The Texas Rangers experienced a week of frustration on the road and then returned home and played a flawless game against one of the best pitchers in baseball.
After opening a four-game series with the New York Yankees with one of their better performances of late, the Rangers try to duplicate their strong showing Tuesday night.
Texas began the series with a 5-2 victory by resembling the team that reached .500 with nine wins in 13 games from April 27-May 9. The Rangers, who had scored 17 runs in a six-game skid through Sunday, produced seven hits off Gerrit Cole, who struck out 12 in his previous start.
“I’m really proud of our group, they continue to work,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “You wouldn’t have known that we had lost six in a row by the energy.”
Willie Calhoun ended a 0-for-11 slide with a double and a homer off Cole. Adolis Garcia reached base safely for the 14th straight start by starting a three-run second inning with his 11th homer, and he stole home in the sixth. He is batting .375 (21-for-56) over his past 15 games.
“That was great,” Texas starter Jordan Lyles said of the offense after allowing one run in six strong innings. “To put up a three-spot in the second inning, no less against one of the better pitchers in baseball, if not (the best), that’s really big.”
The Yankees are trying to avoid their first three-game losing streak since a five-game skid from April 13-18. New York scored in the first inning for the second straight game but ultimately could not add on.
New York’s offense consisted of an RBI single by Gio Urshela and a homer by Luke Voit. The Yankees had seven hits but only drew one walk and had four at-bats with runners in scoring position.
New York produced a quiet showing after placing Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list with a strained left quadriceps that kept him out of the three games against the Baltimore Orioles.
Stanton joined Gleyber Torres (COVID-19) and Aaron Hicks (left wrist) on the injured list, though the Yankees could be getting Rougned Odor back from a knee injury he sustained in a collision at the plate with Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado on May 4.
“The game doesn’t stop for anybody,” New York’s Brett Gardner said. “When somebody gets hurt or whatever it is, the game keeps rolling along and we have another game tomorrow. We just have to use that mindset and really no matter what your role is, you always have to stay ready because you never know what’s going to happen.”
Mike Foltynewicz (1-3, 4.60 ERA) makes his first career start against the Yankees and hopes it goes as decently as some of his recent outings. The right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.91 ERA in his past four starts and last pitched in Thursday’s 11-inning loss at Houston when he allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings.
Foltynewicz is 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA in six home starts this season and Texas is 3-5 in his eight starts.
New York will start right-hander Jameson Taillon (1-3, 5.40), who is 0-3 with a 9.49 ERA in three road starts. Taillon’s road woes continued Thursday when he allowed four runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 9-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays that marked the fourth time Taillon did not complete five innings.
Taillon is making his second career start against Texas. He previously faced the Rangers when he allowed four runs (three earned) and five hits over 6 1/3 innings in a 7-5 win on May 1, 2019, which was also his last start before undergoing a second “Tommy John” surgery.
–Field Level Media