The Texas Rangers were winners again tonight even as they made it a little harder on themselves than it appeared it would be in the early innings. Texas took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and scored another pair of runs in the top of the fourth. It looked like the Rangers were set to cruise to another win and secure a winning road trip as starter Mike Minor didn’t allow a hit through the first three innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, however, that first Reds hit ended up being a two-run shot off the bat of Yasiel Puig and the Rangers saw their lead cut in half and Minor looking not as sharp as we’ve gotten used to.
Maybe we’ll just go with Minor was effectively wild as he did end up striking out six batters and only allowed four total hits but his four walks was a high for his tenure in Texas thus far. In the bottom of the seventh, Minor allowed a solo home run to Reds catcher Curt Casali and suddenly — with the bats taking the night off after scoring four — the game was in question at 4-3 and Minor exited after 6 1⁄3 innings.
Luckily for Texas, the back of bullpen has been pretty rested of late so they were able to come in and get through the late innings and now Texas is guaranteed to leave Cincinnati with a series win and an above .500 road trip.
Player of the Game: When you have an elite bat like Jeff Mathis, it’s only a matter of time before you come out of your career-long slump to have a breakout game. Tonight, Mathis doubled AND singled for his first multi-hit game since April.
Up Next: The Rangers will be looking for a sweep on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati with RHP Ariel Jurado set to make the start for Texas opposite RHP Sonny Gray for the Reds. The Father’s Day finale first pitch from Great American Ball Park is scheduled for 12:05 pm CT.