very strong outing, going 5.2 innings and allowing just one run.

The Alvin, Texas native tallied seven strikeouts and didn’t walk a single Tiger.

“I felt good,” Eovaldi said after the game.

“I thought I had a good feel for the fastball and splitter. Curveball was a little hit or miss at times, but I thought Jonah did a good job with pitch selections and everything out there.”

Unfortunately for the Rangers, Tarik Skubol was just about as advertised. The Tigers ace went six innings, allowing just one run and striking out six.

With the game tied in the eighth and Jose Leclerc on the mound for the Rangers, Jack Rogers connected on his second home run of the night, which would be the difference in this one.

The Rangers fell 2-1 to the Tigers to open the series and home stand. Texas managed eight hits but scored just one run after leaving seven on base.

Bruce Bochy missed tonight’s game due to a pre-scheduled family commitment, so Will Veneble stepped in as Rangers manager for the day and kept it blunt when asked about how his first game managing went.

“Not good,” Venable said.

“It was a tough one; the guys were battling out there and just ran up against a catcher [Jake Rogers] that put some good swings on it and just a couple of missed opportunities offensively.”

PHOTO: Texas Rangers

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