Strong 6 innings an 'important' start for Allard

August 5th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- Rangers starter was strong Wednesday night, but Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani was even better on the mound as Texas fell in a close 2-1 matchup at Globe Life Field.

The left-hander threw a quality start, tossing six full innings and allowing two runs on six hits. The first Angels run was scored on a wild pitch in the third inning, while the other was a solo shot from Jack Mayfield into the visitors' bullpen in the fifth.

“I think coming out of the All-Star break I had a few back-to-back [games] where I just wasn't really myself,” Allard said. “I think it was good to go back out there and get six strong, obviously thought it could’ve been a little different. I’m headed in the right direction.”

Allard said he just missed his spot completely on the Mayfield homer, with his four-seamer ended up located right down the middle. On the wild pitch, he was just trying to keep the ball out of the zone for Ohtani, but he and catcher Jonah Heim weren’t on the same page.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward said one of the more important pieces of the game was Allard not letting the two mistakes spiral into four or five more runs in the inning. It was a good test for Allard’s development in those situations, and he succeeded.

“It's awesome to see our guys come in and just execute,” said Woodward. “I thought Kolby was much better. In the third inning, he got two guys on with one out. It’s something we've obviously addressed with him being able to stop the bleeding. I thought Kolby did a good job controlling his emotions and composure and be able to make some pitches.”

It was Allard’s best start since June 19, when he also gave up two runs in a no-decision against Minnesota. Allard since has drawn the loss in eight straight starts, surrendering 37 runs during that span. After posting a 3.54 ERA in June, which was his first full month in the rotation, Allard trudged his way to a 9.13 ERA in July.

Despite those struggles, Allard said he wasn’t hitting the panic button in July and just wanted to get back to the basics: executing pitches, attacking hitters and mixing speeds. This start was important to get him back on track.

“It's really important I think for a lot of reasons, but especially for his psyche just to go out and have a good outing and sleep on it and come back four or five days later and pitch again,” Woodward said. “I know he's had a couple of rough ones in a row, but he was able to kind of right the ship and give us a chance to win again tonight.”

The Rangers' offense struggled to put anything together against Ohtani. Texas was blanked for the first five innings before a leadoff double from Isiah Kiner-Falefa and an RBI groundout from Adolis García put the Rangers on the board in the sixth.

Kiner-Falefa had half of the Rangers’ hits after a 3-for-4 night.

Woodward added that it was good for the Rangers to continue to be competitive across the field throughout the last two months of the season. Even though Texas lost, putting together a solid game is a step forward to learning how to win.

“As we go forward, especially with our schedule, we're going to play a lot of teams that are playoff teams, or that are potential playoff teams, so I think it’s a good experience,” he said.