ARLINGTON -- Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor wasn’t happy when Tigers starter Matthew Boyd hit him with a pitch in the sixth inning. Odor, who took a full-count fastball in the back, glared at Boyd, said something to him and had to be escorted to first base by home-plate umpire Eric Cooper.
“It’s part of the game,” Odor said. “It’s over.”
Odor was able to get back at the Tigers in a much better way. Getting another full-count fastball, Odor smashed a two-out home run off Tigers reliever Nick Ramirez in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Rangers a 5-4 victory on Saturday night at Globe Life Park.
It was the second walk-off home run by Odor in his career and the first by a Ranger since Shin-Soo Choo on May 26, 2018, against the Royals.
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard,” Odor said. “I was trying to look for something in the middle. He was pitching me around the zone. I made good contact and I hit it out.”
While the Rangers were celebrating their fifth walk-off win of the season, the Tigers were furious in the other clubhouse. Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire was livid that Odor wasn’t called out on a two-strike check swing that would have ended the inning.
“He swung at the ball,” Gardenhire said. “His bat was all the way out in front of home plate. The home-plate umpire didn't call it. He checked, and obviously, it's a missed call. It's plain as day. It's just what it is. It's disappointing because we played really hard tonight. We battled our tails off.”
Rangers manager Chris Woodward was much more eager to discuss Odor’s sustained resurgence at the plate. Over his past 28 games, Odor is hitting .291 with 10 home runs, 28 RBIs and a .680 slugging percentage.
“I’ve said this many times, but the reason why we stuck with Rougy so long through so much adversity was that he brings that intensity every day, regardless of whether he’s doing well or not,” Woodward said. “I’ve told him many times, that’s the thing I admire most about him: the character of just showing up, competing.”
Woodward also loved the fact the home run was to left-center.
“That’s what’s made all the difference in the world,” Woodward said. “He’s not trying to pull the ball. He’s staying to the middle of the field, left-center. He’s got more power than anybody. You can see it on that one. I didn’t even think he hit that [that hard]. Off the bat, I wasn’t sure it was going to go. Just shows you he has power to all fields.”
Odor said that he just got away from thinking too much, worrying about not swinging at bad pitches. The simple approach has always worked best for him.
“Right now, I feel pretty good at the plate,” Odor said. “I’m just trying to not think too much. Just worrying about hitting the ball. That’s what I’ve been doing the last month and I’ve been feeling pretty good at the plate. I don’t care where I hit it. I just want to hit it in the middle of the field.”
Rangers starter Adrian Sampson allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings but four relievers -- Taylor Guerrieri, Brett Martin, Jesse Chavez and Jose Leclerc -- combined for 5 1/3 scoreless behind him.
“I love putting, especially young guys, in spots like that to see what they’re made of,” Woodward said. “Those guys, it’s an unbelievable job. We needed that. That was a big win for us to get a couple games over .500, give us some momentum.”