Recent callups Guzmán, Taveras hit B2B HRs

August 30th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman hit his first home run since being called up from alternate camp and rookie outfielder hit his first Major League home run against the Dodgers on Saturday night.

The blasts were back to back off Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling in the third inning of the Rangers' 7-4 loss at Globe Life Field.

Guzmán, batting in the eighth spot, led off the third with the Rangers trailing 3-0 and hit a first-pitch fastball over the center-field wall. Statcast had it with a 107.3 mph exit velocity and a projected distance of 431 feet.

Taveras, in his 16th Major League plate appearance, also jumped on a first-pitch fastball. The 21-year-old switch-hitter drove it the opposite way over the left-field fence for his first home run. This one had a 100.5 mph exit velocity and a projected distance of 394 feet.

Guzmán said he didn’t get a chance to see Taveras swing.

“I was just [celebrating with] everybody and then I saw the ball flying and I said, ‘Oh wow, that’s a home run, too,’” Guzmán said. “It was really exciting. I am so excited for him. I know how hard he works and how much passion he has for the game.”

These were the first back-to-back home runs for the Rangers since July 19, 2019, when Rougned Odor and Asdrúbal Cabrera did it off Astros pitcher Justin Verlander.

Both Taveras and Guzmán were recent callups from alternate camp. Taveras, the No. 3 prospect in the Rangers' farm system per MLB Pipeline, was brought up on Sunday and is being given a chance to show what he can do in center field and at the plate. He is 4-for-16 after going 1-for-3 with a walk on Saturday.

“It’s been great helping the team out anyway I can, and it’s helped build a lot of confidence,” Taveras said. “The stuff at the plate is going to come. It’s about working hard and making adjustments.”

Guzmán was recalled on Friday when the Rangers elected to put Danny Santana on the injured list with a sprained right elbow. Guzmán lost his first base job when he struggled offensively in Spring Training and Summer Camp, going a combined 11-for-69 with one home run and 23 strikeouts.

This is a chance to reestablish himself at first base for the Rangers, and he started off strong by going 3-for-3 on the night. He had an infield single and a double after the home run before walking in the ninth inning in his final plate appearance.

“Thought he was going to hit for the cycle there,” manager Chris Woodward said. “I was hoping he would just so we could have a chance to win the game. I’m really happy for him. He’s put in a lot of work. It’s obviously only one game, but it is a big confidence booster for him, especially to come out swinging like he did.”