Power, Payano put Rangers back in win column

July 24th, 2019

SEATTLE -- The Rangers’ losing streak came to an end on Tuesday night, not with Mike Minor or Lance Lynn on the mound but with perhaps the unlikeliest of pitching combinations.

This one involved three rookies and one four-year veteran who was pitching in the big leagues for the first time since the end of 2017.

The quartet of , Pedro Payano, and helped snapped an eight-game losing streak by pitching the Rangers to a 7-2 victory over the Mariners at T-Mobile Park.

“It was only fitting that it was Payano and Montero, with Brett starting and Kyle Bird finishing it off,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “I said from day one we are going to have to rely on all our arms. It’s almost fitting that it ended that way and it wasn’t a Mike Minor or a Lance Lynn start.

“It’s important for our ballclub because we are going to have to use so many guys from our 40-man roster. I’ve said that from Spring Training on."

The Rangers’ offense came alive with four home runs. hit two, and and also went deep. It was the fifth time the Rangers have hit four home runs in a game this season, with the last coming in a 9-8 win over the Astros on July 12. That was their last victory before the losing streak.

“This feels pretty good,” Odor said. “We have gone through a lot. Right now, we are just trying to have fun and enjoy this.”

Payano and Montero had a right to enjoy it more than anybody. Payano took over after Martin’s one-inning stint as the opener and held the Mariners to one run over five innings to earn his first Major League win. He allowed three hits and a walk while striking out seven.

“Everything was working,” Payano said. “I felt great. I think this is just one of a lot of them coming.”

Payano, who took the mound in the bottom of the second with a 3-1 lead, was pitching in only his second Major League game. He threw a scoreless inning against the Twins on July 6 and was given this assignment after was scratched with tendinitis in his right ankle. He is the fourth Rangers pitcher to earn his first Major League win this season, along with Martin, and .

"He's got good stuff,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Payano threw strikes. Looking at the video and the scouting report on him, he's got a pretty good breaking ball. He threw a lot of good changeups tonight.

“He threw strikes and with real stuff. It's 94-95. He threw the ball well. Certainly, when he had a lead like that, it leaves you for a less-experienced guy to settle in, and he did. He threw fine and he made pitches when he had to."

That spot in the rotation comes up again on Sunday against the Athletics. Palumbo could be ready to go, but Payano gave the Rangers something to think about.

“That was pretty impressive,” Woodward said. “Definitely put him in the discussion the next time around. He opened a lot of eyes in our organization.”

Montero, who was called up on Monday from Nashville, took over in the seventh inning and pitched two scoreless frames. Montero missed all of last season with the Mets while recovering from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery. The Rangers signed him as a free agent this offseason, hoping they could help complete his rehabilitation process and get him back to the big leagues. Montero was once a big part of the Mets’ future plans before being derailed by the elbow injury.

“I kind of like the idea of seeing what these guys have got,” Woodward said. “Look at what Payano did today ... attacked the strike zone, kept them off-balance, used his secondary pitches but also had an electric fastball that he threw by guys. Montero came in and was painting corners, throwing 97. It was refreshing to see that. I was intrigued by those guys heading into that game. They showed a lot today.”