ARLINGTON -- While trade rumors swirled around All-Star slugger Joey Gallo as the Rangers and Yankees worked toward finalizing a trade shortly before first pitch on Wednesday night, Texas still had a game to play.
Gallo was scratched from the lineup roughly 10 minutes before first pitch of the contest, which the Rangers lost, 3-2, to split the two-game series at Globe Life Field.
Regarding playing a game with rumors going around, manager Chris Woodward said he thought the team handled the situation well, even though it all happened very quickly. He said he let outfielder Jason Martin know that if something went down, he would replace Gallo in the lineup, but did not make an official change to the dugout until about 15 or 20 minutes before the start of the game.
“Obviously I think everybody handles it in their own way, but I came in the dugout like, ‘We’ve got a game to win.’ I felt like the dugout was in good energy, positive energy. I think the game itself kind of forced everybody to not think about it. Now is when everybody's gonna kind of think more about it. In-game, it's a little easier because there's something to focus on. Once the game is over, that's when it gets a little bit tough.
“I think there's still a tiny bit of shock. There's names thrown out on our roster for a while now [in rumors], so I don't think anybody's really surprised by anything potentially happening. But I think when it does happen, I think it's just kind of like, ‘Oh well, it happened.' It always hurts no matter who it is, especially a guy like that.”
Two of the D-backs’ three runs came off the long ball, while Rangers starter Jordan Lyles was incredibly efficient through seven innings of work. He allowed two runs on two hits with six strikeouts.
Lyles said he was pleased with his outing and he felt like he got back on the right page after a couple of rough starts coming out of the All-Star break.
“He's been really good lately,” Woodward said of the right-hander. “His tempo, his stuff, everything's been playing really well, really up, and it's nice to see that. Later on into the season, most guys are starting to deteriorate a little bit and he's actually getting a little bit better, I feel like, as the season goes.”
The Rangers were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, however, which led to the loss despite totaling more hits than Arizona. Charlie Culberson and Nathaniel Lowe notched RBIs in the fourth inning, but the rest of the lineup was unable to get much going at the plate.
Woodward credited Lowe for coming up with a big hit at the right time, which was something the Rangers have been struggling to find since returning from the break.
“I think he's willing to do that and he wants to be the guy to kind of fill in some bigger shoes,” Woodward said. “I'm kind of hoping he does.”