Rangers' patience pays off in twin-bill opener
MIAMI -- The Rangers kicked off a doubleheader in style on Monday afternoon, scoring three runs between the seventh and eighth innings to rally for a 3-2 win over the host Marlins at loanDepot park.
Texas got a solid start from Glenn Otto, who gave up two runs on three hits in six innings, allowing interim manager Tony Beasley to preserve much of his bullpen for the nightcap.
Texas used four pitchers, with Jonathan Hernández (2-2) getting the victory and José Leclerc picking up his fifth save.
“This makes you feel much better going into the second one,” said Beasley, whose team entered Monday’s nightcap riding back-to-back wins. “It was a well-played ballgame, and Otto really set the tone, threw the ball well and gave us six strong innings. We got down 2-0 and battled back.”
The Rangers entered the seventh down a pair despite the fact that Miami did not get its first hit off Otto until the fourth. The Marlins scored twice on just one hit in the fifth.
Otto walked one, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and was charged with an error on a pickoff throw in the inning. Miami’s Jon Berti made it 2-0 with a single -- the only hit of the inning -- with two outs. Still, Otto gave Beasley exactly what he hoped for to start the doubleheader.
“Just like any other start, I wanted to get deep into the game and be efficient,” Otto said.
“I shot myself in the foot a couple times in the middle of the outing but was able to recover and go relatively undamaged there. It’s good to go six. I was looking to go as deep as I could on a day like this.”
Miami got a strong start of its own from Trevor Rogers, but he was unable to silence the Rangers after getting the first out of the seventh. With one down, Adolis García doubled into the right-field corner before Mark Mathias walked. Josh Jung was then credited with a double after his deep drive bounced off Miami center fielder JJ Bleday’s glove, driving in Texas’ first run of the game.
Sam Huff tied the score on a grounder to short, and Texas went ahead the next inning when Mathias drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded. Miami reliever Steven Okert (5-3) got the first two outs of the inning but loaded the bases on a pair of walks and an infield single from Nathaniel Lowe.
Monday marked the first time the Rangers had scored their winning run via a bases-loaded walk since Aug. 24, 2018, against the Giants.
The Marlins threatened in the eighth, putting runners on with two out, but reliever Matt Moore worked out of the jam courtesy of a slick play from second baseman Marcus Semien, who threw out Miguel Rojas to end the inning.
“The defense was good, and in a game like today, you have to make plays like that to come out on top,’’ Beasley said.
“Semien made two plays similar to that, going to his backhand [side] and making a strong throw. Those are the plays that save the game for you. [Josh] Smith made a diving catch to rob a hit. In close ballgames, you have to do things like that.”