Rangers' scuffles continue in second straight home shutout

April 24th, 2024

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were playing from behind less than 10 minutes into Tuesday night's matchup with the Mariners.

Starter gave up a double to J.P. Crawford on the first pitch of the game and then a two-run homer to Cal Raleigh, putting the club in a hole it never came back from.

Dunning’s day would only last 4 1/3 innings and he allowed two two-run homers from Raleigh and Julio Rodríguez, which did the job securing an early lead and ultimately 4-0 victory for Seattle.

But the story of the night wasn’t Dunning’s short outing or the Rangers’ bullpen dealing 4 2/3 scoreless frames.

Instead, it was a quiet offense that struggled to do much of anything at Globe Life Field -- again.

That was thanks to Mariners starter Logan Gilbert, who mowed down the Rangers' lineup all night long, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out six.

“It was just the combination of him being on and us not being on,” second baseman Marcus Semien said. “We hit a couple balls hard. We had a couple opportunities, but at the end of the day, we didn't come through.”

“We faced a really good pitcher tonight,” manager Bruce Bochy added. “He has velocity, and the cutter and slider were all working for him. He’s been tough on a lot of teams and you’ve got your hands full when they're on top of their game. So we just couldn’t do a lot as far as getting guys on base and putting some pressure on them.”

This was just the second time the Rangers have been shut out this season; the club was also held scoreless in their last home game, in a 1-0 loss to the A’s on April 11. Texas is now scoreless in its last 22 innings at Globe Life Field dating back to the fifth inning of a 6-2 win over Oakland on April 10.

The Rangers were hitless through three innings before a two-out double from Josh Smith in the fourth finally showed a little bit of life in the bats, but a strikeout from rookie Wyatt Langford ended the inning.

Texas also squandered a leadoff double from Nathaniel Lowe in the seventh inning, which was one of the offense’s best chances of the night.

“I know he threw me a lot of fastballs,” Semien said after going 0-for-4. “I feel like I'm a good fastball hitter, but he put some fastballs in some good spots. The one ball I hit hard was out over the plate. The rest of them were kind of up. That's one of my strengths, but I didn't have it tonight. So as far as everybody else, you know, he was tough on everybody else. We had a couple opportunities but came up short.”

The Rangers ultimately collected three hits and four walks, but went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

“When you're facing a good pitcher, and you get those opportunities, you hope to cash in your chances,” Bochy said. “There’s a good chance you're not gonna get a lot of them. Early, we had a couple good at-bats there for walks and had some good hitters up there. But he made pitches. Again, you're talking about somebody with really good stuff, made the pitches when he had to. So, you know, it was a tough night for the hitters.”

As for the offensive struggles of late, only two of the Rangers’ regular starters have an OPS over .800: Adolis García (.960) and Lowe, who has only played three games this season (.872). The only hitters with averages over .250 are those two, Smith (.292), Semien (.267), Corey Seager (.262) and Jonah Heim (.257).

It’s fair to say the club is scrapping a bit.

But Bochy isn’t worried, pointing to a few rookies in Langford and Evan Carter continuing to get acclimated to big league pitching, and guys like Seager and Lowe still recovering from injuries after missing parts or all of Spring Training.

“Guys are getting settled,” Bochy said. “I think that's fair to say with some of these guys who missed some time in Spring Training. They are guys that we want to get settled in. It's early. We're in April. I mean, we're not playing like that. We feel like we're going out there every night [to win] the ballgame but at the same time, there's some guys not quite locked in.”