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Rangers continue strange trend in blowout win

@Sullivan_Ranger
April 16, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are still waiting for their starting pitching to get on a roll, but their offense is keeping them above .500 on the season. There is a question of that formula being sustainable, but Texas manager Chris Woodward is enjoying the progress of his offense while still

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are still waiting for their starting pitching to get on a roll, but their offense is keeping them above .500 on the season.

There is a question of that formula being sustainable, but Texas manager Chris Woodward is enjoying the progress of his offense while still expressing faith in his pitching after a 12-7 victory over the Angels on Monday night at Globe Life Park.

Home runs by Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Gallo and Asdrúbal Cabrera helped Texas overcome a short start from Shelby Miller and the Rangers won for the third time in four games. They are 8-7 overall and they have scored 65 runs in those eight victories. That has allowed them to overcome a combined 6.33 ERA from their starters in those games.

“I have full faith in our pitching,” Woodward said. “There are things to obviously build on and do what our pitching is capable of. There are a lot of things to talk about. There is always stuff to improve upon. I love watching these guys compete on the mound. That is the one thing I stress more than anything. I just want to see the conviction.”

The Rangers had 14 hits and set season highs for runs, extra-base hits (six) and total bases (26). But this win was not secure until Jose Leclerc, pitching with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth inning, got Zack Cozart to ground out and end the game. Even then, the Rangers had to wait for a replay review before the call was confirmed.

“The pitching will be there ... we trust them,” shortstop Elvis Andrus said. “It still in the beginning, and we still have guys trying to find their control. We trust the starters and everybody in the bullpen. We are doing a great job offensively creating runs and taking the pressure off the whole pitching staff.”

Rookie reliever Kyle Dowdy, a Rule 5 Draft pick from the Blue Jays, earned his first Major League win by holding the Angels to one run in 2 2/3 innings. He allowed one hit, walked two and struck out one.

“Obviously, it’s a lot of fun being able to go out there and compete,” Dowdy said. “Hats off to the offense putting up 12 runs. Unbelievable. A lot of big two-out hits. That makes it fun to go out and compete.”

Dowdy took over for Miller, who gave up four runs over 4 1/3 innings and 87 pitches. The Rangers' starter gave up a three-run home run to Brian Goodwin in the first inning, but he also worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second and finished by retiring five of the last six batters he faced.

“Giving up three runs in the first inning was tough,” Miller said. “I felt the stuff was there at times. There were some little mistakes that I have to correct and avoid those big innings.”

The Rangers trailed 4-1 going into the bottom of the third inning, but they tied it against Angels starter Trevor Cahill with the help of home runs by Choo to straightaway center field and Gallo into the upper deck in right. Gallo’s home runs had an exit velocity of 115.1 miles per hour, tied for the fourth hardest in the Majors this season.

Texas went ahead and registered a four-run fifth inning against Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian. Three of the runs were scored after two outs. On the night, six of 12 runs came across after two outs, including a two-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera in the sixth.

“Those are daggers,” Woodward said. “On the pitching side, if you give up two-out hits, they kill you. One thing we talk about in our hitters meetings is never giving in. Those are critical runs. Those are the championship at-bats where we extend leads because of the grit of our team.”

The Rangers know the offense is there, but they need the pitching to go with it.

“All these guys in our bullpen and our starters, we trust every one of these guys,” Woodward said. “But we also have to challenge them and they are accepting the challenge on a daily basis.”

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.