García, Lowe team up to turn tide in Texas

August 14th, 2022

ARLINGTON -- If there was ever a time for  to come through, it was Sunday in the Rangers’ 5-3 win against the Mariners at Globe Life Field.

García was 0-for-3 heading into the seventh inning of a tie game. Facing a 2-1 count with two outs and  on second, García ripped an RBI single up the middle to put the Rangers ahead for good.

“He loves it, first of all. He loves being the guy to come up in that spot,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “Sometimes I laugh when they walk Corey, because I’m like, ‘Adolis doesn’t mind that. He’s actually hoping you walk Corey because [he] wants to be the guy to win the game for us.'”

Considering how many of Texas’ games this season have been decided by one run (30), García remained aggressive on the bases and soon stole second to put him in position to score with Nathaniel Lowe up to bat.

Lowe, who along with García has been one of the Rangers’ most consistent hitters lately, joined in on the party and helped pad the lead with an RBI double to eventually secure a much-needed series win. Lowe finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate with a run, an RBI and a walk to stretch his on-base streak to 20 games.

García and Lowe put the runs up, but really, it was an even bigger day for the bullpen. The Rangers’ relievers have struggled a lot this season. That’s no secret. They own an MLB-high 29 losses and, entering Sunday, were 25-for-43 in save chances this season.

But thanks to a comeback from Josh Sborz, who exited the series opener following the first inning after taking a line drive to his throwing arm, the Rangers’ chances were air-tight. Sborz entered the game in the seventh inning to relieve Martín Pérez -- who posted his 16th quality start of the season -- and pitched two shutout innings.

“We were obviously light a little bit in the bullpen and seeing what Sborz did -- he stepped up right there -- it was huge,” Woodward said.

After giving up a leadoff walk, the right-hander worked his way through the core of the Mariners’ lineup and froze both third baseman Eugenio Suárez and designated hitter Carlos Santana to rack up his first two strikeouts of the outing.

In what would be the cherry on top of his afternoon, Sborz struck out the side in the following inning to keep the Rangers on top.

“He’s got elite stuff. He’s got closer stuff,” Woodward said. “It’s just about his execution. That second inning was about as good as you can execute right there.”

Like Sborz, José Leclerc also didn’t have a great outing in the series opener. Leclerc entered Friday’s 6-2 loss in the middle of the fourth inning with the bases loaded. While he allowed just one hit in his 2 1/3 innings, he also allowed two inherited runners to score.

After working his way out of that inning, Leclerc shook his head in disappointment as he walked back to the dugout. But Sunday, he made up for it by sealing back-to-back wins for the Rangers against a team they’ve struggled against all season by setting down the top of Seattle’s lineup in order, ending it with a swinging strikeout.

“He made it look pretty easy,” Woodward said.