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Five-run second inning lifts Hutchison to win

August 17, 2018

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Andrew Hutchison turned in his best start for the Rangers on Friday night against the Angels as he continues to make a case to be in the club's rotation next season.Hutchison struck out a season-high six and allowed just two runs on five hits in a 6-4

ARLINGTON -- Right-hander Andrew Hutchison turned in his best start for the Rangers on Friday night against the Angels as he continues to make a case to be in the club's rotation next season.
Hutchison struck out a season-high six and allowed just two runs on five hits in a 6-4 win at Globe Life Park. It was Hutchison's third start for Texas. He was 0-1 with a 9.72 ERA and seven walks in his first two starts.
"Felt pretty good, was able to get in a pretty good rhythm there and execute some pitches," Hutchison said. "Scored some runs and had some great [defensive] play behind me, so it was a good win."

Hutchison allowed an RBI single to Taylor Ward in the second inning, but the Rangers' offense backed him with a five-run rally in the second.
Joey Gallo gave the Rangers the lead for good when he doubled down the right-field line to score Nomar Mazara and Jurickson Profar. Isiah Kiner-Falefa followed with an RBI groundout, and Rougned Odor capped the rally with a two-run single later in the inning.

The Rangers' offense has been the best in the Majors since the All-Star break. Texas entered the day leading the Majors in runs (170), runs per game (6.54), home runs (44) and OPS (.837) since the break. The Rangers went homerless on Friday, but deployed a 10-hit attack.
"First, you've got to credit the hitters in the lineup, the job that they're doing," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "However, our two hitting coaches [Anthony lapoce and Justin Mashore] have constantly talked the message of grinding at-bats out, being able to keep the ball in the middle of the field, [working] the at-bats to draw walks to create run-scoring opportunities."

Carlos Tocci was the most productive against the Angels, going 3-for-3 with two runs. He is getting another chance to play every day in center field after Delino DeShields went on the disabled list for the third time this season.
Tocci has made the most of his playing time of late, batting .278 since July 21.
"I think in the first half, I was trying to do a lot," Tocci said. "Trying to do more than I really can, and that's why I wasn't performing at all. But after the All-Star break, I was more relaxed at the plate in playing time. So that's probably been the biggest thing."

Hutchison said the early run support helped him settle in. He retired nine of the final 12 batters he faced and earned his first win as a starter since April 24, 2016, against the A's.
"Any time you go out there and give up a run, and then they come back and score five, it's obviously great," Hutchison said. "I was able to get in a rhythm after that and have a few good innings." 
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Left-handed reliever Jeffrey Springs replaced Hutchison in the sixth inning with the Rangers leading, 5-2. With one out, Jose Pujols reached on a walk, and Andrelton Simmons followed with a two-run home run to cut the deficit to 1. Rene Rivera then singled, but Springs retired Ward and Eric Young to stop the threat and end the inning.

SOUND SMART
Elvis Andrus went 0-for-3 at the plate but recorded a walk, extending his home on-base streak to 43 games dating back to last season. Andrus tied Julio Franco's streak in 1993 for the longest home on-base streak in Rangers history.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With two outs in the third inning and a runner on first, Odor fielded a ball hit up the middle by Shohei Ohtani and made a strong throw to Andrus to get Justin Upton at second. The play helped keep the score at 5-1.

UP NEXT
The Rangers take on the Angels in the third game of the series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. CT at Globe Life Park. Left-hander Martin Perez (2-5, 6.71 ERA) will pitch for Texas. He allowed seven runs on a season-high 11 hits in Sunday's loss to the Yankees. Perez is 0-1 with a 7.50 ERA in two starts this month. The Angels will counter with left-hander Andrew Heaney (7-7, 3.88 ERA).

Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.