García's hit, lights-out relief take down A's

Sixth-inning rally keyed by rookie All-Star's two-run single

July 10th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers entered the sixth inning of Friday night’s matchup against the A’s with no hits, two total baserunners and trailing by two runs.

They left the inning with four hits and a one-run lead after an offensive outburst. Texas would never relinquish that lead, holding on to beat the A’s, 3-2, at Globe Life Field.

That three-run sixth inning was the catalyst, with 2021 All-Star delivering the knockout blow with a two-run single on a first-pitch slider from Sergio Romo. The Rangers got the first six hitters on base, including a leadoff infield single from Eli White to end a no-hit bid from A’s starter Cole Irvin. Andy Ibáñez and García both drove in runs on RBI singles before an out was even recorded.

It’s far from the first time García has come up in big situations for the Rangers. That single in the sixth inning was his 15th go-ahead RBI of the season.

“There are just times that it happens to fall on my shoulders,” García said through a translator after the game. “I’ve always enjoyed those types of moments. I want to do whatever it takes to help the team and I’m just grateful that I get to produce.”

Rangers manager Chris Woodward said that García struggled through the middle part of the first half of the season as he tried to force things to happen, chasing a lot of pitches outside of the zone as a result.

Now, he’s worked harder to stay disciplined at the plate, while not changing much of anything mechanically or mentally. He’s adjusting to the adjustments that the league is making to him as a rookie.

“There [are] multiple adjustments that the league will make,” Woodward said. “I think I've seen probably two or three adjustments that they've made with Adolis this season, and he's made adjustments back every time. With the work he puts in every day, I think he has adjusted to the league. Now it's just a matter of whether he can stay disciplined.”

Rangers starter Jordan Lyles put together a quality start, throwing six innings and allowing two runs on seven hits. The right-hander got into a jam in the top of the fourth, when he allowed two singles and a walk, allowing Oakland the first run of the game and taking the lead.

He was ultimately able to end the inning with a strikeout of Seth Brown, leaving the Rangers room to strike back. Lyles said he felt like he didn't have his best stuff, but was encouraged by his ability to get out of those tough situations anyway.

Reliever Josh Sborz had a similar situation just three innings later, when he and Brett Martin -- who started the inning for Texas -- walked the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the seventh. Sborz got Matt Olson to ground out to second to end the threat and keep the Rangers in front.

Spencer Patton struck out the side in the eighth and Ian Kennedy nailed down a save with a clean ninth to preserve the win.

Woodward had high praise of the entire pitching staff in the game for keeping the Rangers close throughout the entire thing.

“Pitching and defense, they keep you competitive,” Woodward said. “If your pitchers go out and put up zeros and if our defense can make plays and stop rallies, it's huge for your offense. It gives you hope because every time you find yourself down one or two, pitching is going to keep you in the game. It gives you a chance to basically win every game.”