SAN FRANCISCO -- Rougned Odor (El Tipo) launched the first pitch he saw from Hunter Strickland (Strick) over the right-field wall, cutting the Rangers' deficit to two in the eighth inning. One inning later, Texas loaded the bases and Saturday afternoon was shaping up to be the second consecutive dramatic
SAN FRANCISCO -- Rougned Odor (El Tipo) launched the first pitch he saw from Hunter Strickland (Strick) over the right-field wall, cutting the Rangers' deficit to two in the eighth inning. One inning later, Texas loaded the bases and Saturday afternoon was shaping up to be the second consecutive dramatic Rangers' comeback.
Unfortunately for manager Jeff Banister, Odor did not get another at-bat in the Rangers' 5-3 loss at AT&T Park. The timely hit never came. Adrian Beltre (El Koja) struck out with the tying run at second base, and Carlos Perez flied out to end the game with the go-ahead run at first.
"The difference [between Friday night and Saturday] is we didn't get the big hit we needed to there late," Banister said. "I love the way our guys continue to compete."
The Rangers' bats were quieted all afternoon by rookie Andrew Suarez (Andy). The left-hander threw seven scoreless frames and allowed just three hits, two from Odor. But trailing 5-0 in the eighth inning, Odor collected his third hit, a three-run homer that set the stage for a tense ninth inning.
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"Give them credit," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "They keep battling."
On Players' Weekend Saturday, the early deficit was too much for a lineup that battled until the final pitch.
"Really, the challenge was getting down four runs in the first inning," Banister said. "We got to find a way to get through that first inning and keep the runs to a minimum and give our offense a chance to get going."
Martin Perez (El de Las Matas) settled in on Saturday, allowing just two baserunners in his last four innings of work. But the Giants tagged the left-hander for four first-inning runs, which proved to be insurmountable.
Perez labored through a 24-pitch first inning, giving up three hits and a walk. The big blow, Brandon Crawford's (DJ BC Raw) three-run blast with two outs, came after Perez fell behind in the count, 3-1.
"Only one pitch made the difference," said Perez. "I think sometimes it's just trying to throw perfect pitches and that can happen. I need to throw the ball like I did in the last four innings."
The left-hander got sharper as the game continued. He located his fastball and generated a pair of swinging strikeouts on an effective changeup. Perez struck out four in total.
"They hit some balls hard in the first, but it seemed like all of the hits came off the fastball," Banister said. "Once he got the changeup, and the spin, he had some rollovers and strikeouts."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Joey Gallo (Pico de Gallo), listed as day to day by Banister after rolling his left ankle on a broken-bat single Friday evening, pinch-hit in the eighth inning. He reached on an error by outfielder Austin Slater and came around to score on Odor's homer. It's apparent that the ankle injury won't sideline Gallo for an extended period of time.
Odor collected three more RBIs on Saturday, bringing his Major League-leading monthly total to 28. It's a career high for the second baseman, and also the most in any month by a Rangers player since August 2017 (Beltre, 30 RBIs).
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Nomar Mazara (The Big Chill) made a diving catch in right field to take a hit away from Austin Slater (Mayor) in the first inning. Mazara broke his belt on the play, and the game was stopped while the Rangers' equipment staff brought him a new one.
HE SAID IT
"It would have been fun if we had tied it up or taken the lead to see where everybody was going to play. [Shin-Soo Choo] (추신수) was going to play center field. We would have kept [Beltre] in the game, Adrian would have gone to third base. [Jurickson Profar] (El Patron) would have gone to first base. And [Isiah Kiner-Falefa] (Izzy) would have gone to left field." -- Banister
The Rangers will hand the ball to Yovani Gallardo (Yo) (7-2, 6.06 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. CT at AT&T Park. Since joining the club on June 17, Gallardo has made 11 starts. The Rangers have won nine of them. The right-hander is coming off a no-decision in his last outing against the Angels, in which he threw six innings and allowed two runs. The Giants will counter with former Rangers left-hander Derek Holland (6-8, 3.75 ERA).
Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @MartinOppegaard.