Rangers rake in nightcap, but split twin bill
Semien logs 3 RBIs, finishes double shy of cycle; Seager reaches 30 homers
MIAMI -- The Rangers were in real good shape and looking to sweep a doubleheader from the Marlins on Monday night before heading back home.
Then came the fifth inning.
The eight runs in a single inning matched season highs for both clubs. The Rangers gave up eight in the 12th inning against the A’s on June 12; The Marlins scored eight in the ninth against the D-backs on May 11.
The latest inning was one to remember for Miami -- and one to forget for Texas.
“The fifth inning couldn’t have gone any worse for us,’’ Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said. “We came out and walked three of the first four batters. That’s never a good equation.
“Once you get rolling and momentum swings, guys start feeling good. … We couldn’t stop the bleeding and it snowballed. We couldn’t find our way out of that fifth inning.”
The ugly details: Miami scored its eight runs off six hits with three doubles, three walks, an error and a wild pitch. The Marlins sent 12 to the plate with former Rangers prospect Charles Leblanc -- whom Miami took in the 2021 Minor League Rule 5 Draft -- getting two doubles and driving in a pair of runs.
A.J. Alexy, who served as the 29th player on the roster due to the doubleheader, did not record an out before being pulled in the fifth and he was charged with four of the runs as well as the loss. He also committed the error, trying to pick off JJ Bleday at first.
“Anytime you’re out there that long, it can be mentally draining,” said catcher Jonah Heim, who made a highlight catch of a foul tip off his mask in the seventh inning.
“The pitching staff bounced back, we had a couple good innings and put up some good at-bats to make it close. We just came up a little short.”
Coming into the game, the return of Jon Gray was the big news as he was activated off IL to start the nightcap.
Gray, who was on a pitch count per Beasley, went 3 2/3 innings and gave up an unearned run on two hits to go with no walks and five strikeouts. Of his 45 pitches, 39 were for strikes.
With a runner at third and two outs, Alexy came on and struck out catcher Nick Fortes to end it.
“It was a little weird, a little slow, but the results were pretty good,” Gray said. “For the first time back in a month, I’ll take it.’’
Down 1-0, Texas scored three in the top of the fifth on Josh Jung’s solo shot over the left-field wall for his second career homer and Marcus Semien’s two-run blast to left-center.
Miami then opened things up in a big, big way.
But this game was not all lost on the Rangers.
Aside from Gray’s solid start and Heim’s big play, Texas also saw Corey Seager hit the 30-home run mark with his shot in the seventh to pull the Rangers within four. The only other shortstop to hit 30-plus home runs in Rangers history was Alex Rodriguez from 2001-03.
Jung also had another big night and now has four extra-base hits (two homers and two doubles) in his first five games which is tied for most in Rangers history along with Ruben Mateo (1999) and Ruben Sierra (1986).
Semien also went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and was a double shy of the cycle.
“We battled back, we fought back and the guys didn’t quit,’’ Beasley said. “They continued to fight and give ourselves a chance. A big hit there and it could have been interesting in the end. We just had that one bad inning where we couldn’t throw the ball over the plate and it cost us.”