Rangers open the roof, don't shut the door

August 11th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers opened the roof of Globe Life Field for the first time on Monday night.

The game-time temperature was 95 degrees, but the sun had descended well beyond the third-base windows and there was enough wind and air circulating to make the conditions more than tolerable, if not downright comfortable.

The Rangers just wanted to see how the park played without the roof, and the early empirical evidence suggests the Mariners’ hitters may prefer it this way. They had 15 hits, including three home runs, and ruined the Rangers’ open-air coming-out party with a 10-2 victory.

“I thought it was fine,” manager Chris Woodward said of the conditions. “Maybe it was a little bit hotter, but I couldn’t really feel it. Maybe the players were sweating more, but the field was fine. I didn’t like the outcome, but I don’t think the field played any different.”

Rangers starter had a 2-1 lead going into the fifth, but that might have been illusory. Two spectacular diving stops by third baseman kept the Mariners from a big inning in the fourth.

“Oh man, Kiner was great,” Gibson said. “He was making a lot of great plays and saved me a couple different times. He’s locked in at the plate and locked in at the hot corner.”

Neither said the open roof had anything to do with Gibson getting knocked out in the fifth inning.

“I don’t think that was a factor at all,” Woodward said. “I didn’t see any laboring. He just didn’t have his command from the third inning on. He was kind of fighting it the whole time. That last inning, instead of missing with balls, he was missing in the middle of the plate. That’s why he couldn’t get that last out.”

Gibson began the fifth by getting Tim Lopes to pop up before J.P. Crawford lobbed a flare to left field for a single. Gibson then walked Dylan Moore, bringing up Mariners star rookie Kyle Lewis. He took Gibson deep to left-center for his fourth home run of the season. Singles by Kyle Seager and Austin Nola ended Gibson's night.

The defensive gems were the highlight of the night for the Rangers but were lost in the Seattle offensive deluge that followed. Woodward said Gibson seemed to be fighting all night and started to lose his command around the third inning.