The Texas Rangers knew going into tonight’s game that Mike Minor wouldn’t be long for the mound in a start where he was prescribed a 3 or 4 inning or 75-80 pitch limit to help him re-ramp back into a rhythm.
Minor responded with a 28-pitch first inning and it looked like he might end up being nothing more than an extended opener tonight but the veteran was able to eventually give Texas four shutout innings of one-hit ball that spanned 76 pitches.
Minor’s stuff still didn’t look quite as sharp, and wasn’t as pleasing on the radar gun, as it has been in the past but the literal results of his short leash outing were a success.
While Minor was on the mound, the Rangers built a four run lead off of Seattle starter Marco Gonzales. One issue with knowing you’re only getting four innings max out of your starter is your bullpen will have to do some heavy lifting. That’s a scary proposition for the Rangers of late as the bullpen was already looking worn out in recent days.
Nick Goody immediately followed Minor and gave up two runs in 2⁄3 of an inning to cut the lead in half and it looked like the glass half empty scenario was playing out but a quartet of Edinson Volquez, Joely Rodriguez, Jonathan Hernandez, and Rafael Montero followed with 4 1⁄3 innings of scoreless relief to give the Rangers their first non-Angels win since Sunday, August 2 in San Francisco.
Player of the Game: After nationally embarrassing the Angels over the weekend, Nick Solak continues to rake and tonight the spoils of the Pete Fairbanks trade with Tampa Bay went 3-for-4 with three of the Rangers’ four RBIs.
Up Next: The Rangers and Mariners close out this series with a rubber match that will see Jordan Lyles take the mound for Texas against RHP Taijuan Walker for Seattle. Wednesday’s first pitch from Globe Life Field is scheduled for 8:05 pm CT.