'Fun to watch': García powers win with 2 HRs

June 24th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- Who else but to energize the Rangers to a key victory over an American League West foe? His two-homer game Wednesday night propelled Texas to a 5-3 win over the A’s at Globe Life Field, guaranteeing the club at least a split of the four-game series.

It was García’s third multi-homer game this season.

“You see the numbers coming in,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin. “He’s a really good player. Whether it’s righties, whether it’s lefties, he’s got a lot of power. He’s having a great year.”

After struggling a bit to start the month of June, García is back to his smashing ways. Over the last seven games, he’s slashing .286/.310/.786 with four home runs. He briefly sat atop the MLB home run leaderboard, but now is tied for fourth after snapping a 17-game homerless streak last week.

“I’ve been working hard and I’m focused on trying to do better and help the team,” García said through an interpreter. “Everybody goes through hard times, this is a tough game and it's a long season. I’m just focused on the mental part, trying to stay positive all the time and working hard.”

Rangers manager Chris Woodward praised García for his work with the club’s hitting coaches and his development to be able to adjust on the fly mid-game.

The talent is obvious, and has been all season, but the way he’s been able to make adjustments to how pitchers throw to him has been the game-changer in his approach at the plate.

“It’s not surprising [anymore],” Woodward said. “It’s just the conversations that you have with him and the things he talks about and the calmness with which he kind of walks around. You see him operating in the batting cage, just talking about hitting and talking about different ways to hit different pitches. It’s been fun to watch.”

Woodward said these were the type of games he felt the Rangers were winning earlier in the season, but that had tapered off a bit in the last month.

The Rangers took the first lead of the game with an RBI double from catcher Jonah Heim in the fifth inning and García’s homer added to the lead an inning later. The A’s came roaring back with a three-run seventh inning, but the Rangers were unstoppable on the night.

Nate Lowe hit a leadoff homer in the bottom half of the frame on the first pitch from reliever Yusmeiro Petit, Eli White doubled and Brock Holt brought him in with a bloop single to give Texas the lead back.

García’s second homer of the game in the eighth extended the Rangers’ lead to 5-3, closing the scoring on the evening.

Woodward credited Wednesday night’s resilience with the effort carried over from a failed comeback attempt the night before.

“I think last night had a lot to do with tonight,” Woodward said. “We were down 9-0 and we fought back. Those kinds of things obviously give you confidence and a little bit of momentum. Our bats were even better and you’re starting to see some guys breaking back out again. There’s been more production so there’s more confidence.”

The first two games of the four-game series between the A’s and the Rangers featured a flurry of offense, with the teams putting up a combined 30 runs. Wednesday was an entirely different affair, as only eight runs were scored between the two. In fact, the game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, as starters James Kaprielian and Mike Foltynewicz were solid out of the gate.

Foltynewicz said he felt more calm out on the mound than he had in recent starts, and it paid off. The right-hander went six innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs, while issuing zero walks and striking out five.

Woodward credited the outfield defense of García, White and Joey Gallo with preventing the A’s from getting back into the game. In the top of the eighth, with the Rangers leading 5-3, Gallo and White each made diving catches to rob Oakland hitters of base hits.

“They’re pretty special,” Woodward said. “Joey obviously got a Gold Glove last year with the way he plays right field, but Adolis in center field has been spectacular and Eli is an elite outfielder wherever you put him. Those three guys all together out there, you saw that on full display. They basically shut down any chance for them to get back in the game.”