All heart: Rangers' 3, 4 hitters packing punch

August 27th, 2022

ARLINGTON --  and Nathaniel Lowe couldn't be any more different in their styles of play. 

García plays loud and hard, complete with bat flips and struts around the bases. Lowe plays hard but more muted. He launches 400-foot homers and casually runs around the bases like a pregame warmup. 

Despite their differences, García and Lowe entered this season needing to prove themselves to be everyday players at the big league level. They needed to take a step forward from both of their first full MLB seasons in 2021 to show they very well could be part of the next Rangers team that returns to playoff contention. 

Both players have done just that. 

In Friday’s 7-6 win over Tigers, the two combined to reach base five times, including a solo homer from Lowe in the first inning and an infield single from García to extend his career-high hit streak to 22 games.

“I’ve got good hitters in front of me and good hitters behind me, and I'm getting some mistakes to capitalize on,” Lowe said postgame. “I’m just doing a good job of capitalizing on mistakes. I don't feel like I'm really hitting outlier pitches. I think most of the pitches that I'm doing damage on are just in the heart, and when I get a pitch on the heart, I get my 'A' swing off right now.”

Both have done especially well since returning from the All-Star break, with Lowe slashing .362/.405/.638 (1.043 OPS) and García at .302/.349/.475 (.824 OPS).

“They've been consistent for the most part of the season,” said interim manager Tony Beasley. “I like where they both are right now. Nate’s obviously on another level, but right now, both of those guys are gonna give us quality at-bats. They’re dangerous.”

Beasley credits Lowe's most recent outburst to a mechanical adjustment in Lowe’s batting stance that cleaned up his swing and allowed him to hit right-handed pitching better.

“I'm just trying to get myself in a position to get a swing off,” Lowe said. “I wish it were more technical or there was a better mechanical answer for you, but I'm just finding myself in a position to get my best swing off on a pitch to hit.”

García -- the aforementioned “good hitter” behind Lowe -- extended his career-high hit streak to 22 games in the win over the Tigers, tied with Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the longest by an American League batter this season. 

Beasley noted that while García hasn’t made any physical or mechanical changes like Lowe, he has seen the outfielder be more mentally ready each day. He’s in a good headspace that allows him the possibility to do damage every time he steps into the box.

“Adolis is swinging,” Beasley said pregame. “He swings back and forth a little bit. He goes up and down a little bit. He gets hot, he gets cold. But he's been pretty consistent as of late. ... It's just dangerous. And I think if you put some danger together in those first five or six slots, then it creates problems for other teams.”

Those first six spots in the Rangers' lineup have been key since Beasley took over as interim manager on Aug. 15. The first four hitters have been the same in nine of the 11 games Beasley has managed. The only times the five and six holes change is when catcher  -- usually batting fifth -- gets a day off.

The emergence of Lowe and García into solidified everyday middle-of-the-order players has been especially motivating behind the middle-infield duo of and  at the top of the order. 

“Those guys, they stabilize us,” Beasley said. “Three and four [behind Semien and Seager] to get down to Jonah at five and  at six. They’ve been the middle of the order that’s kept things together for us. They've been consistent for the most part of the season. They’re both dangerous guys, they can do damage at any time and add pressure for pitchers.”

“You look at a lot of playoff teams, there's a core of five or six players who get to play every day, and then you match up where you need to match up,” Lowe added. “And having a group of players that are going to get in a rhythm and roll together is nice for confidence coming to the yard, and it's nice for performance on the field.”