Rangers bat around in 4th to sweep D-backs
PHOENIX -- The Rangers’ lineup went down in order through three innings in Wednesday’s series finale against the D-backs.
But the offense finally broke through with a big fourth inning, as triples from Leody Taveras and Nathaniel Lowe fueled a three-run frame on the way to an 8-5 win over Arizona at Chase Field.
The Rangers sent all nine batters to the plate, the first time the club has batted around on the road since July 3 at Seattle. Texas also matched a franchise record for triples in one inning for the 23rd time since its relocation in 1972.
Manager Chris Woodward said Taveras’ leadoff triple in the fourth was huge in getting the Rangers’ offense off and running. After some struggles early in his big league career -- including being optioned back to Triple-A Round Rock earlier this season -- Taveras has come into his own at the plate, batting .267 in his last seven games.
“This guy can impact a game, like I've said many times,” Woodward said. “He's young, but when he hits the ball in the gap like that and you see him around, you're like, ‘Wow, this guy is on third in the blink of an eye.’ It's just a consistency in him learning how to approach different at-bats. ... There’s a ton of conviction in the swing.”
Lowe, who finished 3-for-4 on the day, now has three triples this season, putting him in a tie with Isiah Kiner-Falefa for the most by a Ranger in 2021. He was a home run away from the cycle.
Lowe has been on a tear in the last month, slashing .304/.347/.464 in his last 30 games. When asked what’s driven his current hot streak, Lowe said it’s simply him getting tired of feeling like he’s underperforming.
“Instead of calling it a better streak, I'd like to call it just playing better,” Lowe said. “That's what's going on in my head right now: I'm just playing better.”
Nick Solak also reached base three times in the win, with two singles, a walk and an RBI. His 16-pitch at-bat that ended with an infield single in the sixth inning was the most pitches in any plate appearance for a Texas batter since pitches were first tracked in 1988.
Both Lowe and Woodward noted that watching players grind out at-bats like that gives the rest of the team something to feed off.
Woodward added that while the Rangers didn’t have any “big hits” or home runs in the win, they did all the little things right, using Solak’s 16-pitch at-bat and DJ Peters’ 10-pitch at-bat in the fourth that ended in a single as examples.
“We've been having a lot of key hits today, and I know it sounds simple,” Woodward said. “[But] everybody kind of feeds off of it. We have a little bit of momentum right now. We're playing well as a team. Everybody's kind of pulling for one another. You can start to sense that there's some expectation of confidence within the group of guys. Guys are fearless.”